HCG FOR OPTIMUM TRT: BALANCING SEX HORMONES
HCG for TRT: hCG Balances Sex Hormones, Enhances TRT
TRT Miami specializes in naturally enhancing your sex hormone levels via our highly developed protocol for testosterone replacement therapy in Miami. The science-backed therapies we provide result in improved physical and mental well-being, greater sexual performance/satisfaction, and overall boost to quality of life.
One of the key means available to safely achieve higher testosterone levels in men with hypogonadism (the clinical term for low T) is human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). HCG for TRT is important, lets explain!
The hCG polypeptide
As we will explore here, hCG for TRT balances the various male sex hormones throughout the course of TRT, minimizing and even preventing some of the potential negative consequences of the procedure.
First, let’s discuss why balanced hormone profiles are essential for TRT success.
The Risks of Imbalanced Male Sex Hormones During TRT
Because the hormones in the human body operate on feedback loops (self-balancing mechanisms), testosterone supplementation can be dangerous for hormone health. Too much testosterone without careful compensation to keep the related hormones in balance can devastate the endocrine (hormone) system.
In the case of testosterone, the relevant feedback loop is called the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis:
“The hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis includes the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and gonads. It is essential for the control of the reproductive system and regulates the production of gametes and sex steroids.”
When performed without proper medical oversight from a professional, the levels of other critical hormones for men’s health involved in the HPA axis can be disrupted. These include:
- Luteinizing hormone
- Follicle-stimulating hormone
- Intra-testicular testosterone
- Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)
LH and FSH, in particular, are indispensable to male sexual health:
“Luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) are the two important messenger hormones that your pituitary gland makes, which then act on your testicles to make testosterone and sperm.”
Any disruptions, therefore, to levels of these hormones can have negative, sometimes dramatic, negative impacts on the reproductive system and overall health.*
*This kind of disruption to hormone feedback loops (in this case, the HPA axis) is the reason that poorly conducted TRT can result in infertility in men:
“Along with an increase in hematocrit, a major adverse effect of TRT is the diminished sperm production because of the decreased intra-testicular concentration of testosterone and suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis.”
In one study, male subjects were given therapeutic doses of testosterone enanthate (a common form T used in TRT). The results were startling:
“LH [lutenizing hormone] and FSH [follicle-stimulating hormone] were profoundly suppressed to 5% and 3% of baseline, respectively, and ITT [intratesticular testosterone] was suppressed by 94%.”
When healthcare providers fail to take measures to prevent these potentially negative impacts on the endocrine system, poorly managed TRT can result in side effects like:
- Fluid retention (edema)
- Prostate issues (possibly linked to development of prostate cancer)
- Blood clotting
- Breast enlargement (gynecomastia)
It’s important to understand, though, that a well-developed TRT protocol, including the introduction of hCG when appropriate, can drastically reduce or eliminate the risks listed above.
Let’s explore how.
How Does hCG Improve Hormone Balance During TRT?
Based on the risks discussed above, obviously a proven method of preventing these disruptions to hormone balance is in order. That’s where hCG enters the equation.
How Does hCG Optimize ITT Levels During Therapy?
Maintaining high intratesticular testosterone (ITT) levels – including the ratio of ITT to serum testosterone — is necessary for sperm production:
“Testosterone is synthesized and secreted from the Leydig cells of the testicular interstitium when stimulated by LH (5). Intratesticular testosterone (ITT) mediates its effects by binding to the androgen receptor, which is found in Leydig cells, Sertoli cells, and peritubular cells but is not present in developing germ cells. Intratesticular testosterone concentrations in normal men are approximately 100 times those in serum.”
Unfortunately, as seen in clinical studies, TRT can disrupt this roughly 100:1 optimal ratio of intratesticular to serum testosterone.
In such cases, TRT negatively impacts the HPG axis discussed earlier, lowers ITT levels, and in turn hinders spermatogenesis:
“TRT… can suppress the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis resulting in diminution of spermatogenesis.”
hCG supplementation during and after TRT helps to replace ITT lost during therapy and, in turn, to restore sperm production to healthy levels:
“Exogenous testosterone supplementation decreases sperm production. Studies of hormonal contraception indicate that most men have a return of normal sperm production within 1 year after discontinuation. Clomiphene citrate is a safe and effective therapy for men who desire to maintain future potential fertility. Although less frequently used in the general population, hCG therapy with or without testosterone supplementation represents an alternative treatment.”
How Does hCG Optimize FSH Levels During Therapy?
Follicle-stimulating hormone supports reproductive health and facilitates sperm production:
“FSH is… vital for normal testicular function and is necessary for quantitatively normal spermatogenesis in man. Specifically, FSH is thought to play an important role early in spermatogenesis.”
Researchers in a 2005 study recorded a notable uptick in FSH levels – which, again, can be suppressed during TRT – after giving patients therapeutic doses of hCG:
Source: The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
How Does hCG Optimize LH Levels During Therapy?
LH release, which is closely tied to the critical intratesticular testosterone levels described earlier, is stimulated by hCG which acts on LH receptors:
“Experimental suppression of LH secretion from the pituitary by the administration of exogenous T leads to pronounced decreases in ITT and dramatic reductions in sperm production… In contrast, the administration of the LH-receptor agonist hCG increases ITT and stimulates spermatogenesis, both in men with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism from pituitary disease.”
Is hCG Safe for Men?
The good news, as we alluded to earlier, is that men undergoing TRT don’t require a lot of hCG to reap the benefits:
“intratesticular testosterone increased linearly with increasing hCG dose, demonstrating that a relatively low dose of hCG maintains intratesticular testosterone within the normal range in healthy men.”
An hCG dose of 125 IU-500 IU given every other day for three weeks typically produces the desired balancing effects. At such a low dose, as we see in our clinical practice hCG is unlikely to produce any negative side effects.
The Bottom Line on hCG for TRT
Through multiple mechanisms, hCG balances the hormones involved in the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, a critical hormone feedback loop that can become disrupted during TRT.
We the hormone experts at TRT Miami are always available to assist patients with any questions or concerns regarding TRT or, more broadly, hormone health.
Contact us today to learn how you can optimize your own hormones to feel and look younger, stronger, and healthier.