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HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) is a hormone that is produced in pregnant women. It is produced by the placenta. During pregnancy, it fuels the production of progesterone in women. Thus it is essential for the maintenance of pregnancy. HCG plays a critical role in maintaining blood supply to the fetus, thus helping it grow.
HCG is a chain of amino acids. Its structure is known to researchers. It was first extracted from the urine of pregnant females. However, nowadays, it is manufactured using recombinant DNA technology.
This leads us to the vital question, what does HCG has to do with bodybuilding?
HCG is very similar to another hormone found in men and women (non-pregnant) called luteinizing hormone (LH). Being similar means that it can be used to replace it.
LH is secreted by an anterior pituitary gland, a small pea-sized gland in the skull. Once released, it stimulates the production of testosterone by Leydig cells in men (in the testicles). In women, LH is responsible for triggering ovulation.
It is often used to treat fertility related problems in both men and women. As in men, it may help increase sperm count, and in women trigger ovulation.
However, HCG has a feeble anabolic effect. It only slightly increases testosterone levels in those with low levels. It means that it does not have a role as an anabolic or performance-enhancing substance.
HCG is quite commonly used at the end of the steroids cycle. It is one of the best drugs to treat steroid-related suppression of production of natural testosterone by testicles. It means that HCG is often part of post cycle therapy (PCT).
HCG can help overcome many side effects of steroid use. It may help improve libido, fertility, sperm count, and not just levels of testosterone. It may protect men from hypogonadism-shrinking of testicles.
Although, there is limited research into the subject, as most doctors or pharma companies do not like to do research into the matter of the non-medical use of the drug. Nonetheless, some research into the subjects has shown that HCG can help bring back testosterone and sperm levels to prior levels. It means that it is close to 100% effective, and must be part of ever PCT.
Generally, HCG is used at the dose of 2000 IU thrice a week or single weekly dose of 10000 IU. However, lots would depend on the severity of the condition. Some steroids users may need far higher doses.
It is also worth noticing that HCG is rarely used alone in those on a high dose of steroids. It is frequently combined with drugs like Clomid, Nolvadex, and Arimidex.
In many cases using dietary supplements may also help. Some of the proven ways to boost testosterone and sperm count are using vitamin D, Vitamins B complex, vitamin C, D-Aspartic acid, Zinc, Coq10.
During PCT, it is also a good idea to use herbs like ginseng, Tongkat Ali, Tribulus Terrestris.