POST CYCLE THERAPY

The use of steroids can only be sustained for a period of time (usually 12 weeks or less) and following a cycle it is important to put the body back to it's normal state...this is where Post Cycle Therapy comes in. PCTs are not to be ignored and can be one of the most vital aspects of steroid use and coming off steroids.

As we mention through-out STED-Ed.co.uk steroids are basically hormones. Anyone using steroids will be introducing an abundance of synthetic hormones into their body. The body is very clever and recognises this abundance of synthetic hormone and will try to balance it out with natural hormones by either increasing production or reducing (and even stopping) production.

Lets look at this a bit more - Steroids are derivatives of Testosterone and this hormone is the most sought after hormone when trying to increase size and strength. In order to balance Testosterone, the body produces Oestrogen. By taking Anabolic Androgenic Steroids you will be overloading the body with testosterone, the body will suppress it's own natural production of Testosterone and may increase it's production of Oestrogen to counteract the extra Testosterone. Many steroid users take supplements to inhibit Oestrogen and stop it taking effect. These are called Selective Oestrogen Receptor Modulators or SERMs.

Now let's look at what happens when you stop taking steroids...

Your Testosterone levels will suddenly be very low and in some cases to the point of not existing. Estrogen levels may be slightly higher than normal and the killer of all hormones....Cortisol will be at normal levels. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for the breakdown of muscle tissue and so is the devil when it comes to bodybuilding, weight and strength training.

It is important to get your hormone levels back to normal as smoothly and quickly as possible. The human body will balance these hormones out on it's own by starting it's own testosterone production again but this can take weeks if not months and during this time there will be a loss of muscle mass.

We need to kick start the body into producing these hormones as quickly as possible...bring on a PCT.

There are a few factors to take into account when coming off steroids and attempting to balance hormones:

  1. Individual response to the PCT - Everyone responds differently and some people may experience a small loss of natural testosterone whereas others will experience a complete shut down of their natural production of testosterone. In the same breath, some people will experience a very quick response to a PCT and their hormone balance will restore very quickly whereas others will take a longer period of time. This is down to genetics.
  2. The Anabolic Androgenic Steroids used - natural testosterone is going to be suppressed to some degree when using Anabolic Androgenic Steroids. Some steroids are known to be milder and some have a more extreme effect on this. Check out our page 'Popular Steroids' for the risks associated with specific steroids.
  3. The length of a cycle - this is the daddy of them all. We now know that all Anabolic Androgenic Steroids have a negative effect on natural testosterone production and in the page 'Physical Risks' we detail how testicular shrinkage is a guaranteed side effect. The longer the duration of a cycle the longer the glands (Leydig cells) that produce testosterone will be dormant. The longer they are dormant the longer it will take to get them re-started. This is not an excuse to continue or extend a cycle. The body needs time to repair and return to it's normal function.
  4. As a general rule a Post Cycle Therapy should last approximatley 4-6 weeks and then followed by a clean period of up to 4 - 6 weeks before another cycle is started. There are many PCT supplements that can be purchased over the counter or online. The products from Predator Nutrition can assist with PCTs. Click the link below view their website.