Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) is a combination of medications and/or supplements used to help keep your natural testosterone production stimulated after a cycle of anabolic steroids. The name implies that you must take it immediately after the steroid cycle, but this isn’t quite true. Instead, it’s mainly a matter of when you choose to start taking PCT – before or directly after your last injection of testosterone propionate or enanthate.
Natural testosterone production will be shut down when using any type of anabolic/androgenic steroid(s) in response to the exogenous hormone(s) being introduced into the body. This is simply our body reacting to foreign hormones introduced into our system because our endocrine system does not naturally produce these exogenous hormones.
As time goes on, after you’ve finished using anabolic steroids, the exogenous hormones are no longer being introduced into the body. As a result, the levels of the exogenous hormones will gradually decline, and your natural testosterone production is expected to kick back in at some point without any special action on your part. However, it’s important to realize that there may be quite a few weeks before this happens – it can take months for your natural testosterone production to return to normal, even if you don’t do anything at all.
During the down period between when you stop introducing exogenous hormones (anabolic steroids) and when your natural testosterone production starts up again is where Post Cycle Therapy comes into play – by supplying your body with the additional testosterone it needs during this period.
There is a certain point where it can be beneficial to start taking PCT as soon as possible, and another point where it is probably better to wait before starting – but there’s no single perfect time for everyone since everyone’s body chemistry varies from person to person.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of those details that you need to take into account when considering whether or not to use Post Cycle Therapy and how to implement PCT if you decide that it would be beneficial for you to do so.
No one knows exactly what would happen without post-cycle therapy (PCT). There are rumors and speculation, but we don’t have any medical study results to fall upon. However, here are some side-effects that may happen if you do not enter PCT:
Anecdotal evidence suggests that your body will eventually return to normal testosterone production on its own without the aid of PCTs. However, this can take months or even years after the last use of anabolic steroids. During this time, you must rely heavily on non-anabolic alternative forms of training and supplementation – which is likely why many people choose to implement PCT into their cycle instead.
During your post-cycle therapy (PCT) period, it’s important to understand that the primary purpose is for your body’s natural production of testosterone to resume as soon as possible – but this does not necessarily mean that you must start training like a maniac or take supplements like they’re going out of style. It’s also important to note that PCT will not be effective if the body senses that exogenous testosterone is still being introduced into the blood, which can happen with long-lasting esters such as cypionate and enanthate (the usual “testosterone injectables”). For this reason, it is often suggested that Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) periods include shorter acting testosterone propionate instead – but there are no medical studies to prove whether this theory is accurate or not.
It should also be understood that even if your natural testosterone production does kick back in after an extended period, it doesn’t necessarily mean all systems go. The natural production of testosterone is a complex process involving the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and testicles – and it can take months or even years for each to fully recover from the effects of having been suppressed by exogenous anabolic steroids. For this reason, if you’ve had your gonads removed surgically, then PCT will be completely useless regardless of how long you wait until implementing it.
The main purpose of Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) is for you to return your body’s natural testosterone production as quickly as possible – but also to ensure that no further damage is done to your system in the process. After all, if we don’t get our bodies back up and running at their full potential again quickly and efficiently, the rest of the work might as well be pointless.
Post-cycle therapy (PCT) is also an important time for muscle memory – that is, making sure that all muscles you gained during your cycle stay with you after your cycle is complete. If you implement PCT properly and sufficiently enough (and if your natural testosterone production resumes quickly enough), this should not be a major concern to you. However, some people choose to continue training even during their Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) period to preserve what they’ve gained – or more commonly because they are simply still eager to train hard and improve themselves. This isn’t necessarily bad advice either; however, it is typically suggested that at least four weeks pass between the end of your cycle and the start of your new training regimen.
As mentioned above, it is not necessary to implement anabolic steroids while on PCT; however, many bodybuilders choose to stack other performance-enhancing drugs while taking Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) medications to expedite the process. This may be effective; however, there is currently no clinical evidence either way regarding whether this method is helpful or harmful. Furthermore, combining these particular products often leads to a variety of side effects. If you choose to combine these specific substances, please exercise extreme caution – and always consult with a medical professional beforehand if possible!
In summary, Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) consists mainly of getting your body’s natural testosterone production back up to speed as quickly and safely as possible. This is typically done with the assistance of medications that mimic the function of LH, which causes the testicles to produce more testosterone naturally. Most PCT plans will last between 4 and 6 weeks – however, it is unnecessary to implement PCT if you’ve already waited at least three months after your final steroid injection. Also, remember that nearly all anabolic steroids suppress natural testosterone production for some time before allowing it to resume; therefore, most doctors suggest having blood work performed roughly eight weeks after completing a cycle to determine whether or not PCT is necessary.
Conclusion: Implementing Post Cycle Therapy (PCT) after finishing a steroid cycle is an important step in ensuring that your natural testosterone production resumes quickly, but also to ensure that it does not resume before it is ready. You can implement PCT by simply taking medications that mimic LH; however, you do not need to take these medications if you’ve waited at least three months after your last steroid injection – and ideally, eight weeks to give yourself ample time for blood work if you choose to combine certain substances while on Post Cycle Therapy (PCT), exercise caution and consult with a medical professional beforehand.