My Super-Horrible Self-Inflicted TRT Experience (Don’t Do What I Do….)

File under “Don’t Do What I Do” – it should be a fairly large folder by now…..

Disclaimer
Please note that this article is educational in nature.  I am not endorsing the use of TRT or Clomid nor am I am medical expert.  I am simply documenting and relating my personal experience with both treatment modalities.

OK, so as some of you know, I started with self-diagnosed Testosterone Replacement Therapy (TRT) just after Christmas of last year.  (If the term “self-diagnosed” doesn’t give you a tragic foreshadowing of what is to come,  I don’t know what will….).  On June 9th , I took my last shot and have since been waiting (and praying) that my own system (that is, my balls) will eventually full restart.  But before we get into all that, let’s take a little trip down memory lane…

Die young! Die hard! Dianabol!
I have only used steroids twice (two ten-week cycles) in my lifetime.  The first was when I was in the Army and the second was after I completed my term of service.  Back then it was all about Rugby Test and Dianabol and the needles for the thick, oily test suspensions were NASTY big.  My first cycle was uneventful – I gained a good amount of strength and size and didn’t have any side effects that I can recall.  The second cycle brought me mentally to a very strange place that I wish I had fully remembered when I decided to get myself on long-term TRT.  I won’t get into details, but it definitely had an effect of my general disposition…

 

Clomid in the Philippines

Clomid
The next time I messed around with my hormone system (never recommended, by the way) was in 2016.  I had been in the Philippines for a while and I noticed that I was constantly feeling tired and put out.  A buddy of mine told me that he had been taking low doses of Clomid (clomiphene citrate) successfully for low testosterone and being about the same age, I got my own levels tested.  A short morning blood test at Silliman Hospital shortly thereafter revealed that my testosterone level was 410 – not awful, but not great either.  Sick of feeling tired all the time, I decided to start my own little therapy with Clomid.

Clomiphene citrate (Clomid) is sold over the counter in the Philippines.  One 50 mg pill costs 100 pesos (about $2 USD).  It has been around for a good long while and is primarily used as a fertility drug for women. For guys, it was traditionally used by men coming off steroid cycles in order to ‘restart’ or give a significant boost to their suppressed organic testosterone production.  The secondary, ‘off label’ use of it in increasing men’s testosterone levels over a longer period has been around for less than a decade. 

So, having done a bit of research, I decided to give it a shot.  I already had a pill cutter, so slicing the 50 mg pills into the suggested 25 mg doses was ez-pz.  Tossing the cut pills into my weekly pill tray so that I was only taking them Monday, Wednesday and Friday was even easier.  Price wise, this “poor man’s test booster” was very cost effective, coming in at only 600 pesos a month ($12 USD).

After 90 days on the low-dose Clomid treatment, I went back to Silliman and got another blood test.  All indicators were fine and surprisingly, my test level had more than doubled, having gone from 410 to 840.  I knew it had been working as I had been having more energy and better workouts, but I honestly didn’t realize it was going to increase the test level that much.  Whoa. For some reason, I stopped doing it after I went back to the US last year – I think I had forgotten to bring the pills and didn’t bother getting back on it when I returned to the Philippines.

Clomid Note
Keep in mind that I was only able to get a ‘total testosterone’ test and not a ‘free testosterone’ test at Silliman Hospital.  The latter is actually more accurate in terms of ascertaining the actual amount of bioavailable testosterone. If given an option, always go for the ‘free test’ work.  Finally, the great thing about Clomid is that it boosts your own body’s natural testosterone production.  This is in great contrast to long-term TRT therapies which actually REPLACE your body’s endogenous test production (from your testes) with exogenous testosterone.  In short, Clomid doesn’t shut down your balls….

cypionax from thailand

Enter the Cypionate
My decision to start TRT was rather short sighted and more than a bit misinformed.  Short sighted in that it was an impulsive decision and misinformed because I didn’t realize two things:  1) Once people go on TRT, they are usually on TRT for the rest of their lives and 2) TRT completely ‘shuts down’ your testes, and if you want kids, it’s going to be an uphill battle.  A fun battle, but one that you might have to wage for quite some time….

Yep – hindsight is such a bitch.

I started my TRT on the high end – 200 mg of testosterone cypionate a week. Ten vials cost 2500 pesos which is about $50 USD.  Yep, that’s cheap and it’s real stuff and it was costing me less than $25 a month.  Most doctors will start their clients on 100 mg/week and test their levels after six weeks or so, making adjustments from there.  I was special so I figured 200 mg was good enough.  The shots were pretty much painless, and the results over time were quite noticeable, especially after around week four, where my energy went through the roof.  All the other benefits of boosted T also came to fruition as well:  Lean muscle mass increased, fat levels rapidly dropped, motivation was rising and libido was over the top.  I mean, I was really feeling good.  Unfortunately, there was something I wasn’t keeping in mind – that this SUPER POSITIVE response was slowly going to diminish over time as my own production of testosterone diminished (and finally died). See, here’s the thing:  When you first get on testosterone injections the injected test is COMBINING with your own body’s natural levels.  It’s a super-heady mix and VERY noticeable.  Then, as the weeks turn into months, your balls slowly dry up until they are production virtually no testosterone at all anymore.

And now we are getting to the problem…..

Shit….

People respond differently to their own testosterone production shutting down.  For me, it wasn’t a pleasant experience at all – I was getting increasingly moody, disaffected and depressed.  And to make matters worse, it had a strange effect on my … errrr…. performance in the old boudoir.  For some reason, my libido was down and getting to … ummm..  completion was getting a bit onerous.  I had done my bloodwork (test was at 1394 on 200 mg/week) and all my lipids, liver and E2 levels were fine.  My LH was ZERO and FSH was .3 (signaling that my testes were shut down) but everything else was OK.  So, why was I feeling so shitty?  Thankfully, a bit more of research on the interwebz revealed that TRT can indeed result in some strange side effects such as the ones I was experiencing – especially when one’s own hormone production finally and completely shuts down.

Not good.

The mental stuff in particular was becoming a problem.  The moodiness, the anger, feelings of disassociation …. It was becoming an issue, not just for me, but for people around me.   In short, the TRT was hurting me and – even worse – hurting others.  Add to this the fact that I really want to have kids at some point, and it became pretty obvious that TRT a this time just wasn’t for me.  Deciding to stop wasn’t easy though – the energy, physiological changes (muscles) and aggressive motivation were going to be sorely missed.  But – despite that – it was time to give it up….

ouch!!!

Imma Gurl!!
So, I took my last injection on June 9th. Or should I say Nurse Lyn gave me my last shot on that day.  My gonads were completely dry and nonproducing at that point, the shrunken little raisins hugging up against my groin.  Testosterone cypionate has a long half-life, so I didn’t start with the Nolvadex and Clomid until two weeks after that last shot.  Thankfully, Nolovadex (Tamoxifen) is dirt cheap in the Philippines, costing only 17 pesos per pill.  So, after two weeks since the last injection, I started with 40 mg of Nolvadex every day and 50 mg of Clomid on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  After two weeks of that, I will drop down to 20 mg of Nolovadex and 25 mg of Clomid for another two weeks.  Then, after another 30 days, I will get my bloodwork done again.

Today is June 30th and I still feel like absolute garbage.  My test level right now is probably in the single digits, my mental health is even worse than it was on the TRT and the world around me is painted in the most scintillating shades of absolute shit.  I have no motivation, I am alternately anxious and depressed and I can’t seem to sit still (or do anything).  In short, I was a fugging moron and I am experiencing exactly what someone who messes with the incredibly complex human hormone system is supposed to experience.  Thankfully, my balls seem to have descended and are apparently regaining some semblance of their former self. 

Here’s hoping they will soon get back to work.

 

END NOTE
I didn’t fully cover all of the bloodwork testing that you should be getting done while on roids or TRT – lipids, FSH, LH, livers, E2 etc. etc.  If you are considering TRT or Clomid monotherapy please do your research, find a competent doctor and keep checking your levels.  Finding all of these tests in the Philippines isn’t always easy – I couldn’t get the critical E2 level in Dumaguete so had to get it done while I was visiting Cebu.

 

 

Comments 11

  1. Dude, you are not the only guy to play around with testosterone and get burned. Let me offer some advice that will help. I’m kicking myself right now, because I thought of all of this while you were in Florida, but I told myself it is none of my business. You’re an internet personality. I don’t know you. Blah, blah, blah.

    You were injecting 200mg per week of cypionate. That is not trt for most guys. That will put you into supraphysiological levels, which will also spike your estrogen, which, in turn, will also kill your ability to perform in the bedroom. Plus, injecting once a week puts you on a hormonal roller coaster, because of the half life of the drug. Most people on trt inject twice a week. You may already know this by now, but, if not, there you go. Most guys who take high doses like that are also taking a PDE5 inhibitor.

    You can do the whole steroid recovery stack for trying to restart your HPTA, but just know that sometimes it does not work. Sometimes, you are stuck with low test for life after a steroid cycle. How do I know? I did it to myself. I’m not beating you up. I’m trying to help.

    Be careful on the Clomid. High dose Clomid will not only make you feel like a girl, it will alter your mood. Be aware of your mood. Recovery is the point where guys are most vulnerable emotionally and psychologically. Not kidding. I’ve seen guys as big as a barn turn into emotional wrecks on Clomid. Your dose seems conservative, but, for some, even a conservative dose can push them into supraphysiological levels. You need to be sure to monitor yourself as best as you can.

    Be aware of Nolvadex. It WILL kill your libido. 40mg is a high dose. Nolvadex is a very powerful drug. Not something you want to play with.

    Did you take HCG prior to starting Clomid? If not, you are going to take a lot longer to recover, and your recovery is going to be pretty bumpy at the beginning. HCG mimics LH, which is the signal your testicles get to produce testosterone. HCG is used at the beginning of recovery to kick start the testicles, so they are geared up to respond well to the signal from your pituitary by the time you start Clomid.

    Stop playing doctor on yourself. You are not qualified for the job (obviously), bros on the internet are not qualified for the job, and I’m most certainly not qualified for the job. Do what you want, but that’s my advice. In Cebu there is an endocrinologist, Dr. Tan. Her clinic is called ReproOptima. It’s right next to the Red Cross on Osmena Blvd. She can help you with rebooting your system. She focuses on fertility, though. She can monitor your blood work and your progress. I believe a visit to her office is about 1,200 pesos, and the blood work for the first time is around 15,000 to 20,000 pesos. She can give you HCG. I don’t care with the way she doses it, but, if you’re not shy of needles, you can administer it subcutaneously yourself. I’d recommend taking her large dosing schedule and dividing it up throughout the week into daily injections. Give her a try, if you want.

    Don’t worry too much about fertility. HCG and Clomid will take care of that. Actually, you can take HCG with testosterone and retain your fertility, and your libido, while on testosterone. You should have been taking while you were playing with Cypionate. It would have kept your nuts alive.

    If you are still having problems after all of that, you have other options: There is a clinic in Manila that deals with trt.

    https://www.bioidenticalphilippines.com

    I can’t vouch for how good they are, but most healthcare I received in the Phils was excellent.

    For info on trt, go have a look at peaktestosterone.com and excelmale.com. There is a lot of info on those forums about trt, recovery, fertility maintenance, etc. Yes, you will see some bro science going on among the guys on the forums. Ignore most of that and focus on the articles.

    If you return to the US, and are still having problems, I strongly encourage you to contact Defy Medical in Tampa. They are excellent. I don’t work there. I’m a patient. If nothing else, you can get a complete workup done with free testosterone, estrodial, and all of the other stuff that should go with a testosterone panel. It costs about $250.

    I wish you all the best. Take care of yourself. Don’t despair. This is NOT the end of the world. The symptoms you are having ARE temporary, even if you fried your HPTA. Keep your head in the right place.

    Feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns. All of this advice is based upon my personal experience. I am not a doctor.

    And here is an article on HPTA recovery from Defy:

    https://defymedical.com/blog/itemlist/tag/HPTA

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  2. Very good and candid info you shared. Will definitely be required reading for anyone considering the same path. I’d say something about having the balls to write it but then the pun would be intended. 🙂

    Even as I type this I am uploading a video (shameless plug) about how important it is we watch our diet, exercise and rest routine as we grow ‘older’. I’ve admired you ability to stick with a workout schedule, frankly.. I’m too lazy to do it myself, so I wander the streets or malls and consider that my exercise. (tomato/tomahto)

    I guess my only question to you now that you’ve passed through this experiment would be, “what dietary changes do you figure would address the tiredness issue better?” I’m currently learning what I can about the Ketogenic diet. Began reading on it maybe 6 weeks ago and only began with it this week.

    Good article. Stay the course and all that. 🙂

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      You shameless plugger! And my balls seem to be coming around!!!!

      Yeah, when it comes to fitness, I would say its 80 percent diet and only 20 percent ‘working out.’ What you eat is what you are.

  3. Ned
    This is the time you need your mates support.
    We are here and may not even rib you about your political views.
    Your not an out-cast or an untouchable, we’ve missed you.
    Don’t be a stranger, come back and join the crowd at Bogarts.

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      1. Mate, alcohol, nicotine and testosterone are all addictions mental or physical but are all dependent on your personal mind set and mental strength. Vaping is a way of cracking the addiction to nicotine but still is smoking by another name and alcohol can be spaced out by drinking a bottle of water between your pilsens and is also a good preventative for hangovers and it seems you are getting the testosterone addiction under control.
        Isolation is a sure fire way of increasing your stress where as social interaction with others is a good way to relieve the mental stress caused by kicking your habits the same as working out is a good way of relieving the physical stress.

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  4. Ned buddy,I remember your feature on dangers in the philippines and saying one top danger was foreigners being a danger to themselves.
    This place is life at our own risk. We can buy almost anything. The question needs not be ,can I get it? (because we can) but rather we should be asking ,should i get this or that? as in should i get another redhorse?. There is no government agency or enforcement to keep us safe in most cases. So its up to us.
    Dude ive been a subscriber since you were new. Read your book several times. Now been here 2 years. Your experience and helpful tips have been greatly appreciated and mostly agree with my experience.
    And yes i make my own bulad with your recipe. “Catch em,throw em in the back yard,youl smell when they are ready. ” surefire advice like that makes you valuable to us all. I hope you have a speedy recovery for your sake and ours the loyal subscribers. sincerely ,David C

  5. Ned , being an MD , I asked you several times what type of ‘Roids’ you were on – you failed to respond or answer . Tactically no doubt . Almost a passive aggressive attitude . I was trying to help you . At that time I warm=ned you of certain types of ‘testosterone ‘ boosters that are a no-no . Huge increase in cancers that drug companies wont tell you about . Prostate issues and cancers as well . Your biggest problem Ned is your Ego- tame it down – NOW!!! , hence your Hyper-testosterone use , et al . OK , keep us informed on recovery . hope there is no permanent damage .

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