Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

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Case study: hCG restores testosterone production after steroids use

That hCG restores the natural production of testosterone in chemical athletes is very very old news. But strange as it may seem, there are hardly any scientific studies in which doctors have given hCG to steroids users. One of the few studies we've come across is the medical case study described by the British doctor Geoff Gill, published at the end of the nineties in the Postgraduate Medical Journal. Gill, who at the time worked at the Walton Hospital in Liverpool, wrote the article after he had treated a chemical athlete who had become impotent at the age of 17.

Case study: hCG restores testosterone production after steroids use

Case study: hCG restores testosterone production after steroids use
The young bodybuilder had gone to a doctor because he was worried about a varicose vein in his scrotum. What's more he'd been impotent for 4 months, had no libido, bad quality sperm and sore nipples.

The cause quickly became clear to the doctors. The man was a competitive bodybuilder, and had been using steroids for at least six months before he became impotent. The man himself had no idea that his complaint had been caused by the steroids, "as he felt he had been taking 'safe anabolics'. It was difficult to obtain an accurate drug history, but the man had taken nandrolone, Sustanon, and possibly stanozolol. When he could, he took danazol to counteract nipple tenderness."

The bodybuilder's pituitary gland was no longer producing LH or FSH, the doctors discovered.

The bodybuilder wanted to continue using steroids. As the doctors wanted to limit the damage they prescribed the least harmful steroids they could think of: Sustanon 250. The man was given an injection once every two weeks. He reacted well to this: his impotence disappeared and his libido returned.

After fifteen months the man gave up bodybuilding and turned his attention to his studies. Of his own accord he stopped the testosterone injections. The inevitable happened: his complaints returned. His testosterone level plummeted from 14.0 to 8.5 nanomol/l.

Case study: hCG restores testosterone production after steroids use

"To stimulate testicular function he was given injections of HCG over the next three months (10.000 units I.M. weekly for one month, 5.000 units weekly for one month, and 2500 units for one month)", wrote Gill. "Within a week of starting treatment, libido had greatly improved, and spontaneous nocturnal ejaculations occurred. Serum testosterone levels and potency returned to normal over the three months of treatment."

Gill was positive about the choice of treatment. HCG works, he claims. But soon after the injections were stopped, the man's testosterone level sank even lower than before he started with the hCG injections. It's a question you'll never get an answer to, but we pose it nonetheless. Wouldn't the bodybuilder's own testosterone production have been restored more quickly if he had not had hCG?

Postgrad Med J 1998 Jan; 74(867): 45-6.

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