The natural hormone levels are affected when supplementing the body with androgenic steroids. Most steroids suppress the natural production of testosterone in the body, and they can increase estrogen levels beyond the healthy range. Progesterone and estrogen can be controlled by proper supplementation during the cycle but the suppression of testosterone remains. The testosterone levels are in suppressed mode even after completing the steroid cycle. Subsequently, it is recommended to stimulate the natural production of testosterone after a steroid cycle through a Post Cycle Therapy or PCT.
Why a PCT is important to complete a steroid cycle
Testosterone and anabolic steroids make the body retain more nitrogen and utilize protein ingestion to create muscle mass. However, there is negative feedback cycle of testosterone at the end of the cycle which controls hypothalamic pituitary testicular axis or HPTA. Taking steroids breaks the nature cycle of testosterone production because steroids androgen and testosterone levels are much higher during the steroids cycle. This means the pituitary gland stops producing testosterone during the steroids cycle because all androgens are applied externally. Problems set in after the cycle because pituitary needs signal and conditioning to begin the internal production of androgen after the cycle. The conditioning time is known as lag time and it can be catabolic. It can even make the athlete lose what he had gained during the cycle.
How PCT works
A post Cycle Therapy consists of correct supplements which are used in two phases. The first phase boosts the levels of testosterone in the body while the other controls estrogen levels in the body. The latter is essential because body enzymes tend to aromatize the testosterone into estrogen. The drugs used in the PCT bring back the normal functioning and size of the testes if they were affected after the steroids cycle. After this, the pituitary gland and hypothalamus are blocked from influence due to estrogen which can inhibit the normal production of testosterone. The therapy is stopped when testosterone is produced spontaneously to allow the normal functioning of the body to take cover.
Anyone on a steroids cycle shouldn’t expect PCT to return their testosterone levels to their original levels miraculously. It may take time before the HPTA repairs completely. Moreover, it is good to remember that post cycle therapy can’t repair HPTA that is damaged beyond repair. It is always good to follow the steroid cycle responsibly, because it is the only way to make your PCT beneficial.
When to implement a PCT
It is recommended to begin the PCT when you are have completely finished your steroids cycle and not using any anabolic drug. Also, PCT is effective when planning to stay out of the steroid cycle for over 12 weeks exclusive of the PCT period.
The amount of planning needed before you begin a steroid cycle should also be applied when finishing the steroid cycle. Having a clear understanding of the PCT is essential because it prepares and helps your body to adjust after the cycle. Be sure to follow the steroid cycle responsibly and begin the PCT on time for optimal results.