SARMS and PCT: an introduction
If you have used or heard of anabolic steroids, prohormones or SARMs, then the chances are that you have also come across Post Cycle Therapy or PCT. What’s clear is that PCT is a kind of therapy or treatment. It follows the use of a steroid, prohormone, or SARMs to deal with post cycle issues. It is clear and hardly debatable that you need PCT if you are coming out of an anabolic or prohormone cycle.
But do you need PCT for SARMs as is the case with steroids or prohormones? And what kind of options should you try if you take PCT? In this article, we will go over PCT and how it is used in SARMs.
What is PCT
PCT is short for Post Cycle Therapy. It’s a treatment needed by users of anabolic steroid and SARMs to quickly restore proper hormone balance in the body after the cycle is through.
But why is PCT so crucial and necessary? To understand why let’s quickly look at what happens when you use anabolic steroids or SARMs that may produce similar effects. During a SARMs cycle, there may occur a sudden huge increase in androgenic hormones such as testosterone or DHT. This causes a drastic change in hormone balance in the body.
Keep in mind that the body usually has its preferred hormone balance, which it strives to maintain at all times. It will remain vigilant to keep that balance, quickly detecting and correcting any disruptions. When the body senses an increase in testosterone during your SARM cycle, it fights back by stopping its normal testosterone production. So far, so good. You won’t feel anything amiss as your cycle continues and your performance will continue to be great.
However, once you finish the cycle, you may get what is called a hormonal crash. LH (Luteinizing Hormone), FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) as well as testosterone levels will fall steeply. Your system will act as if it has just fallen from the highest peak of Mt Everest.
Some pretty bad things start happening at this point. Cortisol and SHBG (Sex Hormone Binding Globulin) levels will jump back to usual levels. This triggers estrogen increase as well. This trio of troublemakers, unless stopped, will wipe out the painstaking gains you had made in lean muscle and fat loss. And then all the work you had put into your SARMs cycle will be all for nothing.
Apart from this, your mental and psychological state will take a nosedive, and you won’t even be able to perform normal activities.
This is what you may term a total system shutdown. This is where your PCT comes in handy. It helps to restore normal levels of LH, FSH, and testosterone quickly enough to avoid this catastrophic chain of events.
There is even a bigger risk that you need to avoid where your body permanently stops testosterone production. This condition, called Hypogonadism is one you want to avoid at all costs. To address these post cycle problems, you can choose to do nothing and hope for the best. Or you can reach out for PCT.
If you do nothing, there is a chance your body will recover on its own, but it’s not a guarantee. You also need to wait for 3 to 4 months for the recovery. Think of the nightmare it will be going all that time without vital hormones. It will be the darkest chapter of your life! Also, the more severe the shutdown, the harder for you to recover without PCT, meaning you could fail to recover completely. If you go the PCT path, you will take PCT drugs which will stimulate the production of testosterone, LH, and FSH and restore their normal balance.
Types of PCT
What are the different types of PCT drugs that can be used after a SARMs cycle? The different types of PCT drugs that you might use are:
- Aromatase Inhibitors (AIs) – this class of PCT drugs have been widely used for breast conditions in both women and men. It treats breast cancer in women and man’s boobs in men. The role of AIs for bodybuilders is to overcome hormone imbalances that come during and after a SARMs cycle. This helps to avoid situations like men’s boobs (gynecomastia) in men. This condition occasionally develops among bodybuilders or athletes after a mild SARMs cycle. AIs owes its effectiveness to its ability to inactivate estrogen or estrogen receptors. It can block the aromatase enzyme from converting testosterone into estrogen. Some well known commercial products of AIs include Aromasin (Exemestane), Letrozole and Anastrozole.
- SERMs (Selective Estrogen Receptive Modulators) – these are like the opposites of SARMs, so if you understand SARMs, you shouldn’t find SERMs too hard to figure out. Whereas SARMs act on androgenic receptors (male sex receptors) to selectively stimulate them, SERMs does the same on Estrogen receptors (female sex receptors). Common brands include Tamoxifen (Nolvadex) and Clomid. Nolvadex is commonly used to treat breast cancer, while Clomid has been used for female infertility.
- HMG (Human Menopausal Gonadotrophins) – this is a drug which is usually prescribed as a hormonal medication to treat fertility. It can help to normalize hormone levels, especially in severe cases. HMG can be used for a PCT cycle to restore normal hormone levels.
- HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin) – it’s rarely needed for a SARMs cycle except in the case of a complete shutdown. However, there is a growing interest and debate on using it during a cycle and in PCT. A hormone that is produced in pregnant women, it can be introduced as a drug to activate the Leydig cells to produce testosterone. Normally prescribed by a doctor, it has also been used to achieve fat loss. HCG and HMG are very similar, although HMG is much more potent. Long term use of HCG can be harmful to the receptors. Both HCG and HMG can be used in PCT cycles in particularly severe cases of a shutdown. This will rarely happen, however, in a SARM cycle.
What are the benefits of using SARMs and PCTs? The benefits of using SARMs and PCTs are the following.
- Help you retain the lean muscle and fat loss you had gained
- Normalizes your body hormone levels
It is generally recommended that you use 75 mg of Arimistane each day for 4 weeks. This is for less stronger compound cycles like those of S4 or Ostarian.
For anything more suppressive, the following dosages are recommended once you are through your SARM cycle.
Week PCT drug and dosage per day
- 1 Nolvadex (40 mg), Clomid (50 mg)
- 2 Nolvadex (40 mg), Clomid (50 mg)
- 3 Nolvadex ( 20 mg), Clomid (25 mg)
- 4 Nolvadex (20 MG), Clomid (25 mg)
Of course, this is just a rough guideline, and you might find that your situation is different calling for some adjust
- You may lose the hard muscle and fat loss gains you had made if rebalance of
- hormones are not achieved
- Mood swings
- Energy fluctuations
The 2 most common PCT drugs Nolvadex and Clomid show different results based on Side effects. Clomid, also Clomifene or Clomiphene, is the most effective PCT, but it produces more bad side effects.
Availability and prices of PCT
HMG and HCG will set you back by about $30 and $50 respectively.
Here is the price for other PCT drugs
- Nolvadex (Clomiphene) costs about $15 to $30
- Clomid (Clomiphene) costs about $30 to $50
It is legal to buy PCTs like SERMs and AIs. However, they are available usually by prescription.
Getting PCTs from black market sources isn’t wise because you open yourself up to health risks.
SARMs will rarely require you to use PCT, especially if the SARMs are legitimate. That is because PCT use is only called for when your body gets a 70% to 80% suppression. This level of suppression is rare in SARMs which typically feature no suppression. It is estimated that as high as 99% of cases don’t need PCT.
However, individual cases differ, and some do get complete suppression, especially with RAD140 and Ligandrol. The compound, amount, and length of time you use the compound can also determine suppression.
E.g., if you take 20 mg of RAD140 for 12 weeks, you will experience more suppression compared to 20 mg of Ostarine used for 8 weeks.
Ostarine is one of the mildest SARM and hardly causes suppression. The use of strong PCTs such as Nolvadex or Clomid will not be called for in such cases.
On the other hand, SARMs like RAD-140, YK11, LGD-4033, and S23 are much more potent compounds and hence more suppressive. For these, you will most likely need a PCT, especially if you run them for a long time at high doses. You can always do blood work to find out whether you need a PCT or not.
Blood work is also useful for you if you take PCT. Taken before the PCT, it helps to gauge the effectiveness of the PCT.