How to use hCG on cycle & for TRT


Mar 3, 2014
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It's been a while. This is in response to the hCG questions we've been getting on the board lately. Not as detailed as my usual stuff but the practice advice is easy to follow - that's more important :)

Audio (I've had a long ass day, don't judge my impatience too harshly):

Cliff notes

- Natural system is as follows: pituitary > LH > Leydig cells (within your balls) > intratesticular testosterone (ITT) > Sertoli cells > sperm.

- Exogenous Testosterone suppresses LH signal, which decreases ITT secretion capacity by the Leydig cells. Lack of signal can lead to approx. 80% drop in size/function of these cells. Inhibition can continue on for many months with no guarantees for a full recovery. This type of Leydig dysfunction is the primary theory explaining why AAS users don't fully recover.

- hCG acts in a similar way to LH by providing an active signal to keep the Leydig cells online - preventing the above problem from occurring. It has a half-life of 36 hours.

- Only a low level of residual androgen activity is necessary to keep these cells online. 250iu 2x week is sufficient. Stop 3 days before PCT.

- For TRT users, vast majority will have fertility problems with only 10-15% of men maintaining good numbers. Fertility is only an issue over the long term (TRT, not cycles) because spermatogenesis is a long-term process. It takes, depending on the data set in question, around 74-100 days to get going/stop.

- hCG used along side your TRT will prevent fertility issues for the most part. 500iu 2xweek if you start at the beginning of your TRT, higher if not but can settle back down once your numbers are good (semen analysis required. Over a long period of time, years, you may still need to add FSH (HMG) into the mix.

- hCG is only required for TRT patients who wish to remain fertile. Otherwise, it simply isn't necessary unless you're interested in the aesthetics (bigger balls, etc).

- I know a lot of people love to use anecdotes to downplay the impact on fertility. Here are some numbers, judge for yourself:
T contraceptive success rate studies.jpg


If you want to ensure full recovery after a cycle, take 250iu of hCG 2xweek. Stop 3 days before your pct.

If you wish to have children at some point in the future, take 500iu of hCG 2xweek alongside the start of your TRT. If you were late to the party you may need a higher dose. How higher depends on how late - anywhere from 750iu 2x week to 3,000iu EOD.

Testosterone concentrations in testes of normal men: effects of testosterone propionate administration - Early evidence, 1973, of Testosterone (50mg of Test Prop ED) shutting down your balls (ITT crashes, Leydig cells negatively impacted).

Maintenance of spermatogenesis in hypogonadotropic hypogonadal men with human chorionic gonadotropin alone
- Evidence that hCG alone is sufficient to maintain spermatogenesis for at least 24 months. This was proven after pre-treatment with Testosterone for a median of 20 months (5 months - 14 years range). FSH (HMG) might need to be added into the mix over the long run.

Low-dose human chorionic gonadotropin maintains intratesticular testosterone in normal men with testosterone-induced gonadotropin suppression - TRT + hCG at 250-500iu EOD = maintenance of ITT. TRT was 200mg Test E per week. Authors note that lower doses might be needed if you're more proactive.

Concomitant intramuscular human chorionic gonadotropin preserves spermatogenesis in men undergoing testosterone replacement therapy - TRT + hCG at 500iu EOD = maintenance of all semen parameters for 1yr+.

Down-regulation models and modeling of testosterone production induced by recombinant human choriogonadotropin - Highly recommended. Very cool modelling paper that shows minimal difference between EOD vs E4D dosing. 500iu 2x week just as effective, and more practical, than 500iu EOD. I'd argue that 750iu 2x week is also better than 500iu EOD. In general, higher the dose = lower the frequency of injection.

Contraceptive efficacy of testosterone-induced azoospermia in normal men. World Health Organization Task Force on methods for the regulation of male fertility - 200mg Test E for 12 months in 271 men = 65% azoospermic within 120 days of administration. Average time to recover was 3.7 months.

Multicenter contraceptive efficacy trial of injectable testosterone undecanoate in Chinese men - 500mg Test U per month for 30 months in 1045 men. 70% completed the study; only 4.8% had good numbers (everyone else had azoospermia/severe oligozoospermia).

The Response to Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone and hCG in Men with Prior Chronic Androgen Steroid Abuse and Clinical Hypogonadism - Men with a history of AAS use responded worse to acute hCG administration compared to those with isolated hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (IHH). Why? Because Leydig cell response was decreased from previously stimulated (and healthy) HPG axis.
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Unstoppable Force
Mar 30, 2018
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I love this I will read this when I have a spare few hours. Thanks zilla this link will be the most copy and pasted link for a while


Senior Member
Sep 18, 2020
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You should make a youtube video for these threads, you already have audio and visuals. Youd have alot longer of a reach.
Jul 11, 2022
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Hey Ripped,

So essentially you can remain more fertile with the higher doses of HCG, but what about in terms of recovery from a cycle? Being that the higher doses keep you closer to baseline, does that mean that if you keep yourself close to that baseline throughout cycle you will recover quicker? (aka keep more gains?) I'm not sure if this is a stupid question because anecdotally it makes sense and seems pointless to even ask but trying to cover all my bases here.

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