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There are many medications that can be theoretically used for PCT but only two that should be primary, Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) and Clomiphene (Clomid). Both Nolvadex and Clomid fall in the class of drugs known as Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators (SERMs). As with all SERMs ‘Nolva’ and Clomid stimulate the release of LH and FSH thereby increasing natural testosterone production. For most PCT plans these will be the only two medications needed.
HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is also sometimes used during the PCT phase. When supplementing with testosterone, especially in modern times, many men include low doses of HCG in their steroid cycles, normally 250-350iu a couple times per week. HCG mimics LH and therefore actually keeps the testicles producing testosterone even when anabolic steroids are present. However, it does not induce the production of actual LH. The use of HCG on cycle, this is primarily done so that post cycle recovery is easier (theoretically). HCG is also used on cycle to prevent or at least minimize testicular atrophy that occurs due to the use of anabolic steroids. The testicular atrophy that occurs is not permanent but will reverse once steroid use is discontinued and natural testosterone production begins again.
If HCG is used on cycle there is no need to use it post cycle. However, some men will not use HCG during their cycle for a variety of reasons. Although it is not extremely common, HCG use can increase estradiol levels significantly in some men even with the use of an Aromatase Inhibitor (AI). AI’s are regularly used to combat estrogenic issues during a cycle, but it’s generally best to keep them as minimal as possible. If HCG is not used on cycle it may be the preamble to the PCT plan in some cases. We’ll go over this more later.
AI’s are also sometimes used during PCT because of their ability to stimulate LH and FSH. However, they also lower estrogen levels and often too much during this phase. Part of the PCT plan is to allow the body to normalize and part of that is maintaining normal estrogen levels. Estrogen is not an evil hormone many men, especially steroid users often believe it is. Estrogen is extremely important for muscle building, sexual health, mental health and a host of other areas. Estrogen levels that are too high or too low, both can be very problematic.