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Old 10-13-2015, 02:02 PM
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Things to Remember

In summary, some basic things to keep in mind if you want to play on the dark side:
· More is NOT better. It?s about finding a workable balance for YOUR hormone levels, your goals and your experience.

· Never forget that you are self-medicating with hormones - it is always your own personal experiment. Slow & low is your best approach.

· Don't stack a pile of stuff you've never run each individually before - you have no idea how these compounds affect your body so you can't make judgements on what to cut / what is bad / what is good for your body chemistry. Also there is an accumulated effect when you are throwing all sorts of stuff in the pile. Fundamentally you are jacking up the amount of DHT in your system. Know the half life of each compound you are interested in - some are much longer than others so if you don't like the sides, on longer esters, tough shit. Now you gotta wait for the compound to clear your system before the sides go away.

· Know the potential sides - anything is possible in any degree ? there is no such thing as ?no sides?- only those that you don?t experience - it is very individual so you are still running your own personal experiment.

· You don't need to be "scared" of the sides - you either accept them or you don't. You can't pick which ones you want & which you don't and you can't predict what you will experience until you try it. It?s more about managing risk by educating yourself, staying at conservative doses and watching how your body responds. If you are ?scared? of the sides, you have no business cycling.

· Don't listen to other people - especially guys. They will have a completely different experience w/ different doses & different compounds. A tiny little amount of anything will have dramatic effects on women compared to men. YOU are responsible for YOUR cycle.

· Women, generally, do not need to worry about post-cycle therapy (PCT) like guys do. (This changes if your cycles are much more aggressive, longer and more of them. If you are at this level, you probably don?t need to be reading this.) Women can generally just end a cycle. There is no need to taper. The compound will clear at the rate specified by its half-life.

· Think in the long term - don't cycle just "for my next show" - just like a bulker or cutter diet - it has a place in the ongoing cycle of change that happens over time. You can't maintain the state of being "on" so you have to also come off, expect to lose a little of what you gained, but you will have made a change to your over all body composition.

· Watch your diet - if you are going to bother putting this stuff in your body, you should respect your body enough to not think you can get away w/ eating shit - generally unless you are already lean & eating a good diet already targeted to what you are trying to do, any AAS will get you 'big' in terms of 'thick', 'bigger' etc. IF the diet is tight, then you will also get the leaned out effect that everyone wants - but sloppy diet will get you more big than lean.

· Time off = Time on. The general rule of thumb is to allow at least as long as your cycle, to clear your system and let your body re-establish its own homeostasis. People tend to want to ?try more? but it is important to remember that there are impacts to your body not immediately apparent, that you need to pay attention to, e.g. kidneys, liver, blood pressure, etc. If you want to get more aggressive with your cycles, plan way ahead and get regular blood work done to monitor things after each cycle completes and clears.

· AAS and Birth Control do not interact.However the effects they each promote are opposing ? birth control works to regulate estrogen (including estrogen-pattern bodyfat depositing) while AAS promotes lean muscle mass.

· AAS can promote yeast infections / vaginosis.Any AAS or sex hormone manipulator (including AIs) can promote yeast infections. It is always recommended to supplement with acidophilus to help prevent these.

AAS and Birth Control

One of the most common questions asked is about AAS and Birth Control. Women typically experience an interruption of their menstrual cycle while on any sex hormone-manipulating cycle (AAS or ?anti-estrogen?). This does NOT mean that you cannot get pregnant. Despite the lack of flow, other typical menstrual sides can be present when ?that time of the month? is expected ? including bloating, breast sensitivity, moodiness, etc.

There is very little to nothing published on the topic of the interaction of birth control and anabolic androgenic steroids so it is hard to say how they truly interact. For the usual purpose of women using steroids, to cut, it is more than that the effects of birth control and steroids promote opposing results, so the end result is less than completely optimal effects of either. Birth control?s purpose is to regulate estrogen levels. For some this may mean controlling higher levels during a period, or for others this might mean promoting more if they experience irregular periods. This also includes the usual water retention and estrogen-pattern fat depositing around the stomach, hips and thighs areas. While a steroid is trying to promote lean muscle mass, and in some cases, even a ?fat burning? effect. Even while the steroid may interrupted the menstrual flow, the birth control will still support prevention of pregnancy.

If a cycle is used for off-season mass-building, the need for staying lean is less of an issue. However for competition cutting, it can be an issue. The trade-off is to continue using birth control, and possibly not get the full effect of the cutting in the stomach / hips / thighs area but still getting the pregnancy prevention, or dropping the birth control, using a back-up birth control method (e.g. condoms) and have less of an impact from the estrogen-pattern fat depositing. Another option for many older competitors is an intra-uterine device (IUD). The copper IUD is completely non-hormonal, or another option such as Mirena, has a low-dose of slow-release progesterone to help address bleeding which can be an issue with the copper IUD. IUDs must be inserted by your OB/GYN and stay in place for up to five years. For this reason, this is only recommended for older women or those who do not intend to have any more children. This is something you need to discuss with your OB/GYN. The cost tends to run around $600 and may or may not be covered by your health insurance.

Another concern that women often with steroid use is recovery of the menstrual cycle. Noting I have yet to see a published study on this, the following paragraphs come with a caveat that this is from anecdotal and observational information and suggested as practical guidance and not a medical verity. If you have lost your period for an unusually long time and are concerned, always consult your OB/GYN.

The menstrual tends to be sensitive to changes in its environment ? ranging from stress, to increased physical activity, sudden weight or bodyfat drop, introduction of steroids, or an estrogen manipulator such as a new birth control dose or use of an anti-estrogen. It will tend to turn off flow (and in the extreme, amenorrhea) or have breakthrough bleeding or sporadic periods while it deals with the change in its environment. When things have returned to a state of homeostasis, things will generally return to normal, including the usual monthly flow and the usual side effects of estrogen-pattern bodyfat depositing, water retention, cramps, etc.

To gauge roughly how long it should take for an interrupted menstrual cycle to return, look first at the compound you are using and its detection time. This is far end of the duration the compound is present in your system. It can be up to this long, or to a point where the concentration of the compound has dropped to where the rest of the body is comfortable and ready to turn things back on. And then, keeping in mind that the menstrual cycle works on a 28-day schedule, it will generally want a full month of a stable environment before it may start up again.

If you have concern, always consult your OB/GYN. There are prescriptions that are available to help reintroduce a period.

A last comment is about steroids and pregnancy. Again there are no medical studies available, but general guidance is to allow a good six months after a cycle to clear before attempting to get pregnant. Be sure to work closely with your personal physician if you plan to get pregnant and ensure that all of your basic bloodwork, and everything else is in order. The concern is that the presence of steroid compounds in the female system while a fetus is growing, can affect the sex hormones of the fetus, producing androgenic fetal abnormalities. Some of this mentioned here:, but all in all, you would want to ensure a steroid-free environment for your child. There are many women who have cycled, who then stopped, cleared out and have had healthy children with no problem. Steroid use will not leave you infertile.
If the father is using steroids when the mother gets pregnant, there is no effect on the fetus itself. The concern for men using steroids is more related to the steroid-driven suppression of natural testosterone production, and in the extreme, infertility. Again, that said, there are many men who have conceived while on cycle with no issue
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