Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)
HCG, is not an anabolic/an-drogenic steroid but a natural protein hormone which develops in the placenta of a pregnant woman. HCG is manufac-tured from the urine of pregnant women since it is excreted in un-changed form from the blood via the woman's urine, passing through the kidneys. The commercially available HCG is sold as a dry substance and can be used both in men and women. In women injectable HCG allows for ovulation since it influences the last stages of the development of the ovum, thus stimulating ovulation. In a man HCG stimulates pro-duction of androgenic hormones (testosterone). For this reason athletes use injectable HCG to increase the testosterone produc-tion.
HCG is often used in combination with anabolic/androgenic steroids during or after treatment. Since the body usually needs a certain amount of time to get its testoster-one production going again, the athlete, after discontinuing ste-roid compounds, experiences a difficult transition phase which often goes hand in hand with a considerable loss in both strength and muscle mass.
Administering HCG directly after steroid treat-ment helps to reduce this condition because HCG increases the testosterone production in the testes very quickly and reliably. In the event of testicular atrophy caused by mega doses and very long periods of usage, HCG also helps to quickly bring the testes back to their original condition (size). Since occasional injections of HCG during steroid intake can avoid a testicular atrophy, many athletes use HCG for two to three weeks in the middle of their steroid treatment. It is often observed that during this time the athlete makes his best progress with respect to gains in both strength and muscle mass. Those who are on the juice all year round, who might suffer psychological consequences or who would perhaps risk the breakup of a relationship because of this should consider this drawback when taking HCG in regular in-tervals. A reduced libido and spermatogenesis due to steroids, in most cases, can be successfully cured by treatment with HCG.
Most athletes, however, use HCG at the end of a treatment in order to avoid a "crash," that is, to achieve the best possible transition into "natural training." A precondition, however, is that the steroid intake or dosage be reduced slowly and evenly before taking HCG. Although HCG causes a quick and significant increase of the endogenic plasma- testosterone level, unfortunately it is not a perfect remedy to prevent the loss of strength and mass at the end of a steroid treatment. Although HCG does stimulate endogenous testosterone production, it does not help in re-establishing the normal hypothalamic/pituitary testicular axis. The hypothalamus and pituitary are still in a refractory state after prolonged steroid usage, and remain this way while HCG is being used, because the endogenous testosterone produced as a-result of the exogenous HCG represses the endogenous LH production.
Once the HCG is discontinued, the athlete must still go through a readjustment period. This is merely delayed by the HCG use." For this reason experienced athletes often take Clomid and Clenbuterol following HCG intake or they immediately begin an-other steroid treatment. Some take HCG merely to get off the "steroids" for at least two to three weeks. HCG package insert states clearly that HCG "has no known effect of fat mobilization, appetite or sense of hunger, or body fat distribution." It further states, "HCG has not been demonstrated to be effective adjunctive therapy in the treatment of obesity, it does not increase fat losses beyond that resulting from caloric restriction. 6000 I.U. of HCG in a single injection resulted in elevated testosterone levels for six days after the injection. At a dosage of 1500 I.U. the pharmatestosterone level increases by 250-300% (2.5-3fold) com-pared to the initial value. The athlete should inject one HCG ampule every 5 days.
Since the testosterone level remains considerably elevated for several days, it is unnecessary to inject HCG more than once every 5 days. The effective dosage for ath-letes is usually 2000-5000 I.U. per injection and should-as al-ready mentioned-be injected every 5 days. HCG should only be taken for a few weeks. If HCG is taken by male athletes over many weeks and in high dosages, it is possible that the testes will respond poorly to a later HCG intake and a release of the body's own LH. This could result in a permanent inadequate gonadal function. HCG can in part cause side effects similar to those of injectable testosterone. A higher testosterone production also goes hand in hand with an elevated estrogen level which could result in gynecomastia. This could manifest itself in a temporary growth of breasts or reinforce already existing breast growth in men. Farsighted athletes thus combine HCG with an antiestrogen. Male athletes also report more frequent erections and an increased sexual desire. In high doses it can cause acne vulgaris and thestoring of minerals and water. The last point must especially be observed since the water retention which is possible through the use of HCG could give the muscle system a puffy and watery appearance.
Athletes who have already increased their endogenous test-osterone level by taking Clomid and intend subsequently to take HCG could experience considerable water retention and distinct feminization symptoms (gynecomastia, tendency toward fat deposits on the hips). This is due to the fact that high testosterone leads to a high conversion rate to estrogens. In very young ath-letes HCG, like anabolic steroids, can cause an early stunting of growth since it prematurely closes the epiphysial growth plates. Mood swings and high blood pressure can also be attributed to the intake of HCG.
HCG's form of administration is also unusual. The substance choriongonadotropin is a white powdery freeze-dried substance which is usually used as a compress. Each package, for each HCG ampule, includes another ampule with an injection solution containing isotonic sodium chloride. This liq-uid, after both ampules have been opened in a sterile manner, is injected into the HCG ampule and mixed with the dried substance. The solution is then ready for use and should be injected intra-muscularly. If only part of the substance is injected the residual solution should be stored in the refrigerator. It is not necessary to store the unmixed HCG in the refrigerator; however, it should be kept out of light and below a temperature of 25* C.
HCG is a relatively expensive compound. It costs approx. $36 -45 for 3 ampules of 5000 I.U.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)