What is PCT ( Post Cycle Therapy )?
So, you’ve heard the term a few times and are now asking yourself, “What is post cycle therapy?”
You’re not the first and you won’t be the last and, although it sounds like something that may be needed by the participants of the Tour de France, it’s not.
Post cycle therapy (PCT) is a process that needs to be followed by anyone who has been using steroids and wants to stop.
When people use anabolic steroids, the presence of the synthetic hormones in their bodies screws up normal testosterone production.
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Worse still, there’s also a chance that estrogen and progesterone levels will increase to unhealthy levels.
The latter two hormones can be controlled during steroid cycles by using the appropriate supplements, but testosterone will remain suppressed for the entire steroid cycle.
While the steroids are being used, they take the place of normal testosterone, so no problem there.
“Anabolic Steroids Completely Stop Your Natural Testosterone Production”
However, things can start to go downhill real fast when the anabolic steroid is removed from the picture. In an ideal world, the body would just recommence its former activity and normal testosterone levels would be restored.
We don’t live in an ideal world. When steroid usage stops, normal testosterone production remains repressed and, without anything else to take its place, the body becomes the biological equivalent of a car that is running on empty—at least as far as testosterone goes.
That’s not good. Something has to be done and that something is PCT. It’s best seen as a bridging period where one or more supplements are used to pick up the slack until your body becomes ready to go it alone.
How PCT Works
The primary purpose of post cycle therapy is to encourage the body to start producing its own testosterone again and to do so as quickly and efficiently as possible.
But here’s the rub, once you’ve disrupted your body’s normal hormone production process in this way, even the best PCT in the world won’t be capable of bringing your testosterone production rate back up to quite the same level as it was before you decided to bring anabolic steroids into the equation.
Furthermore, if you have been using steroids in an incorrect manner that has caused irreversible damage to your HPTA (Hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis) PCT won’t help. Nothing will.
Assuming a sensible steroid cycle was adhered to, the supplement used during PCT should stimulate your pituitary gland sufficiently to make it release Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH).
These two hormones will then stimulate the relevant areas of the body and encourage them to start producing testosterone again.
In the case of men, this will be the testes and, to a lesser extent, the adrenal glands. In the case of women, it will be the ovaries and the adrenal glands.
Why Skipping PCT is a Bad Idea
The body can recover from steroid usage without Post Cycle Therapy. It however could take it over a year to do so.
During that time the quality of life would be very poor and it is highly likely that any muscle gains that were achieved would be lost.
Other symptoms of testosterone shortage would likely include:
- Loss of libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Reduced semen volume
- Hair loss
- Weight gain
- Reduced bone mass
PCT is the best way to avoid these thing. It stops your body being placed under unnecessary stress by tiding you over until things start to get back on track.
Benefits Of PCT
The effects of anabolic steroids can help you build huge muscles ( they do have some quite nasty side effects too). But when you come off a steroid cycle. your natural testosterone production is shot.
The key is to bring your own natural testosterone production back to normal as quickly as possible. This is what PCT does.
1 – PCT preserves those had earned gains.
2- PCT helps reduce cortisol (the main stress hormone) levels. These can raise after coming off steroids, and with increased cortisol, comes increased body fat, Which you DO NOT want.
3- PCT helps your body to start producing its own testosterone once again.
Popular PCT drugs include Clomid, and Nolvadex (sometimes sold as ‘Nolva’)
I Know The Risks But When Can I Resume Using Anabolic Steroids Again After PCT?
As a guide, you need to add the time spent on steroids plus the time spent on PCT. So if you were using steroids for 12 weeks, and then spent a further 4 weeks on PCT, you would need to wait 16 weeks after your PCT to start on steroids once again
When to Start Post Cycle Therapy
Normally the best time to begin Post Cycle Therapy is the same time that steroid usage is stopped. There is no point in starting sooner.
This is because the PCT supplement would be telling your body to start making its own testosterone and the steroid would be telling it to stop.
However, when steroid usage is only being paused for a short time (less than 12 weeks), it’s generally better not to begin PCT.
This is because shutting everything down by using steroids, then jump-starting testosterone production, only to stop it again after a few weeks can do untold harm to the body.
PCT is for people who are coming off steroids and staying off steroids for periods of 12 weeks or more.
As for the time frame involved, a good supplement, like CrazyBulk PCT, should have things back up and running in as little as 30-60 days.