Among my reasons for opposing steroid use (aside from being illegal) are its side effects and cumbersome aftercare. In my extensive career as a medical doctor, 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've decided to consult with my endocrinologist and compile everything I know about the drug. I also did some additional research to shed more light to my patients and readers who are on steroids or are considering using them.
Let’s dive in.
- It is relatively safe to use clomid after an anabolic steroid cycle, and it helps to boost the testosterone levels in the body.
- The benefits of taking Clomid range from increasing muscle mass, facilitating muscle retention, and increasing athletic performance.
- One study published in the National Library of Medicine found that the daily administration of 150 mg of Clomid raised the natural production of testosterone by 150%.
- Drawing from years of medical practice, I believe Clomid is essential for anyone serious about their post-steroid health regimen.
Is It Safe To Use Clomid After a Steroid Cycle?
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 can 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.
According to the Addiction Center, after the cycle, your body no longer has an external testosterone source, so it struggles to produce testosterone naturally .
That’s where drugs like Clomid come in.
What is Clomid (Clomiphene Citrate)?
As per the National Institute of Health, Clomid (clomiphene citrate) is a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) that has anti-estrogen effects .
From its origins as a treatment for women's fertility issues, like PCOS, I've witnessed Clomid's versatility first-hand. It's fascinating how it's transitioned into the bodybuilding world as a key player in post-cycle therapy.
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 and sperm count as per the National Library of Medicine .
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.
Whether you take it to treat fertility issues, increase testosterone, or ease off steroid cycles, Clomid has various benefits.
- 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
According to the National Library of Medicine, Clomid works like most estrogen blockers; to stimulate your body's testosterone production by binding to your brain’s estrogen receptors and preventing estrogen from binding to those receptors .
One study published in the National Library of Medicine found that the daily administration of 150 mg of Clomid raised endogenous testosterone levels (production of testosterone within the body) by 150% .
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:
- The cessation of their endogenous testosterone source (gonads)
- The absence of exogenous testosterone (steroids)
From my experience as a physician, 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 or man boobs.
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)
Man boobs or gynecomastia is a common symptom of anabolic steroids. This symptom develops when your body’s testosterone is flushed out to make way for exogenous testosterone from steroids.
High estrogen levels can increase breast tissue in men, whereas testosterone is known to prevent its formation, as per Medical News Today .
According to Medicine Net, Clomid helps cure gynecomastia by preventing the formation of more estrogen and stimulating testosterone production .
Better Mood and Higher Libido
Low T levels are associated with symptoms like mood swings, depression, and lower libido. 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.
Drawing from my experience, Clomid's ability to kickstart the body's own testosterone production is a game-changer. It's impressive how it can help ward off those low T-level symptoms that many of my clients dread post-cycle.
Increased Muscle Mass and Athletic Performance
Apart from bodybuilding, Clomid is used by athletes in mixed martial arts, cycling, powerlifting, and other sports. 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
Clomid’s ability to create more testosterone helps bodybuilders at least retain their muscle mass when they’re off a steroid cycle.
Common ones are:
- Acne: 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.
- Altered Vision: Vision disturbance is another commonly reported side effect associated with Clomid usage and is common in both male and female users.
- Abdominal Pain: In women, it’s usually a result of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS), a severe and uncommon reaction to Clomid, as per Fertility Solutions . In men, studies published in the National Library of Medicine show that it’s possibly a result of pressure around the pelvic area and reproductive tract due to testosterone production .
- Reduced Bone Density: A study published in the National Library of Medicine shows that Clomid effects on men with low testosterone levels suggest that Clomid, also known as clomiphene citrate decreases bone mineral density .
- Weight Gain: Clomid usage can cause temporary weight gain as per reports by Very Well Family, although the weight gain tends to go away after the PCT .
How Clomid Is Used For Post Cycle Therapy (Guidelines)
There aren’t any specific guidelines for Clomid PCT dosage because the drug wasn't invented for that purpose. However, from my extensive experience working with bodybuilders over the years, I've learned a couple of things.
Clomid PCT Dosage
Based on my experience, a four-week PCT cycle with Clomid, starting at 50 mg daily, has been effective for many individuals, with adjustments based on their response.
For those experiencing more severe symptoms of steroid withdrawal, a higher initial dosage of 100–150 mg is recommended, with a subsequent decrease once improvement is observed. It's important to consider a lower Clomid dosage due to potential side effects.
Starting Clomid PCT
For bodybuilders, I usually recommend starting Clomid PCT treatment one to two weeks after the steroid cycle. But for other athletes, I've found from my experience that starting PCT during their steroid cycle can prevent Clomid side effects.
Is Taking Clomid As a PED Worth the Risk?
No, taking Clomid as a PED is not worth the risk because of its 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, I've found better and safer alternatives:
- Natural testosterone boosters: Natural supplements like vitamin D, ashwagandha, zinc, magnesium, and many others can help you naturally increase your T levels.
- Testosterone-boosting 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 options for those experiencing difficulty growing muscle due to genetic drawbacks. Legal steroids are safe, legal, and effective and don’t carry any side effects.
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.
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.
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.
Can Anabolic Steroids Improve Blood Cell Production?
Yes, anabolic steroids can improve blood cell production and that's why they are commonly used to treat anemia. Enzymes and hormones involved in the production of red blood cells are triggered when you take anabolic steroids.
What's the Difference Between Corticosteroids and Anabolic Steroids?
The difference between corticosteroids and anabolic steroids is that corticosteroids are a class of hormones that includes cortisol, corticosterone, aldosterone, and cortisone. They can be further divided into glucocorticoids and mineralocorticoids. Anabolic steroids are a class of hormones that includes testosterone, estradiol hormone, and lipid cholesterol.
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