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libido issues on cruise / reduced erection quality

Serotonin101

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Since this is for a specific issue you wouldn’t really need to get all that blood work at once.

I’d go with serum and free testosterone as well as a sensitive e2 panel. After that I’d look at prolactin/DHT/SHBG based on the results of the testosterone/e2.

There’s so much that can go into sex drive and function though (dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, NO, and ACh to name a few and potentially a lot more) along with all the typical hormones so I agree that blood are probably the best starting point but they may very well not reveal anything.

At that point you gotta go back to throwing things at the wall and see what sticks which is what I’ve been doing. Gotta love the human body lol
This. Simple hormone panel should suffice for most issues. Can always get more tests done if needed. But it could be as simple as just a test:dht:estro issue. Though it couldn't hurt to get cbc and Chem panel done just for overall health purposes.
 

TrenE

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Thanks, I will try to afford one, but to be honest test, dht, estro is about 100$ which is currently much for me as my last blood work was some months ago for 200$ during my blast.

Previous blood work with 350mg test shows test at 12ng/ml (3.5-9) and estradiol at 70pg/ml (<44).

For 500mg test it shows test at 28ng/ml (3.5-9), estradiol at 100pg/ml (<44) and dht at 0.7ng/ml (0.16-1.1). Maybe dht could be expected to be higher?

Now I am on 250mg test.

But I get your point that without blood work you can not further assist. I will keep you updated.

But one additional question: What to do if dht is to low due to a decreased 5α-reductases?
 
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Serotonin101

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You would basically have to supplement with a dht derivative or dht itself to bring it up to a sufficient level.
 

TrenE

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Would you say that above dht values indicate that the conversion rate to dht seems to be to low?

What is the "gold standard" for increasing dht these days, drostanolone/masteron or proviron or another?
 

Serotonin101

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Honestly it'd be hard to say what would be "ideal" as you have no reference to an equivalent dose. You could always find the ratios of the other doses and compare to those for a ball park range. The blood work would more or less be to evaluate if something is really out of whack that you may not realize.
As per replacing dht, pure dht like stanolone would be best but it's pricy. Proviron and mast can work as well.
 

TrenE

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250mg test e7d every Friday no AI.

Because it was annoying that nothing has worked I took another 250mg on Tuesday and for the last two days I have taken 1mg Arimidex every day. Today libido increased and erection was possible again. So I guess:
- DHT was to low and/or
- estrogen was to high in relation and/or
- androgen receptors are insensitive due to high dosages in the past

Does the intake of an ai increase dht as due to the ai there is more free testosterone to get converted to dht, because the conversion to estrogen is decreased?
 

Serotonin101

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250mg test e7d every Friday no AI.

Because it was annoying that nothing has worked I took another 250mg on Tuesday and for the last two days I have taken 1mg Arimidex every day. Today libido increased and erection was possible again. So I guess:
- DHT was to low and/or
- estrogen was to high in relation and/or
- androgen receptors are insensitive due to high dosages in the past

Does the intake of an ai increase dht as due to the ai there is more free testosterone to get converted to dht, because the conversion to estrogen is decreased?
Yes. Now that you have at least temporarily remedied your situation, titrate your drugs accordingly. 1 shot a week is not adequate for a lot of people. I'd opt for 2 shots a week. Ai taken on injection days to minimize aromatization. Less aromatization would mean higher test which would equate to more interaction with 5a-reductase thus more dht.
 

scatterday

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250mg test e7d every Friday no AI.

Because it was annoying that nothing has worked I took another 250mg on Tuesday and for the last two days I have taken 1mg Arimidex every day. Today libido increased and erection was possible again. So I guess:
- DHT was to low and/or
- estrogen was to high in relation and/or
- androgen receptors are insensitive due to high dosages in the past

Does the intake of an ai increase dht as due to the ai there is more free testosterone to get converted to dht, because the conversion to estrogen is decreased?
As above, Injecting once per week isn't a good protocol and 1mg of Anastrozole for 2 days would have been enough to seriously crash your estrogen. How are you feeling currently?

I know when I've crashed my E2 numerous times in the past I get really bad night sweats and frequent urination. My body just doesn't hold onto any water if my E2 is crashed. It's a miserable feeling.

I recommend twice weekly injections at bare minimum, More if you want to further reduce the need for an ai. I'd attempt EOD injections to try reduce the need for an ai even further. They're terrible for you!

Blood work 1 month after you make the adjustments to your protocol with sensitive estradiol included in the hormone panel.
 

Swim15

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I’ll also throw in for every day pinning as I just started and I’ve been loving it. Pre-load slin puns and the shot takes 5 seconds every morning
 

TrenE

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Yes. Now that you have at least temporarily remedied your situation, titrate your drugs accordingly. 1 shot a week is not adequate for a lot of people. I'd opt for 2 shots a week. Ai taken on injection days to minimize aromatization. Less aromatization would mean higher test which would equate to more interaction with 5a-reductase thus more dht.
How do you handle the rest of the ampule in terms of keeping sterility? Draw out the remaining 125 mg of the ampule and store it in the syringe?

I’ll also throw in for every day pinning as I just started and I’ve been loving it. Pre-load slin puns and the shot takes 5 seconds every morning
Have you already notived any libido changes? I still prefer i.m. inections.


As above, Injecting once per week isn't a good protocol and 1mg of Anastrozole for 2 days would have been enough to seriously crash your estrogen. How are you feeling currently?

I know when I've crashed my E2 numerous times in the past I get really bad night sweats and frequent urination. My body just doesn't hold onto any water if my E2 is crashed. It's a miserable feeling.

I recommend twice weekly injections at bare minimum, More if you want to further reduce the need for an ai. I'd attempt EOD injections to try reduce the need for an ai even further. They're terrible for you!

Blood work 1 month after you make the adjustments to your protocol with sensitive estradiol included in the hormone panel.
My libido and sexual function is back since Friday. Before it was not possible to get an erection.
- Tuesday additional 250mg testosterone
- Thursday 1mg anastrozole
- Friday 1mg anastrozole and regular 250mg testosterone
- Saturday 1mg anastrozole
- Sunday (today) 0.5mg anastrozole

Here is my experience with estradiol levels with and without anastrozole (Arimidex). On these dosages and combinations I have never had any libido problems.
500mg testosterone enanthate
-> estradiol 90pg/ml (<44)

1000mg testosterone enanthate
-> estradiol 155pg/ml (<44)

1000mg testosterone enanthate
0,5mg Arimidex e2d
-> estradiol 71pg/ml (<44)

1500mg testosterone enanthate
0,5mg Arimidex e2d
-> estradiol 99pg/ml (<44)


Therefore I exclude that the libido problems were caused due high estradiol as my libido was even good on 1000mg testosterone without an ai and high estradiol so that estradiol should not be the issue on 250mg testosterone. Do you agree?

I strongly suppose that the reason for my libido issues was that dht was to low* (which was fixed short-term by adding an ai as described) AND that androgen receptors are insensitive due to high dosages in the past (which was fixed short-term by adding additional testosterone).

*as you can see on the first page it looks like my conersion rates to dht seem a bit low in relation to testosterone and estradiol. An experienced guy statet this also to me.

Further investigations on libido on cruising dosages at 250mg or below I will perform after my next blast which I want to start now as I have been cruising for 3 months now.

During my current blast I will at first stay at 500mg test before going up. Also I will switch from anastrozole to aromasin (Exemestane) following these initial dosages of aromasin:
12.5mg aromasin e3d on 500mg testosterone
12.5mg aromasin e3d on 1000mg-1500mg testosterone

As I do not want to take an ai on crusing phases but still want to keep libido I will next time on 250mg or lower replace the testosterone dosage partly with a dht like drostanolone if I again face libido problems. This should be "healthier" than further taking an ai to keep libido up. E.g. 100mg testosterone + 100mg drostanolone should be "healthier" than 200mg testosterone + 12,5mg aromasin e3d. Would you also agree?
 

Serotonin101

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You can keep it in a syringe or put it in a sterile vial to store short term.
Also receptor desensitization doesn't occur. So your previous use of high dosage won't impact receptor sensitivity or anything like that (there's a lot of literature to support this). Dht could be low which is why I recommended to get blood work just to see where you're at. For all we know, the added testosterone could've remedied the problem by raising dht and it had nothing to do with the AI usage.
 

Swim15

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Ditto on receptor sensitivity and my sex drive hasn’t changed but I also already got it back. If you shoot a lean area then it should be IM with a 29g 1/2” - I shoot quads for this reason
 

TrenE

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But regarding receptor sensitivity recent study on my first post suggests that the body becomes dependent on high dosages which could lead to libido issues. Is my understanding wrong? Could you please explain.

Why are you sure that it was only the additional testosterone which increased dht and not the ai also as you stated (less aromatization by ai for more test and dht)?

I would appreciate if you could answer the question as it would be helpful to know if it does make sense to 1) add an ai or to 2) add additional test or even 3) to replace some test by dht-derivate in cases dht is to low during low or trt dosages of test only. And which effective option would be healthier and safer?
 

Serotonin101

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I've ran high doses for long periods of time and many others have as well without issue dropping to a cruise or even coming off completely.
As for the additional test, the amount of test that aromatizes is small compared to the overall amount of testosterone in the blood. Using an AI would only partially impact that amount of test that aromatizes as well. So you're taking a small number and then lowering it by a small amount. So the amount of test that would instead be aromatized but is instead reduced would be a ridiculously small number. Logically it would make more sense that more test by injection yields greater increase of serum test which would yield greater dht from 5a-redcuctase. Basically it comes down to amount of substrate for 5a-reductase.
As I originally stated, the best route would've been blood work for empirical values instead of just going off trial and error which we are now doing since we don't have blood values from when you were having problems.
 

Swim15

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I don’t think that study necessarily means downregulation and definitely not with AR’s. Maybe on the dopamine system but I’ve always overcome that with stimulants very easily in the past.

I’ve found that having fluctuating levels helps me a lot for whatever reason which is why I cruise on short ester instead of long.

As far as AI vs DHT, you gotta try one at a time which you can’t do with just one AI dose. I’d try the DHT first and stay away from the AI’s as it can be much harder to narrow down and the need for them can fluctuate over time
 

Genetic Freak

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But regarding receptor sensitivity recent study on my first post suggests that the body becomes dependent on high dosages which could lead to libido issues. Is my understanding wrong? Could you please explain.

Why are you sure that it was only the additional testosterone which increased dht and not the ai also as you stated (less aromatization by ai for more test and dht)?

I would appreciate if you could answer the question as it would be helpful to know if it does make sense to 1) add an ai or to 2) add additional test or even 3) to replace some test by dht-derivative in cases dht is to low during low or trt dosages of test only. And which effective option would be healthier and safer?
In answer to your question, there is an initial up-regulation of the AR, but after sustained elevated testosterone levels some desensitization occurs which leads to a decrease in mRNA levels acting as a negative feedback loop.

In several cases it was found that the AR content increased but the binding affinity for androgens decreased resulting in a net loss of testosterone utilization...

To quote your paper:

Results demonstrated preservation of sexual function in men receiving T, with greater improvements noted among those not receiving anastrozole. Findings suggested that both T and estrogen have important effects on sexual function and desire..

You might therefore assume, increasing testosterone slightly, but not lowering estrogen might increase libido for a while, but you will always be trying to keep one step ahead of homeostasis.. (in other words, you're going to have to come off, or significantly lower the dose at some point and start again, this is where things might get interesting regards controlling libido)..

Taper off test, whilst lowering estrogen slightly as it metabolises slower than test, but you're probably going to feel like crap at some point..!!
 

TrenE

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First of all thanks for all your detailed and experienced answers. I hope I can sometime share also my experience to support you.
I've ran high doses for long periods of time and many others have as well without issue dropping to a cruise or even coming off completely.
As for the additional test, the amount of test that aromatizes is small compared to the overall amount of testosterone in the blood. Using an AI would only partially impact that amount of test that aromatizes as well. So you're taking a small number and then lowering it by a small amount. So the amount of test that would instead be aromatized but is instead reduced would be a ridiculously small number. Logically it would make more sense that more test by injection yields greater increase of serum test which would yield greater dht from 5a-redcuctase. Basically it comes down to amount of substrate for 5a-reductase.
As I originally stated, the best route would've been blood work for empirical values instead of just going off trial and error which we are now doing since we don't have blood values from when you were having problems.
I have understood your explanations it does make sense. Of course you are right that I should have done blood work, but as I stated at the moment I was not able to invest in to the blood work especially as I want to start my next blast soon. So if I experience the same problems next time on a cruise I will do a blood work.

I don’t think that study necessarily means downregulation and definitely not with AR’s. Maybe on the dopamine system but I’ve always overcome that with stimulants very easily in the past.

I’ve found that having fluctuating levels helps me a lot for whatever reason which is why I cruise on short ester instead of long.

As far as AI vs DHT, you gotta try one at a time which you can’t do with just one AI dose. I’d try the DHT first and stay away from the AI’s as it can be much harder to narrow down and the need for them can fluctuate over time
I also guess DHT is the way to go also to take a break from all additional medications like AIs. Generally what would you prefer in terms of overall health and safety to increase DHT: increasing the testosterone dosage or replace some of the testosterone by a DHT-derivate like drostanolone and even lower the overall dosages (e.g. 500mg test vs 200mg test + 100mg drostanolone) to keep libido up and encounter problems by lowered dht?

In answer to your question, there is an initial up-regulation of the AR, but after sustained elevated testosterone levels some desensitization occurs which leads to a decrease in mRNA levels acting as a negative feedback loop.

In several cases it was found that the AR content increased but the binding affinity for androgens decreased resulting in a net loss of testosterone utilization...

To quote your paper:

Results demonstrated preservation of sexual function in men receiving T, with greater improvements noted among those not receiving anastrozole. Findings suggested that both T and estrogen have important effects on sexual function and desire..

You might therefore assume, increasing testosterone slightly, but not lowering estrogen might increase libido for a while, but you will always be trying to keep one step ahead of homeostasis.. (in other words, you're going to have to come off, or significantly lower the dose at some point and start again, this is where things might get interesting regards controlling libido)..

Taper off test, whilst lowering estrogen slightly as it metabolises slower than test, but you're probably going to feel like crap at some point..!!
Thanks for your explanation. I should have read the whole paper first.

Of course I did not lower estrogen slightly while tapering down, but problems appeared after 10-12 weeks of cruising with 250mg test per week. Before I had never cruised below 500mg and never received libido problems. So for me the only explanation is that at 250mg there is a too less dht. Also some guys I know do not cruise below 500mg and add some drostanolone while cruising (300mg test + 200 mg drostanolone).

So here is a summary what happened:
1) blasting with a peak of 2g AAS (libido is fine)
2) tapering off test for 3-4 weeks (libido is fine)
3) cruising with 250mg test for 12 weeks (libido is fine, but in retrospect already lowered in the last 1-2 weeks)
4) after 12 weeks of cruising libido is killed.

We are talking about zero libido and massive problems getting an errection solo. While libido was ok we are talking about 2-3 sexual activities per day.

I am pleased that my libido is back due to the additional 250mg test injection. So if this happens again, I will do blood work and inform you. If you have other thoughts about I appreciate your input.

One additional different question, but it belongs to the topic. Are there maybe some long time users of sildenafil? I have been using it for many years, but if I compare the effectivity of it in the past with today it has decreased massively. Several years ago 50mg of sildenafil let me get a strong erection very fast while having only sexual thoughts. Today even with 100mg I need to have some visual and even sometimes physical stimulation to get the same erection and it is more difficult to hold it as it was in the past. Do you have any explanations and can this be fixed somehow? Thank you.
 
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Serotonin101

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I'd personally cruise on test and mast if it's a true cruise you desire. Get some test e and mast e and do like 200/250 test and 100 mast e and inject twice a week (so 0.75cc 2x per week). Should be sufficient to keep dht in range, estrogen sides away, and fix any blood work issues. I've cruised on 600mg before and got blood work to be fine for what it's worth (hdl was a bit low and Ldl was high normal but all was in range).
As per the Viagra question, I couldn't answer that. What were the quality of the tablets? If not pharma it could just be bunk pills. 25mg and I'm throbbing with a stuffy nose and sometimes a migraine headache.
 
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