Hormones play a vital role in the human body as a whole. They tell our bodies when to grow and help us reach sexual maturity to reproduce.
Steroids are hormone derivatives, and they often lead to some hormonal imbalances in the body.
Here, you can learn about, how they can cause gynecomastia (gyno) without the right precautions, and the gyno surgery required in extreme cases.
One of the primary things to keep in mind when it comes to anabolic steroids is the fact that the vast majority of them convert to Estrogen in your body via an enzyme known as aromatase.
The male body already produces some estrogen naturally, and it plays a vital role in assuring the proper function of many bodily systems.
However, too much estrogen can cause adverse effects. Namely, high levels of estrogen in men may cause significant Mood swings, a complete loss of libido, and the development of female physical characteristics.
If you do not take the right precautions during AAS use, these things can – and almost certainly will – occur.
A woman’s body looks the way it does thanks to estrogen. Estrogen is a sex hormone that helps to prime the female body for pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.
In men, estrogen helps maintain bone density, promotes Brain function, wards off erectile dysfunction, and assists in the development of good cholesterol, but only when just the right amount of estrogen exists.
People who use anabolic steroids without combatting aromatization have far too much estrogen in their bodies, and this can lead to some profound effects, like Gynecomastia, or the development of breast tissue.
Gynecomastia occurs when the male body becomes “confused” and primes itself for childbirth due to estrogen abundance.
Preventing Gynecomastia Before it Begins
Steroids and gynecomastia go hand-in-hand, but the good news is that you can prevent gyno during and after your cycles.
If the steroid you use converts to estrogen, all you need is an aromatase inhibitor such as Arimidex during your cycle to prevent it.
These essentially block aromatase (the enzyme needed to create the estrogen) and prevent gyno. After your cycle, you need to get your Testosterone levels back to normal as quickly as possible to prevent estrogen buildup.
A SERM, or Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator, like Clomid or Nolvadex triggers the production of luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone, both of which help boost testosterone production back to normal.
The chart below shows a list of the most popular products and whether they convert to estrogen. The only situation in which you will not need to use an AI is when you are using a non-aromatizing steroid by itself, without any kind of stack.
Even testosterone will aromatize, so you need to be aware of this. If you use testosterone, even with a steroid that does not aromatize, you will need to use an aromatase inhibitor.
Some convert to estrogen far more readily than others, too. If you are particularly sensitive to the effects of estrogen, you might want to consider using a steroid that aromatizes only slightly – or one that will not aromatize at all.
|Anabolic Steroid||Does it Aromatize?|
*Anadrol itself does not aromatize, but it does have certain properties that can interfere with the body’s ability to metabolize estrogen properly. As such, it is recommended to use an AI during an Anadrol cycle.
Using PCT to Avoid Gyno Surgery
Now that you understand the importance of using an aromatase inhibitor with certain steroids, it’s also vital to understand how PCT can help you avoid the need for gynecomastia surgery.
Even if your choice will not aromatize, it will suppress your body’s ability to produce testosterone. Then, at the end of your cycle, your body produces far more estrogen than testosterone.
Hormone receptors will fill with estrogen as a result, and side effects – including gynecomastia – may occur.
Though you may not need to use an AI on-cycle if you are using a Winstrol-only or Trenbolone-only cycle, you absolutely will need PCT. Selective estrogen receptor modulators, or SERMs, are required.
Clomid and Nolvadex are both relatively easy to find, and they block much of the estrogen in your body from binding to its receptors.
At the same time, these drugs help to kickstart your body’s ability to produce testosterone, which can help you avoid symptoms of low-T and facilitate muscle maintenance.
When Gynecomastia Occurs
In cases where gynecomastia develops, it is possible to use an aromatase inhibitor called Letrozole to reverse it – but only in the very early stages. Once breast tissue fully develops, the only way to remove it is with Gyno Surgery.
Sometimes, when the breast tissue is comprised mainly of fat, a common liposuction procedure will remove the tissue. In other cases, when the tissue is glandular in nature, the surgeon may need to go in and excise the tissue.
These procedures are often followed by a removal of excess skin, particularly in older men or in cases when the gyno was especially severe.
Men often have questions about gyno surgery, too. These frequently asked questions will provide you with a host of knowledge that can make your experience less stressful.
What happens during gyno surgery?
This depends on the procedure your surgeon chooses to use for gyno surgery, and the procedure is dependent upon the severity of the condition.
Liposuction gyno surgery is ideal for slight cases; a full-fledged breast reduction may be necessary for more advanced cases.
Surgeries last anywhere from an hour to several hours, and they are performed in an operating room while you are under general anesthesia.
How much is gyno surgery?
The gyno surgery price varies based on the severity of your condition, the physician you choose, and even the procedure itself.
Per information from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost is a little over $3300. Simple liposuction procedures cost less; more extensive breast reductions cost more.
What is gyno surgery recovery like?
How long until you can go back to your normal activity? Gyno surgery Recovery varies based on several unique factors.
In most cases, bruising and swelling is present for two weeks, most of the healing takes place in about six weeks, and athletes can return to their normal activity anywhere between four and eight weeks, depending on their personal progress. It can take well over a year to heal completely, so keep this in mind.
What do gyno surgery scars look like?
For liposuction procedures, scarring is minimal. After you have healed completely, the scar will be a faint white line.
For breast reduction, the scarring may be slightly more noticeable, and surgeons try to place these along the nipple to reduce their appearance.
Gyno is an embarrassing problem for many men, and the surgery needed to correct it is not only painful, but invasive.
Fortunately, with the right precautions, you can safely use without developing gynecomastia and subjecting yourself to gyno surgery down the road.
Medical Causes of Gynecomastia
Of course, it is also possible to develop gynecomastia even if you have never used anabolic steroids in your life.
Some of the common medical causes include natural hormone imbalances caused by pituitary disorders, prescription medications called androgens used to treat prostate enlargement and cancer, and in some cases, the natural decrease in testosterone production that is prevalent as men age.
Per the Mayo Clinic, gynecomastia peaks in men between the ages of 50 and 69, and one in four men in this age group are affected.
The Early Warning Signs
Fortunately, gynecomastia has several unique warning signs that can tell you it is time to take action. Some men experience the symptoms below to varying degrees.
- Nipple tenderness that starts out mild and becomes worse over time.
- Itching in the nipple area; some men report itchiness in the underarm area, as well.
- A “puffy” appearance to the nipple.
- The appearance of firm lumps under or around the nipple.
- In some cases, men may experience very mild lactation.
For the most part, if you experience any of these symptoms, you should take immediate action to prevent the condition from worsening.
The good news is that you can prevent gynecomastia from the outset, and you can reverse it to a certain extent.
The number one way to prevent gynecomastia when you use anabolic steroids involves using the recommended dose of an aromatase inhibitor such as Arimidex or Aromasin.
These compounds bind to the same receptors as an enzyme known as aromatase, which is directly responsible for the production of estrogen.
When the aromatase cannot form a bond, the body cannot create estrogen. Without estrogen, there is no risk of gynecomastia.
Most cycles call for 0.5mg of Arimidex every other day as preventative treatment, and Arimidex is easy enough to find online. However, there are other options.
Bear in mind that Arimidex is typically the mildest of all the aromatase inhibitors, but it can be detected through standard protocol.
Letrozole can bypass detection in many cases, but it is quite harsh and has a large margin for dosage.
Though the average dose is 1.25mg every other day, some men find that 1mg every other day is sufficient, while others may need as much as 2mg every other day.
For Aromasin, men can take as little as 12.5mg every other day or as much as 25mg a day. For the best results, start your dose on the low end and work your way up.
Aromatase Inhibitor Side Effects
Aromatase inhibitors possess side effects of their own, and the best way to avoid this is through careful dosing.
Bear in mind that there are no real studies on the use of AIs in men, primarily because their use is contraindicated by the FDA.
The most common side effect occurs when estrogen levels become too low; men do need some estrogen in their bodies for the maintenance of their bones and visceral fat, which provides protection to the organs. Other side effects may include:
Joint pain, Bone fractures, Changes in libido or sexual function.
Mental changes in terms of Memory emotions, personality, and mood. Kidney disease, and Retinal haemorrhaging.
Joint pain and changes in libido are the most common side effects associated with AIs.
When they are used as directed, it is very unlikely that you will experience the more severe side effects.
These are generally observed in individuals who use high doses of aromatase inhibitors over long periods of time, and should not apply to men who use them for estrogen suppression during cycles.
Although surgery is typically the only way to resolve more severe cases, it’s possible to reverse mild to moderate gyno with the right supplements.
Prevention Is Key
When it comes down to figuring out how to get rid of gyno, the best option is always to prevent it in the first place.
If you use testosterone or any other steroid – prescribed or otherwise – it’s important to monitor yourself carefully for these changes.
Bear in mind that highly androgenic steroids are most likely to aromatize, too.
Some of these include all forms of testosterone, Dianabol, Anadrol, and plenty of others.
To combat the risk, make sure you’re using a supplement called an AI, which stands for aromatase inhibitor, during your cycles – even if it’s just a testosterone cycle.
Some of the most popular AIs include Aromasin, Letrozole, and Arimidex.
These supplements bind to the aromatase, making it impossible for the aromatase to convert testosterone or other androgenic substances to estrogen.
The Importance of Post-Cycle Therapy
Many men will finish up their steroid cycles successfully without any hint of gyno and think they’re in the clear.
This is also a mistake. First and foremost, you’ll need some sort of PCT to help kick-start your body’s ability to produce testosterone on its own, and until then, chances are good that your hormones will be completely out of balance.
This is where another type of supplement called a SERM, or selective estrogen reuptake modulator, comes into play. Good examples of these include Clomid and Nolvadex.
These doesn’t completely block estrogen; rather, they allow your body to produce and use just enough to keep things level.
Getting Rid of Gynecomastia
Once you have gyno, getting rid of it is a Challenge. For many men, these body changes are quite permanent.
If you want to know how to get rid of gyno without surgery that is relatively mild, and if it only just started developing, you may be able to reverse it by stopping your cycle and using an AI.
Many people have reported being able to get their bodies back to normal using a rather high dose each day until their symptoms subsided.
If your Gynecomastia has been around for several months, or if it is particularly pronounced, chances are good that surgery is the only way to resolve it.
There are a few common AIs (aromatase inhibitors) that are easy enough to find.
These all suppress estrogen differently based on the dose considered “safe”.
The chart below shows the safe daily dosage of each of three popular AIs along with the percentage of the estrogen in your bloodstream they will suppress.
|AI||Daily Dose||Estrogen Suppression|
With this information in mind, it is clear that Aromasin is by far the most potent of the three AIs when it comes to suppressing the action of estrogen.
However, Aromasin is also quite harsh, and when it comes to determining how to get rid of gyno lumps fast, some men prefer to avoid it because of the sides.
Letrozole is often the go-to aromatase inhibitor, and many men begin to see reductions in breast size in the first couple weeks.
Get Rid of Gyno Lumps with SERMs
On the other hand, SERMs, or Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators, might also be helpful when it comes to learning how to get rid of gyno lumps from steroids.
Men who use drugs like Clomid or Nolvadex alone may be able to prevent gynecomastia from occurring post-cycle due to fluctuations in hormone levels, but neither of these drugs have much effect on reversing existing gynecomastia on their own.
If you’re interested in learning how to get rid of gyno without surgery in the most effective way possible, combining an AI like those mentioned above with a SERM is the best way to go.
The AIs will reduce the amount of estrogen in your body significantly, and the SERMs take this a step further by limiting how much of the remaining estrogen will effectively bond to estrogen receptors.
As a result, you can stop the estrogenic effects and even reverse gyno as long as it is not too severe, and as long as you combine your SERM with an AI.
Get Rid of Gyno Naturally
If you don’t have access to drugs like aromatase inhibitors or selective estrogen receptor modulators, you might find yourself wondering how to get rid of gyno naturally, instead.
The best advice is to avoid using steroids in the first place if you do not have drugs like Letrozole or Nolvadex available to you; this is simply good practice and will help you in the long run.
However, if you find yourself in this situation, there are a few things that may help to reduce the appearance of gyno.
In some cases, men have been able to reverse gynecomastia by seeing their physicians and participating in hormone therapy.
Raising the amount of testosterone in your body can help stop the effects of estrogen, and in some cases, it may even reverse them.
This well-known testosterone boosting plant may also help to reverse the signs of gynecomastia by enhancing your body’s testosterone levels.
However, unless your testosterone levels are low to start with, this may not be a good option for you.
Diet and Exercise
Though it may seem like a no-brainer, diet and Exercise are vital when it comes to learning how to get rid of gyno.
These can help provide more muscle tone and fill out the pectorals, which can decrease the appearance of gynecomastia.
When Surgery Becomes Necessary
Getting rid of gyno that is persistent or severe is a bit different. If yours is moderate to severe in nature, surgery is likely the only way to reverse it.
This is essentially a male breast reduction, which is a cosmetic procedure that most insurance companies don’t cover.
Surgeons can use liposuction on moderate cases, which involves removing the tissue through a very small incision near your areola or in your armpit, where it is less noticeable.
There is some discomfort post-surgery, but most men return to normal activities in a few days.
Tissue excision is the best option for more severe cases of gynecomastia. In this procedure, the surgeon makes incisions along the edges of the areola or where there are natural creases in the chest.
Then, he or she removes the excess tissue. Even this is considered an outpatient procedure, and while most men feel better after about a week, they should not immediately resume normal activities.
Exercise should be resumed gradually over the course of a couple of weeks.
Gyno is perhaps the biggest fear of any athlete or bodybuilder who uses performance enhancers, but the truth is that it’s completely preventable with the right supplements.
Those who want to know how to get rid of gyno should keep in mind it can only be reversed without surgery while the symptoms are still relatively mild.
PCT and Gynecomastia Prevention
For many men, the real risk of gynecomastia occurs once the cycle has ended.
This is because Anabolic steroids suppress the male body’s ability to produce testosterone on its own.
Without the use of medications to help facilitate that production, the estrogen-to-testosterone ratio becomes too high, and gynecomastia may result.
Following a cycle with AAS, it is vital to use a medication called a SERM, or Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator, like Nolvadex or Clomid.
These medications help to ensure that the body gets just the right amount of estrogen – not too much or too little. These medications will also help to facilitate testosterone production, thereby reliving some of the risk, as well.
Although gynecomastia is one of the most embarrassing situations you can find yourself in, it is possible to prevent it and even reverse it in its early stages.
Understanding the signs and symptoms gives you a fantastic starting place, and knowing what to do when they occur can prevent almost all of the most severe cases.
Need for Post Cycle Therapy
People who are new to performance enhancement often (mistakenly) believe that they can take a product for a few weeks, get buff or toned, and then simply stop.
This is not the case. No matter what steroid you use, post cycle therapy is a necessity. Here is everything you need to know about PCT and how to implement it after your cycle.
Why You Need PCT in the First Place
Misguided and novice athletes who Use Steroids often think, “I finished my cycle and I’m buff, so now I’m finished.” This is a huge mistake.
You can spend your entire cycle taking AIs to ward off Gynecomastia and other side effects, but if you simply stop taking your steroid and do not follow it with PCT, all of those efforts are in vain.
Almost every popular product is a derivative of testosterone, and while this has some pretty significant benefits in terms of bulking and cutting, it can throw off your body’s natural hormonal balance by inhibiting your natural testosterone production.
Inhibited Testosterone Production
Numerous studies show that it only takes about 21 days for your body to stop producing testosterone once you start introducing exogenous testosterone.
Since most cycles last far longer than three weeks, there will come a point when you completely suppress your body’s ability to make testosterone.
This is usually not a problem during your cycle since you replace that testosterone with a steroid (or synthetic testosterone), but once you stop, it can take a long time for your natural production to get back to normal.
In fact, some studies suggest that it may take up to a year for your body to start producing testosterone at the right levels.
What the Lack of Testosterone does to Your Body
If you just stop your cycle and forego PCT, you will begin to notice the side effects almost as soon as the steroid exits your body completely.
Remember that as the testosterone levels plummet, your body will naturally begin to absorb more of the estrogen it produces, leading to estrogenic side effects that you likely tried very hard to avoid during your cycle.
AIs can certainly go a long way, but if you don’t implement and execute Post Cycle Therapy, you will undo all this hard work.
How Post Cycle Therapy Works
The two most popular compounds for PCT are SERMs, or Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators.
These compounds not only help regulate the way estrogen in your body works, but they also stimulate the production of luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), both of which tell your testicles to make more testosterone.
The two that bodybuilders and athletes recommend are Clomid and Nolvadex, but others certainly exist.
Plan to start your PCT at the time when the steroid exits your system and take it for a period of about 30 days.
The daily dose for Clomid is about 150 mg per day, and the dose for Nolvadex is 40mg a day to start.
The chart below shows an average PCT cycle as reference, but remember you should not use Clomid and Nolvadex at the same time. Choose one or the other.
|Weeks||Nolvadex Daily Dose||Clomid Daily Dose|
PCT and Non-Aromatizing Steroids
Some people believe that if they are using a steroid that does not aromatize, and they are not stacking it with any other steroids, there is no need for them to complete PCT.
This is simply not the case. Even steroids that do not aromatize at all will still suppress your body’s ability to make testosterone, and this can spell disaster once your cycle ends.
You will need PCT after every single cycle with one major exception: if you plan to start another cycle shortly after your First Cycle ends, PCT might not be necessary at all.
That’s because there is no need to boost your body’s testosterone production if you’re just going to shut it down again.
Adding HGH or hCG for the Best Post Cycle Therapy?
Some men believe that they can only achieve the best PCT results by using HGH or hCG after their cycles have ended.
There is some evidence to suggest that using one of these two compounds may help you retain more of your gains with time, but this is minimal.
If you want to use HGH, you should also use it during your cycle.
Remember it takes about 12 weeks at a minimum to realize any real effects, so using it for four to six weeks at the end of your cycle isn’t likely to do much for you.
hCG, on the other hand, can be used over the short-term, and it can be beneficial when used only for a period of a few days.
If you choose to use hCG to help you maintain your gains, you should use it for 10 days before you start your therapy with SERMs.
The interaction between the two may negate their benefits, and this makes it wasteful.
After finishing the 10 days of hCG, simply move on to your SERM and use it according to the chart shown above.
The Best Post Cycle Therapy for Women
With all the important information about post cycle therapy supplements, women often wonder what they need to do to protect themselves when their cycles have come to an end.
Simply put, women don’t depend as much on their testosterone production, and this means that their bodies won’t go into a state of shock due to the lack thereof.
Nonetheless, plenty of women may experience side effects at the end of their cycles, and these may include things like acne, bloating, moodiness, and hot flashes.
To avoid these, women do not need post cycle therapy; they only need to slowly reduce the dose of their steroids over the last week or so of their cycles to ease the hormonal transition.
For example, a woman using Anavar may choose to reduce her dose by 2.5mg a day over the course of the last week to lessen the hormonal side effects that may occur.
Not all women experience these effects, even if they suddenly stop an 8 week cycle without bothering to taper their doses.
There are other compounds out there that some athletes incorporate into their post cycle therapy, and these include HGH and hCG.
Not every athlete needs these, and only experienced steroid users should consider them.
For the most part, a perfectly-timed and dosed SERM will provide you with all of the PCT you need.
Best Post Cycle Therapy?
When you use, you are essentially providing your body with large amounts of exogenous testosterone.
About 21 days after you start your cycle, natural testosterone production comes to a stop.
Then, when your cycle is over weeks later and you no longer use, your body enters a state of testosterone deficiency.
This results in significant side effects, not only from a lack of testosterone, but also from a buildup of estrogen.
Post Cycle Therapy helps to kick-start natural testosterone production and prevent estrogen buildup so you can avoid those side effects.
The best Post Cycle Therapy goal involves stimulating your pituitary gland to produce substances called luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) as quickly as possible, both of which stimulate your testicles to produce more testosterone.
There are several ways to do this, and one of the most popular involves using a SERM, or estrogen blocker.
Two of the most popular are Clomid and Nolvadex, and either works just as well as the other.
These compounds directly stimulate the pituitary gland to make LH and FSH. The maximum Clomid dose is 150mg per day, and the maximum Nolvadex dose is 40mg per day.
Adding HGH or hCG
Some bodybuilders add HGH (Human Growth Hormone) or hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) to their PCT plans.
HGH works to protect on-cycle gains and prevent fat deposits after the conclusion of a cycle, but it takes a long time to work and is not useful during PCT unless you used it during your cycle, as well.
hCG, on the other hand, is a fast-acting compound that mimics the LH in the body, thereby priming the body to accept the SERM that you will introduce a little later.
You truly only need to consider hCG if your anabolic cycle involved a high dose over a long period of time. Otherwise, the SERM should work well enough on its own.
Planning Your PCT
Now that you understand the various components in PCT, it is time to learn how to put them all together.
The length of your PCT and when to start each component depends on the ester length of the steroid you used.
In other words, if your steroid had a long half-life, you need to wait 10 days before beginning your PCT.
Conversely, if you had a short half-life, you only need to wait three days.
If you used HGH on-cycle, simply continue with the HGH after your cycle ends and add a SERM three days or 10 days after your cycle end date.
Take the SERM at the full dose for two weeks, then at a half dose for another two weeks. If you need to do so, you can halve the dose again for another week.
If you will use hCG, take 500iu to 1000iu starting three days or 10 days after your cycle end date, and take it for 10 days in a row.
Then, stop the hCG and take your SERM at full dose for two weeks. Follow this with a half-dose of your SERM for another two weeks.
If you need to do so, you can halve the dose again for another week or two.
If you will only use a SERM, start it three days or 10 days after your cycle end date at the maximum dose.
Take it for two weeks, then divide the dose in half for another two weeks.
Finally, if you are still concerned about estrogenic effects, or if you feel that your testosterone production has not returned to normal, you can halve the dose again and take it for another week or two.
The table below gives a sample PCT cycle that you can start at any time and follow from start to finish.
Though daily doses for both Nolvadex and Clomid are listed, you should use one or the other and never both.
Either of these SERMs is capable of providing the desired results, so the one you choose should be based on things like availability and cost.
Remember not to add HGH to your best PCT cycle unless you used it on-cycle.
All-Natural Additions to the Best PCT
Aside from the most common compounds – SERMs, AIs, hCG, and HGH – some people may add in one or more all-natural products during their PCT to help with their muscle maintenance.
Remember that PCT isn’t the end-all; you will still need to work hard to maintain your gains and lean physique. The following supplements may help.
L-Arginine – L-Arginine is an important amino acid, and it’s the basis for many other amino acids in the body.
A quality supplement can help you maintain your gains.
Glutamine – Muscle proteins are comprised of about 40% glutamine, so it comes as no surprise that many athletes add this to their PCT.
DHEA – There are many athletes and bodybuilders who find that DHEA, or dehydroepiandrosterone, is also a great means for keeping mass as it may help boost natural testosterone levels immediately following a cycle.
However, it could possibly convert to estrogen just as readily as testosterone. Men who choose to use DHEA for the best PCT should be aware of this risk.
What about PCT for Women?
Post Cycle Therapy is designed to help keep hormone levels stable in the body while transitioning out of a cycle.
This means that, oftentimes, the best post cycle therapy for women is a simple tapering down of the dose toward the end of the cycle.
For example, a woman who is using Anavar to add bulk at 20mg a day may choose to start tapering the last week of her cycle, reducing it by about 5mg every other day.
This will ease her off and prevent the “shock” to her body that may occur from a sudden hormonal shift.
Aside from this, women do not need to take AIs and SERMs.
Anabolics do not interfere with estrogen production, and while women need testosterone, too, the effect on a woman is far less significant than a man.
A woman’s testosterone production occurs in the ovaries, and because low doses tend to not affect the ovaries in any way, there is simply no need for concern.
As such, the best post cycle therapy for women is to come off slowly rather than all at once.
Although PCT might seem complicated, it is quite simple.
Just pay attention to the half-life, and make sure that you have enough hCG, HGH, and Clomid or Nolvadex on hand to complete your PCT before you even begin your cycle.
AI Vs SERMS
Anyone who wants to use anabolic steroids as performance enhancers should take the time to learn about the various products and supplements that will prevent unwanted side effects.
Aromatase inhibitors (AIs) and selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) are two very popular – and very important – parts of an anabolic steroid cycle. Understanding the difference between the two is vital to maintaining your health and your physique.
What Do AIs and SERMs Do in the Body?
Just as AIs and SERMs are very different, they are also very much the same. Both of these compounds provide ways to control the amount of estrogen in the body, which is vital for preventing some significant side effects.
Many of the most popular anabolic steroids convert to estrogen, and when too much estrogen is present, you may notice some of the following:
- Decreased libido
- Significant bloating
- Gynecomastia (a condition in which men develop female breast tissue)
- Weight gain
AIs and SERMs both prevent these side effects, but they do so in very different ways.
What Is an AI?
An AI, or aromatase inhibitor, prevents a steroid from converting to Estrogen. Androgen is common in anabolic steroids, and some are more androgenic than others are.
Once these androgens are in the body, they turn into estrogen over time with the help of an enzyme known as aromatase.
An aromatase inhibitor binds to the aromatase enzyme, thereby making it ineffective at converting androgens into estrogen.
However, it takes time for AIs to build up in the bloodstream.
One of the most popular questions is “What is the best aromatase inhibitor?” but the answer varies depending on the unique situation.
There are three AIs that are incredibly popular among bodybuilders.
Some men prefer Aromasin over the other two AIs on this list for one important reason: it’s a suicidal inhibitor, which means that once it’s bound to the aromatase, it remains bound until the estrogen and the enzyme are gone.
It seems to work better than the other two for some men, but you must come off of it carefully; if you still carry steroid metabolites in your system when you stop using Aromasin, the symptoms can rebound.
Arimidex is arguably the best aromatase inhibitor Bodybuilding enthusiasts can buy.
It’s incredibly mild when compared to Aromasin and Letrozole, and because it is competitive rather than suicidal in nature, it simply competes with the estrogen for the aromatase enzyme.
This allows for some estrogen to make its way into the bloodstream, which is ideal.
Finally, letrozole is the most powerful of the three aromatase inhibitor options listed here.
It is detrimental to your cholesterol levels when used at doses of more than 2.5mg each day, and it can also create some unwanted side effects.
However, it is the go-to AI for men who have begun to experience the symptoms of Gynecomastia – it is the only AI that can reverse it in its early stages.
What Is a SERM?
On the other hand, a SERM, or a selective estrogen receptor modulator, binds to the estrogen receptor itself rather than the aromatase.
While a SERM blocks some of the actions of estrogen, it allows others. Even in the male body, some estrogen is important.
While an AI inhibits all estrogen, a SERM just prevents its negative effects by blocking estrogen’s androgenic properties.
A SERM plays another important role in a bodybuilder or athlete’s performance enhancement regimen, too.
Not only does it help to block some of the estrogenic effects of steroids, but it also stimulates the production of two very important hormones in the male body – luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) which are required for natural testosterone production.
Anabolic steroids will bring that production to a grinding halt; when exogenous hormones fill the testosterone receptors, there’s no need for your body to make more.
Unfortunately, once you stop using steroids, your body won’t immediately start making testosterone again, and you’ll need to proactively stimulate that production.
SERMs trigger the production of the hormones that essentially tell your testicles to produce testosterone, and that’s why a SERM is a vital part of your PCT.
Two of the most popular SERMs in terms of performance enhancement are Nolvadex and Clomid, and while they are very similar in terms of molecular makeup, most users agree that there are some notable differences between the two.
The stronger of the two SERM options, Nolvadex can decrease estrogen better milligram-for-milligram than Clomid.
It’s also been shown to be safer since it can improve lipid profiles and reduce estrogen levels without a host of unwanted side effects.
However, there is also evidence to suggest that Nolvadex may have more of an impact on your gains than Clomid, which means you may end up losing a couple more pounds of mass if you choose this product.
Clomid is weaker than Nolvadex per milligram, but when used at the right dosage, it can provide just as much protection against estrogenic effects, and it can boost Testosterone levels just as effectively.
Because it is not as potent as Nolvadex, you won’t lose as much of your gains.
The choice is yours, so it’s important to consider the risks and the benefits of using one over the other.
SERMs are usually reserved for post-cycle therapy, though there are some men who use them successfully on-cycle in the place of an AI to block estrogen.
The chart below shows an average PCT cycle for each SERM.
|SERM||Weeks 1-2||Weeks 3-4||Weeks 5-6 (Optional)|
Everyone should use either Clomid or Nolvadex post-cycle for at least four weeks.
This is often sufficient to restart testosterone production and help balance the gap between testosterone and estrogen in the meantime.
Men who are especially sensitive may need to use a SERM for another one to two weeks beyond this; other men may find that four weeks is plenty.
Which Is the Best Choice?
While an AI blocks estrogen production and may ward off side effects, bear in mind that the body continues to send chemical signals that it needs more estrogen.
As such, the body continues to produce more estrogen, resulting in an endless cycle and sometimes a “rebound” effect in which estrogen levels suddenly spike after stopping the AI.
A SERM only affects the way the body uses estrogen, and as far as the body knows, there is plenty of estrogen to go around.
Thus, while an AI can prevent unwanted side effects during anabolic steroid cycles, it is imperative to use a SERM during post-cycle therapy to combat rebounds and bring levels back to normal.
Both AIs and SERMs play important roles for people who choose to enhance their performance with anabolic steroids.
However, knowing which product to use in which situation can make all of the difference when it comes to preventing potentially serious side effects.
Nolvadex for Gyno?
Scientifically speaking, Nolvadex belongs to a class of medications called SERMs, or Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulators.
These drugs bind to estrogen receptors, filling them, and preventing estrogen from being absorbed.
This has many benefits in a handful of scenarios.
Nolvadex is a drug that was originally developed for the treatment of certain types of breast cancers that seem to grow more quickly when fueled by excess estrogen.
Nolvadex blocks estrogen from binding to its intended receptors, which in turn can slow, stop, or even reverse the growth of certain types of cancer.
Nolvadex is also a common supplement for bodybuilders and athletes who want to prevent estrogenic side effects or kickstart their testosterone production after a steroid cycle.
There are questions as to whether Nolvadex for gyno really works, however.
What Does Nolvadex for Gyno Do? Two Important Traits
Gynecomastia occurs when men develop breast tissue, and this is quite common during and after anabolic steroid cycles.
Anabolic steroids may convert to estrogen through a process known as aromatization, and this excess estrogen can lead to gyno.
What’s more, anabolic steroids also block the body’s ability to produce natural testosterone, and when this is paired with the abundance of estrogen, side effects are bound to occur.
That’s precisely why so many people take Nolvadex for gyno; it resolves both issues.
Estrogen Blocker – First and foremost, Nolvadex blocks estrogen in the first place, which means it cannot bind to receptors and cause estrogenic side effects.
Testosterone Booster – Nolvadex also boosts the production of natural testosterone by allowing the production of two vital hormones – luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone.
These are required for the production of testosterone, and when there is excess estrogen in the body, these hormones are in short supply. Nolvadex reverses this.
The Best Nolvadex Dosage for Gyno
If you’ve decided to use Nolvadex for gyno as part of your next PCT, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Milligram-for-milligram, Nolvadex is far more powerful than Clomid, another popular SERM.
To use Nolvadex for gyno in your PCT routine, you will need to start with a daily dosage of 40mg and take it for a period of two weeks.
Then, divide that dose in half to 20mg and take this daily for another two weeks.
For most men, this is all they need, but those who are especially sensitive to estrogenic effects might opt to extend this therapy.
If you wish to do so, you can divide the dose again to 10mg and take this daily for another one to two weeks.
Should You Use Nolvadex or Arimidex for Gyno?
This is a common question, and the good news is that it has a fairly simple answer.
You should actively control your estrogen levels throughout your entire steroid cycle, which means that you should technically use both Nolvadex and Arimidex at some point – not one or the other.
Here’s how it works:
Arimidex Is a drug known as an aromatase inhibitor.
Its purpose is to block the aromatase enzyme, which converts excess testosterone (and anabolic steroids) in your bloodstream to estrogen.
Arimidex should be incorporated into your steroid cycle if you are taking a steroid that converts to estrogen.
A dose of about 0.5mg every other day should suffice to keep estrogen levels at bay.
Nolvadex Is a SERM that is typically taken once your steroid cycle is over and you are no longer using Arimidex.
Estrogen rebound can and does occur, even if you’ve controlled it well throughout your entire cycle.
Adding a SERM to your PCT prevents this rebound and gently coaxes your body to produce just the right amounts of the necessary hormones.
When your hormones are in balance, you can adequately prevent gynecomastia.
While there’s no denying that you can use Nolvadex for gyno prevention, there is some debate as to whether it can actually reverse the symptoms once they appear.
Some bodybuilders argue that if the symptoms are quite mild – meaning they have only tender, puffy, itchy, or slightly reddened nipples – a 12-week course of Nolvadex can reverse them.
On the other hand, there are others who claim Nolvadex does very little for gyno reversal, and in this case, the only compound that makes sense is Letrozole.
Letrozole is a very powerful aromatase inhibitor, and it is not without side effects.
For this reason, it is always best to prevent gyno in the first place.
Many bodybuilders across the globe successfully use Nolvadex for gyno prevention, but most find that it does very little to reverse the symptoms once they appear.
Using the right Nolvadex dosage for gyno is vital, and you should never start a steroid cycle without having your PCT compounds on hand.
Advantages of Clomid
Post-cycle therapy is a vital part of any steroid cycle for several reasons.
It helps bodybuilders and athletes maintain their gains, it lessens the risk of estrogen-related side effects, and it even helps boost the body’s natural production of testosterone.
While there are several compounds out there that will provide excellent protection, Clomid PCT is by far the most popular.
What Is Clomid?
Clomid is a drug traditionally given to women with certain types of breast cancer that tend to grow more quickly when exposed to an abundance of estrogen.
It is a SERM, or a Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator.
To put it simply, this drug blocks some of the estrogen in the body from attaching to its intended receptors.
When these women have less estrogen in their bodies, their cancer growth slows – and in some cases, it even reverses.
Clomid is only available by prescription in most countries.
Why Do Men Take Clomid?
The action of Clomid also proves valuable for men who have just finished a cycle of steroids for the very same reason.
Steroids block the body’s ability to produce its own testosterone, and some even convert to estrogen through a process known as aromatization.
Because of this, men’s estrogen levels tend to skyrocket post-cycle, and they must employ some form of PCT to prevent side effects like gynecomastia.
Clomid, being a SERM, blocks much of the excess estrogen in the body from binding to its receptors, so this means men can successfully ward off these estrogenic side effects.
Clomid can also help jump-start the body’s ability to produce testosterone naturally.
When there is excess estrogen in the body, production of two hormones – luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone – ceases.
By reducing the amount of estrogen in the body, the levels of these two hormones begins to rise.
It’s these two hormones that stimulate the body to produce testosterone in the first place.
This is yet another reason why Clomid and Nolvadex PCT is so very common among bodybuilders and athletes.
Why Choose Clomid PCT?
With the variety of compounds out there, many men wonder why they should choose Clomid for PCT over Nolvadex.
Clomid does not inhibit aromatization; in other words, it does not stop excess testosterone from being turned into estrogen.
However, it does prevent the estrogen that is produced from binding to its intended receptors, thus staving off side effects.
There are several benefits associated with this:
Boosted testosterone production.
Without using Clomid PCT to boost testosterone levels post-cycle, it could take weeks, months, or even years for testosterone levels to return to normal.
This means that men might lose their gains, put on unwanted fat, experience mood swings, and suffer from chronic Fatigue without it.
Reduced risk of gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is a true concern for men who use anabolic steroids.
The abundance of estrogen in the body, especially when paired with low testosterone, can lead to the development of breast tissue.
The right Clomid PCT dosage can prevent this.
Few side effects. When used according to directions and at the right Clomid dosage PCT, the risk of side effects is very, very low.
Despite the fact that Clomid is typically only available via prescription, it is relatively easy to find, and it is quite affordable.
How Much Clomid for PCT?
Though all men are different and will respond in different ways, the starting dosage for everyone is the same.
Clomid PCT usually calls for starting your Clomid after your cycle ends, and taking 150mg each day, every day, for a period of two weeks.
Then, divide that dose and take either 100mg or 75mg a day each day for another two weeks.
For most men, this Clomid PCT cycle is more than enough.
For others, though, additional PCT may be necessary. In this case, men can divide the dose in half yet again and take 50mg of Clomid PCT each day for another one to two weeks.
This is the case for all men, regardless of their cycles and regardless of the steroids they use.
Is Clomid PCT all You Need?
Now that you understand the importance of Clomid PCT, you might have questions about whether you should implement any other compounds into your therapy.
Though it isn’t truly necessary to do so, many men will also use hCG or HGH after their cycles end.
Remember, though, that it takes about 12 weeks for HGH to have any real effect, so you should only use it during your PCT if you also used it on cycle.
For hCG, a 1000iu daily dose for a period of 10 days often helps men retain more of their gains.
Should you choose to incorporate hCG into your PCT, start taking it immediately after your cycle ends, and take it for 10 days.
You should then start your Clomid PCT after your last dose of hCG.
As you can see, Clomid PCT is beneficial for many reasons, and anyone who takes anabolic steroids for performance enhancement should consider it necessary.
It can help stimulate testosterone production, block the effects of estrogen, and even help you retain more of your gains over time.