Whether you’re a first-time anabolic steroid user or you’ve taken them many times in the past, you know that you must take precautions to protect yourself from the unwanted effects of estrogen.
For the most part, aromatase inhibitors can get the job done, and drugs like Nolvadex are reserved for post-cycle therapy. However, there are some benefits associated with using Nolvadex on cycle, too.
What Is Nolvadex?
Nolvadex belongs to a class of medications known as selective estrogen receptor modulators, more commonly known as SERMs.
These drugs help to block the effects of estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors. When the receptors are filled with the SERM, less estrogen can attach, which renders it relatively useless.
SERMs do not block all the estrogen in your body, which is beneficial since the male body does need some estrogen in order to remain healthy.
Nolvadex was originally developed to help treat breast cancer. Some forms of breast cancer grow far more quickly when they have access to free estrogen in the bloodstream.
Medical researchers found that by blocking some of the estrogen, they could slow (or in some cases, even reverse) the growth of cancerous tumors in breast tissue.
Nolvadex works much the same way in men; it stops the estrogen from binding with its receptors and thus reduces any side effects that may arise from excess estrogen.
Nolvadex and Testosterone Production
Many men do not take Nolvadex on cycle. Rather, they wait until the very end of the cycle and use it as post-cycle therapy. They do this for two very important reasons: to prevent estrogenic side effects and to boost their natural testosterone production.
Anabolic steroids suppress the body’s ability to make testosterone in very short order. Because these steroids bind to the very same receptors as testosterone, these receptors tend to stay filled. This means there is no need for the body to make more testosterone. Once testosterone production stops, it does not start again on its own. Men must actively “kick-start” their bodies’ ability to produce testosterone.
Nolvadex stimulates the production of two very important hormones in both the male and the female body – luteinizing hormone and follicle-stimulating hormone. In women, these hormones are responsible for triggering ovulation, which is vital for reproduction.
In men, these two hormones are important for the production of testosterone, which is vital to man’s sexual performance and sperm health. In other words, these two hormones are critical to reproduction. Because Nolvadex stimulates these hormones, many men use it post-cycle to help their bodies start producing natural testosterone.
Nolvadex as an Anti-Estrogen
The male body depends heavily on the balance between testosterone and estrogen for many reasons, and it’s this fine balance between the two that can cause or prevent estrogenic side effects such as gynecomastia.
At the end of the cycle, when the body is unable to produce its own testosterone, the risk of estrogenic side effects is at its highest.
Nolvadex not only helps to boost testosterone production, which helps to balance out estrogen, but it also blocks much of the excess estrogen in the body. For this reason, many men prefer to forego Nolvadex on cycle and use a drug called an aromatase inhibitor, or AI, instead.
Rather than binding to estrogen receptors to block the hormone’s effects like a SERM, an AI stops the action of an enzyme known as aromatase, which is responsible for converting excess testosterone or steroids in the body into estrogen in the first place.
For some men, an AI may be a better choice under certain circumstances. It is important to note that Nolvadex will only decrease estrogen in the breast tissues while AIs decrease estrogen in all tissues.
Who should Use Nolvadex on Cycle?
With all this information in mind, it can still be difficult to determine when to use a SERM and when to use an AI. The following guidelines will help make the decision simpler.
- Use Nolvadex on cycle if you are especially prone to gynecomastia or if you are overly concerned with your lipid profiles. Aromatase inhibitors have been proven to adversely affect lipid profiles. Remember that Nolvadex is more potent when it comes to breast tissue, and it will do a better job of preventing gynecomastia for this reason.
- Use aromatase inhibitors on cycle if you are more concerned about overall exposure to excess estrogen and your lipid profile is not a concern. For example, if you tend to bloat, gain weight, or feel extremely fatigued due to excess estrogen, an AI is a better choice than Nolvadex on cycle.
Putting Together a Nolvadex Cycle
Nolvadex can be used during your cycle to prevent gynecomastia, or it can be used after your cycle to help kickstart testosterone production and reduce the risk of gynecomastia due to post-cycle hormone imbalances.
- Nolvadex On-Cycle: If you will use Nolvadex on-cycle, take a dose of 10mg a day or 20mg every other day. Some men claim that it is not necessary to use Nolvadex on cycle unless side effects become noticeable, but others argue that by the time the side effects are apparent, they have already progressed significantly. For this reason, a daily dose of Nolvadex serves as an excellent precaution.
- Nolvadex Post-Cycle: On the other hand, if you will use Nolvadex after your cycle is over, you can start with a dose of 40mg a day and take it for two weeks. Then, divide the dose in half and take 20mg a day for another two weeks. Most men will find that this four-week Nolvadex cycle helps to restore natural testosterone production and prevents estrogenic effects, but some who are particularly sensitive to estrogen may find that they need to take a dose of 10mg a day for another two weeks just to be on the safe side.
As you can see, the decision to use Nolvadex on cycle is a personal one, and one you should make only after carefully considering your unique health needs. Nolvadex does come with its own unique set of benefits and downfalls, so studying them carefully will help you keep estrogenic side effects at bay during and after your next steroid cycle.