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Is It Safe To Use Clomid For PCT? (From An Endocrinologist)

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

Among my reasons for opposing steroid use (aside from being illegal) are its side effects and cumbersome aftercare. In my long career as a fitness trainer, I’ve come across many people willing to battle the adverse effects of such post-cycle drugs.

One of the most commonly used drugs for post-cycle therapy is Clomid (a brand of clomiphene citrate).

After a recent Clomid-related incident in the news, I spent a month doing research into the matter to gain a better grasp. I also teamed up with an endocrinologist with whom I reviewed the scientific data.

Let’s dive in.

Quick Summary

  • While Clomid usage may be safe and effective after a steroid cycle, misuse and unmanaged Clomid dosage could cause serious side effects.
  • Clomid was originally designed as a medical treatment for women with fertility-related issues.
  • Anabolic steroid users commonly use Clomid for post-cycle therapy (PCT) to block the body’s estrogen production and boost natural testosterone production.

Is It Safe To Use Clomid After a Steroid Cycle?

Close up shots of a stack of white tablets

Yes, it’s relatively safe to use Clomid after a steroid cycle. Even though it’s safe for the most part, its use and misuse have some side effects.

During a steroid cycle, your body naturally dials down its natural testosterone-producing functions because it receives testosterone from an external source.

After the cycle, your body no longer has an external testosterone source, so it struggles to produce testosterone naturally [1].

That’s where drugs like Clomid come in.

It’s supposed to work as a testosterone booster, primarily by acting as an estrogen blocker. It allows post-steroid-cycle bodybuilders to regain their body’s testosterone-producing abilities.

What is Clomid (Clomiphene Citrate)?

Clomid (clomiphene citrate) is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) that has anti-estrogen effects [2].

It was originally used for treating fertility issues in women who didn't ovulate normally.

It's also a popular alternative to testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) for men with hypogonadism.

That’s because Clomid increases the output of the pituitary gland’s luteinizing hormone (LH) and ​​FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone), both of which encourage an increase in testosterone [3].

Although Clomid isn’t strictly considered a performance enhancement drug (PED), athletes who haven’t been on anabolic steroids use it to enhance their athletic performance.

Clomid has many testosterone-boosting benefits, which we’ll cover in the following section.

Benefits

Close up shot of white tablets

Whether you take it to treat fertility issues, increase testosterone, or ease off steroid cycles, Clomid has various benefits.

These are:

  • Increased testosterone
  • Effective post-cycle therapy
  • Reduced gynecomastia in men
  • Better mood and higher libido
  • Increased muscle mass and athletic performance
  • Muscle retention in male and female bodybuilders

Increased Testosterone Production

A person lifting weights in the gym

Like most estrogen blockers, Clomid can stimulate your body's testosterone production by binding to your brain’s estrogen receptors and preventing estrogen from binding to those receptors [4].

Clomid also interacts with the pituitary gland and prevents it from interacting with estrogen.

When estrogen interacts with your pituitary gland, follicle-stimulating hormone and less luteinizing hormone are produced, leading to testosterone suppression [5].

With the decrease in estrogen, your body will be encouraged to produce testosterone.

In low doses, Clomid can effectively increase your levels of serum testosterone and positively affect the testosterone-estrogen ratio in men with low t-levels [6].

One study found that the daily administration of 150 mg of Clomid raised endogenous testosterone levels (production of testosterone within the body) by 150% [7].

Effective Post-Cycle Therapy

Clomid’s endogenous testosterone-boosting abilities make it an ideal PCT drug.

Post-cycle therapy refers to the period when bodybuilders go off anabolic androgenic steroids (to prevent any major side effects) before getting on the next cycle.

During this time, they experience a significant drop in testosterone levels due to the following:

  1. The cessation of their endogenous testosterone source (gonads)
  2. The absence of exogenous testosterone (steroids)

I’ve noticed athletes who don’t go through PCT after steroid cycles are more likely to experience higher estrogen levels. The lack of testosterone makes them prone to many unpleasant symptoms, such as gynecomastia.

Clomid helps bodybuilders with muscle retention after a cycle by encouraging the body to produce testosterone naturally.

“Clomid and Nolvadex are SERMs (selective oestrogen receptor modulators) — not to be confused with SARMs — which regulate post-cycle oestrogen production and block the negative effects that it has on the body.”

- Dr. Chia Tan, MD, TRT Specialist

Reduced Gynecomastia (Man Boobs)

Close up shot of a male muscular chest

One of the most common symptoms of anabolic steroids is gynecomastia (aka man boobs) [8].

While this symptom isn’t life-threatening, it can cause psychological and emotional distress, especially if you're part of a sport that demands aesthetics.

Gynecomastia develops when your body’s testosterone is flushed out to make way for exogenous testosterone from steroids.

As your body’s own testosterone breaks down, estradiol (a form of estrogen) is created, which results in female secondary characteristics [9].

High estrogen levels can increase breast tissue in men, whereas testosterone is known to prevent its formation [10].

Clomid may cure gynecomastia by preventing the formation of more estrogen and stimulating testosterone production [11].

Better Mood and Higher Libido

Most symptoms after a steroid cycle are due to lowered testosterone levels. Low T-levels are associated with symptoms like mood swings, depression, and lower libido [12].

Many of these symptoms tend to occur after a cycle because your body's natural T-levels are low and exogenous testosterone is nowhere in the picture.

Because Clomid can stimulate the body’s testosterone-producing ability, it can ultimately prevent symptoms associated with low T-levels.

Increased Muscle Mass and Athletic Performance

A person working out in the gym

While this isn’t a benefit fully experienced by bodybuilders who take steroids, athletes can benefit from Clomid’s testosterone-boosting abilities.

Apart from bodybuilding, Clomid is used by athletes in mixed martial arts, cycling, powerlifting, and other sports. It’s most commonly used by males [13].

Since Clomid boosts T-levels, which are associated with increased muscle mass and strength, it’s no surprise that athletes who take it perform better.

Muscle Retention in Male and Female Bodybuilders

Male and female bodybuilders who take anabolic steroids experience a drastic increase in muscle mass due to high exogenous testosterone levels.

Clomid does not have the same t-boosting ability because it encourages your body to produce testosterone, which is significantly lesser than what bodybuilders take.

However, Clomid’s ability to create more testosterone helps bodybuilders at least retain their muscle mass when they’re off a steroid cycle.

Side Effects

A person in the gym laying in the ground

While Clomid PCT has some benefits, especially for bodybuilders, taking it as a medication for infertility or a PED to boost testosterone levels has certain repercussions.

Common ones are: 

  • Acne: This is one of the most common side effects of taking Clomid, and it's usually a sign that the drug works. There is no evidence that Clomid itself causes this side effect. On the other hand, elevated testosterone from taking the drug can increase sebum levels, causing acne [14].
  • Altered Vision: Vision disturbance is another commonly reported side effect associated with Clomid usage and is common in both male and female users. It usually tends to go away on its own, but if your Clomid usage is high and frequent, the damages may be irreparable [15].
  • Abdominal Pain: This is one of Clomid’s less common side effects. In women, it’s usually a result of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), a severe and uncommon reaction to Clomid [16]. In men, it’s possibly a result of pressure around the pelvic area and reproductive tract due to testosterone production [17].
  • Reduced Bone Density: A study on Clomid effects on men with low testosterone levels suggests that decreased mineral bone density is found in more than a third of the participants [18].
  • Weight Gain: Clomid usage can cause temporary weight gain. But it tends to go away after the PCT [19].

How Clomid Is Used For Post Cycle Therapy (Guidelines)

Close up shot of a person writing down on a clipboard in the gym

There aren’t any specific guidelines for Clomid PCT dosage because the drug wasn't invented for that purpose. However, I've learned a couple of things based on anecdotal evidence from speaking to various bodybuilders.

Clomid PCT Dosage

Most bodybuilders go for a modest four-week PCT cycle, starting with 50 mg per day for the first two weeks.

If they feel better, they take 25 mg per day for the other two weeks. Otherwise, they stick with 50 mg until they get the desired effects.

Bodybuilders who come off an aggressive cycle and experience more severe symptoms of steroid withdrawal tend to take 100–150 mg for the first couple of weeks. However, they make sure to decrease their dosage once they feel better.

Many state that it’s better to err on the side of a lower Clomid dosage because of its potentially harsh side effects.

Starting Clomid PCT

Bodybuilders tend to start their Clomid PCT treatment one to two weeks after their steroid cycle.

However, other athletes begin their PCT during their steroid cycle to prevent Clomid side effects. Many consider this a safe option because there’s no evidence showing taking them together isn’t safe [20].

Is Taking Clomid As a PED Worth the Risk?

A gym coach holding a clipboard

No, taking Clomid as a PED is not worth the risk because it has various negative side effects.

While it does boost natural testosterone production, which increases your athletic performance, it has many risks that can impede your fitness goals.

In my professional experience, there are better and safer options for you to consider:

  • Natural testosterone boosters: Natural supplements like vitamin D, ashwagandha, zinc, magnesium, and many others can help you naturally increase your T-levels [21].
  • Testosterone-boosting lifestyle: Engaging in a healthy lifestyle — working out, getting plenty of sleep, and eating a high-protein diet can boost your body’s natural T-levels.
  • Legal Steroids: These are the best option for those experiencing difficulty growing muscle due to genetic drawbacks. Legal steroids are safe, legal, and effective and don’t carry any side effects.

FAQs

Is Clomid a Steroid?

No, Clomid is not a steroid. However, it boosts testosterone levels by increasing luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones and blocking estrogen receptors in the reproductive organs.

Is Clomid illegal?

Yes, Clomid is illegal unless a doctor prescribes it for medical purposes. Additionally, the World Anti-Doping Agency lists clomiphene as an illegal substance [22].

Does Clomid Build Muscle?

No, Clomid does not build muscle directly. It indirectly builds muscle by increasing testosterone, which is vital to muscle growth.

How Long Does Clomid Take to Boost an Average Man’s Testosterone Levels?

Clomid can boost an average man’s testosterone levels within three months. However, this could depend on various factors such as initial testosterone levels, diet, sleep, and lifestyle.

How Long Does a Clomid PCT Last?

A Clomid PCT cycle lasts for at least four weeks. A standard PCT cycle is four to eight weeks, with eight weeks for bodybuilders who've used powerful steroids.

However, the average bodybuilder requires only four weeks of Clomid PCT to build up testosterone levels naturally.

Is Clomid Expensive?

No, Clomid is not too expensive. Since it's a widely available and used prescription medication, Clomid is one of the more affordable drugs steroid users purchase. However, the price may vary depending on where you live.

How Often Can You Take Clomid?

How often you take Clomid depends on what your doctor prescribes.

Bodybuilders who choose Clomid usually take it after every steroid cycle.

What’s the Safest Route?

Anabolic steroid use may be tempting because of the fast progress, but the risks and intense aftercare outweigh the benefits. Instead, we highly recommend taking legal steroids to help you get over a fitness plateau.

Many legal steroid supplements have low-quality ingredients or poor dosages.

That's why our team at TotalShape spent several months researching and testing to choose the best stack.

These supplements don’t have the negative side effects of illegal steroids, and they’ll help you speed up your fitness goals at a safe and healthy pace.


References:

  1. https://www.addictioncenter.com/stimulants/steroids/steroid-withdrawal-detox/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4995266/ 
  3. https://medlineplus.gov/lab-tests/luteinizing-hormone-lh-levels-test/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16422830/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5010627/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/16422830/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/640052/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11715139/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4854098/
  10. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326637
  11. https://www.medicinenet.com/gynecomastia/article.htm
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3770847/
  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30295816/
  14. https://www.healthline.com/health/does-testosterone-cause-acne
  15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/7710399/
  16. https://fertilitysolutionsne.com/blog/clomid-side-effects-to-be-aware-of/
  17. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32552294/
  18. ​​https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24161998/
  19. https://www.verywellfamily.com/clomid-clomiphene-side-effects-and-risks-1959972
  20. https://www.drugs.com/drug-interactions/clomid-with-testosterone-701-353-2167-0.html
  21. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/natural-testosterone-booster
  22. https://www.usada.org/spirit-of-sport/education/substance-profile-clomiphene/
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