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Is Post Cycle Therapy Actually Important?

Is Post Cycle Therapy Actually Important?

Whether you are new to bodybuilding or a seasoned competitor in the sport, it’s critical to understand the importance of Post Cycle Therapy (PCT).  

Experienced bodybuilders all agree that PCT after steroids is an essential part of your recovery process.

What Is Post Cycle Therapy?

PCT is an essential period of transition from your anabolic steroid cycle to getting your body back to “normal.”By incorporating the best PCT into your plan you will avoid the notorious crash that comes from stopping steroid use.If you bypass this process, you will make a regrettable error.

Anabolic steroids throw the natural workings of your body totally out of whack. That’s why you should never stop taking them cold-turkey. Not only would this make the whole process of your muscle gain a waste of time, it would also be dangerous given some of the side effects of steroids. Nobody wants to experience the post cycle crash. 

That’s why, after a cycle of steroids, you need the PCT “cooling-off” period.

What Exactly Happens To Your Body On A Cycle?

When you’re on an anabolic steroid cycle, your body experiences a huge influx of androgenic hormones like Testosterone or DHT, which completely alters your body’s hormonal balance.

As your body tries to adjust to the influx, it shuts down your natural production of Testosterone. That’s not a problem as long as your body is receiving exogenous testosterone. In fact, you’ll feel and perform at your best.

But at some point, you’ll finish your cycle.

3 Things That Happen After A Cycle


When you stop taking anabolic steroids, your LH (Luteinizing Hormone) and FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) levels will crash along with your Testosterone. Imagine living without vital hormones for 4-months. That will be the worst phase of your life. It’s a horrible experience.  Many people have equated it with crashing down to the ground from a skyscraper.


Almost instantly upon completing your steroid cycle, your Cortisol will rise back to normal levels and so will your SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin). In addition, your estrogen will rise. If these fluctuations are left unhindered, your body will cannibalize on your freshly gained muscle leaving you with nothing to show for the cycle. No one wants that!


Mentally, you will be a mess when you stop your cycle. You will have mood fluctuations, feel agitated and angry, and lack of motivation to hit the gym. Since the post cycle crash doesn’t feel good, your entire outlook on life is compromised.  

Why You Need PCT?

After you’ve finished a cycle of steroids, PCT gets your body back to its normal state so it can start naturally producing hormones again. Once a run of steroids is over, you need to begin PTC, which can last anywhere from 30 to 45 days.

It is crucial that you restore the levels of LH, FSH and Testosterone to their normal levels as soon as possible to prevent your muscles from breaking down and to have enough energy to perform normally in everyday life.

Even more importantly, if you fail to bring these levels back to baseline quickly, you put your body at high risk for permanently stopping the natural production of testosterone. That’s a condition called Steroid Induced Hypogonadism.

Using HCG During Your Cycle

A lot of athletes are now using HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) during their steroid cycle and as a precursor to PCT. HCG is not a steroid. It’s a hormone produced by pregnant women and is used as an exogenous form of LH that stimulates the Leydig cells to release testosterone. HCG is an effective drug because it can shock the testes into producing testosterone quicker. This will slow the rate of muscle breakdown, known as catabolism.

When it comes to post cycle therapy, HCG is great as a precursor to post cycle therapy. It reestablishes testosterone production levels from the testicles.

Using Clomid and Nolvadex for PCT

Clomid is a useful drug to include as part of a post cycle therapy plan. When used after steroids, it helps to fire up your testes to start producing testosterone again. The best time to take Clomid is about two weeks after coming off a steroid cycle. This gives your body enough time to clear out the synthetic version of testosterone that you were taking.

The length of time it takes Clomid to work depends on which cycle of steroids you were taking. The stronger it was, the longer it will take for your hormone levels to return to normal. You also need to consider the length of time of the steroid cycle. A longer cycle will require a longer recovery period of PCT. Sometimes, it can take weeks for your body to get back to normal.

Clomid is often used together with Nolvadex during PCT. When Nolvadex is used during post cycle therapy, it helps suppress estrogen. Men coming off a steroid cycle often use both drugs to get their body back to homeostasis, and get their T-levels back to normal. Despite the fact that it helps restore your natural testosterone levels, Nolvadex can impact is your sex drive. 

Get Support

Cycling and PCT can be confusing. Don’t go through it alone. Begin building your medical profile with Nu Image Medical and work with our medical professional to find the best options for you. We will ask you a set of questions that our medical team has put in place to provide you with the best care and options possible. Once you complete your medical profile, one of our licensed physicians will review your information.


About the author

Dr. Richard Smith, MD

5 min read