Last winter, I tried to restart my HPTA. I had some serious side effects from the Clomid dose I was taking, and I had some other life issues going on, so I went back on TRT with a prescription for topical cream and HCG from Defy. I can honestly say that the topical cream and HCG combo worked great for me. I was at 4 clicks per day on the cream (can't remember what dose that comes to, but everyone is different), and 100 i.u. HCG every day. I didn't take any AIs with that protocol, and, to be honest, it was the best protocol I've been on. But, my wife was diagnosed with PCOS, and I had to reevaluate taking topical androgens. I decided the risk to her health wasn't worth it, so I stopped taking testosterone on August 30th. I injected HCG 150 i.u. per day from the 30th of August until September 25th, and then I switched to Clomid 12.5mg every other day, and Tamoxifen 5mg on the off days when I don't take Clomid.
I should note that I've been on TRT for 7 years. I am 43 years old, going to be 44 in November.
Results so far: Fewer side effects from Clomid. I did experience some discomfort when switching from topical testosterone to HCG only, but I think that is due in part because the androgens cleared my system much faster than they did when I was taking injectables. I also went through a rough patch switching from HCG to Clomid and Tamoxifen, but that has passed. I still have some mood swings from taking the Clomid. I think that just goes with the territory, but I think higher doses make them more intense. Most days, I feel pretty normal. I do have days where I feel fatigued, but I also have Rheumatoid Arthritis, so that could be a big factor there. My libido hasn't been in the stratosphere, but I have no problems with performance. I do notice some acne, and I have had moments of hot flashes, but those were mostly when transitioning from HCG to Clomid. I do notice the Tamoxifen keeps nipple soreness at bay. I did have that issue the last time I was taking Clomid at 25mg per day. I did have a sensation of ocular pressure when I started Clomid, but that has subsided.
I am taking my medications under the supervision of a reproductive endocrinologist here in the Philippines. For me, a successful restart would put my total testosterone in the 400s and my free testosterone in the low normal range. I honestly think that the best healer is time, and that most of the causes for low T in my case are environmental, lifestyle, and stress related. My goal is to give my body a minimum of 6 months to recover. Honestly, I'm thinking it might take several months after ceasing all drugs for my body to stabilize. The plan is to taper my dosage after a few months, and see how things hold up once I have ceased all medications. To be honest, it hasn't been as hard as it was last winter when I tried to restart. I have a lot of support and I just have a better attitude in general. For me, it's not a matter of can I recover, it's a matter of when. I said in my last restart that it is a marathon, not a sprint, and I still believe that.
As an aside, after reading many, many medical journals and PCT logs, it seems to me that most PCT protocols fail because the duration of the protocol is too short, the introduction of SERMs occurs before androgens have left the system, SERM dosage is too high (which I think causes some serious estrogen related issues during recovery), and the synergistic qualities of Nolvadex and Clomid are not considered, and medications are often not tapered at the end of treatment. No, I'm not a doctor, so this is just my layman's speculation on the issue of HPTA recovery. It's just that I've noticed that the few journals I could dig up where men recovered after several years of TRT (men in their 50s), more conservative doses of SERMS were used over a longer period of time and those dosages were tapered at the end of treatment. I also think failure is linked to expectations and anxiety linked to expectations. There's a mental aspect to it. For instance, a man who is used to having testosterone levels artificially elevated to the 800s or 900s is not going to feel the same at the 400s or 500s naturally. I think seeing bloodwork that is lower than the upper limits has a psychological effect also.
Anyhow, sorry for the long, meandering post. I won't be updating every day, but I will pop in from time to time to give updates.