Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is a substance that, in the human body, mimics Leutenizing Hormone (LH). LH is secreted by your body, and its secretion then signals the body to begin releasing testosterone.
HCG is typically employed by steroid-using athletes to bring back some naturally produced testosterone into their bodies. However, HCG is clinically used both to induce ovulation and treat certain ovarian disorders in women. In men is utilized to stimulate the testes in hypogonadal men (men who are not producing testosterone). It has also shown promise in the treatment of undescended testicles in young males.
The action of HCG in males is very similar to that of LH, because they are chemically similar and since LH binds to receptors on human Leydig cells, we see a similar mechanism of action with HCG. Once it binds and begins to stimulate the receptors on the Leydig cells, it begins to trigger the synthesis and secretion of testosterone. However, HCG will only send an “artificial” signal to the testes through Leydig cell stimulation. Thus, it is possible that HCG use can cause Leydig cell desensitization. I don’t know of anyone who has actually experienced this, nor who has even claimed that it’s happened to either them or a friend, or whatever- anecdotal evidence here is scarce.
However, there are two schools of thought regarding HCG use, and neither are very new. In fact, both have been around since the earliest books on underground steroid use, and were spoken about more than a decade ago by Dan Duchaine (Underground Steroid Handbook) and also by W. Nathaniel Phillips (Anabolic Reference Guide volumes 1-6). The latter author, by the way is actually Bill Phillips, the author of Body for Life, and the former owner of both Muscle Media and EAS (ok, so that was a bit off track…). Anyway, let’s talk about those two uses for HCG.
When used on a cycle sparingly, HCG helps to maintain testicular size and condition but it is speculated that the intermittent administration of HCG will keep the testicles receptive to LH, when we eventually go off a cycle. This may be due to HCG’s ability to maintain of a higher level of Inter-Testicular-Testosterone (ITT), when used during a cycle. This could aid and quicken your recovery of the hypothalamic-testicular-pituitary-axis. This is certainly possible. When used after a cycle, it will still help in restoring your testicles back to their original size, and provide stimulation for the Leydig cells. Both methods have merit, and there’s no reason why you can’t use HCG every third week at a one time dose (perhaps) 500iu or so, and then use it at that same dose for a daily schedule at the outset of your Post Cycle Therapy.
Interestingly, one study I looked at showed that by using Vitamin E along with HCG, a greater blood plasma testosterone elevation. This tells me that we should always be loading up on some Vitamin E the day we’re shooting our HCG- 1,000iu of Vitamin E should be plenty. Another welcome addition to use of HCG is Nolvadex. Using Nolvadex in conjunction with HCG seems to make the chance of any inhibition of the HPTA very unlikely.
As HCG is used to stimulate testosterone production, theoretically, side effects could be the same as those associated with Anabolic Steroids, although gynocomastia (development of breast tissue in males) seems to be the most probable, though still uncommon.