Many people are still under the mistaken belief that SARMs don’t need a PCT protocol, but that’s just false for a myriad of reasons.
First of all, SARMs do suppress the endocrine system which means that you’ll experience mild to heavy Testosterone suppression from SARMs.
Moreover, it’s pretty hard to determine whether you need PCT for SARMs based on subjective feelings alone – you need to perform a blood test to be 100% sure if you require PCT.
Lastly, what has to be mentioned is that each body is different and that’s why I’ve included genetics when talking about Testosterone suppression in a later chapter.
There have been cases where people took YK11 or S23 and didn’t need any PCT at all. Conversely, I’ve heard of some bodybuilders getting heavy suppression from something mild like Ostarine.
In this article, we’ll learn what PCT is, how to use it for SARMs, what the best compounds for PCT are, and lastly, where to buy PCT supplements.
When you start pumping Testosterone into your body that is not naturally produced, your body reacts by slowing or completely shutting down natural Testosterone production.
All is fine and dandy so long you’re taking the SARM in question, as you’re still getting Testosterone to flow through your body.
The problem arises once you stop taking SARMs, it is at that point where your body is producing almost no Testosterone of its own, and this leads to many side effects to be experienced.
An example would be depression, lethargy, mood swings and loss of muscle mass and strength.
Since your body needs time to realize that no exogenous Testosterone is being administered anymore, bodybuilders use PCT to speed up the process of their natural Testosterone production.
We can now conclude that PCT (Post Cycle Therapy) basically stands for the group of actions taken after a SARM or steroid cycle that are meant to facilitate the production of endogenous Testosterone.
If you fail to do a PCT protocol after SARMs, you’ll experience the above-mentioned side effects of Testosterone suppression.
Not only that but since your body isn’t in a state of homeostasis, i.e. its hormones are in disarray, you’re putting yourself at risk of estrogen dominance.
Estrogen and progesterone experience a giant surge once Testosterone levels are low, the reason behind that being the fact that these two hormones, Testosterone and Estrogen, act as antagonists towards each other.
This can lead to gynecomastia, which is not a funny thing to have; it can destroy your personal image and confidence, and it can be hard to get rid of.
Do All SARMs Need a PCT
Not all SARMs need PCT, but some of them do.
Actually, the only reliable way of determining whether a SARM needs a PCT or not is to get a blood test.
A blood test is a personal picture of your hormone levels, and that is something that can’t be replaced or outshone by anything.
Because Testosterone suppression isn’t something we can measure on bodybuilders as a whole, it is quite subjective in nature, meaning that I can only talk about how the average person experiences Testosterone suppression from SARMs.
I’ll talk a bit more about this once we reach the main part of the article.
How To Determine if You Need a PCT
I’ve already mentioned this, but we have to delve deeper into it in order for everyone to understand just how important it is to get a blood test done.
I know that some people reading this are deployed or unable to get a blood test done for some other reason, but I urge you to consider just how dangerous it is to play around with your body like that.
Nowadays, I would never use SARMs without getting at least two blood tests done, one before and one after my cycle.
Other factors that determine whether you’ll need PCT are:
Type of SARM
Some SARMs, like Ostarine and Andarine are milder than their counterparts, LGD 4033 and RAD 140.
The most suppressive SARMs out there are YK11 and S23.
The type of SARM that you used is one of the most important markers as to whether you’ll need PCT or not.
Some people consider Andarine and Ostarine to be so mild that they start using astronomical dosages, 50mgs or more per day.
While they might be milder than the other SARMs out there, they are still suppressive and at such high dosages, you can expect medium to heavy Testosterone suppression.
It’s best to keep your dosage low if you want to avoid doing PCT.
Others overdo it with their cycle length, going up to 12 or 16 weeks with SARMs that are usually only cycled for eight weeks.
I would personally never cycle SARMs for longer than eight weeks, that seems to be the sweet spot where you get the benefits promised by the SARMs in question, without risking too much suppression or negative side effects.
Keep in mind that some SARMs will suppress even if you’re just taking them for eight weeks.
Your gender plays an important role when it comes to the consumption of SARMs, especially when dosages are concerned.
The average female bodybuilder weighs around 20-50 pounds less than the average male bodybuilder, which makes all the difference when it comes to imbuing SARMs.
To avoid the negative effects of virilization, women should opt for half the dosage that men usually take.
This is the one thing we don’t have much influence on. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to use the stronger SARMs out there without experiencing Testosterone suppression or having to do PCT.
Keep in mind that this only applies to a small subset of people and that not everyone is born that lucky.
SARMs That Likely Don’t Need PCT
In this section, I’ll be listing the SARMs that likely don’t need PCT. Please bear in mind that these are all assumptions and that without a personal blood test performed by you alone, these all remain nothing but assumptions based on experience.
Ostarine is generally considered mild, but it still suppresses the endocrine system. However, if you use it in normal dosages and cycle lengths, you will not need to do PCT for it.
I’ve written an entire article on this topic, you can check out our Ostarine PCT guide here.
Compared to Ostarine, Andarine is similar in strength and will bestow you with similar results.
Remember to take it for no longer than eight weeks and in the recommended dosages as illustrated by our Andarine review and you won’t need to do a PCT.
SARMs That Likely Do Need PCT
Ligandrol is one of the most suppressive SARMs out there as it is a full agonist of the androgen receptor.
People taking dosages as low as 5mgs a day have reported heavy Testosterone suppression from it, so you should be careful while imbuing Ligandrol.
If you really don’t want to do PCT for it, I suggest you read our LGD 4033 with no PCT guide.
A dosage of 2,5mgs is used, which really shouldn’t suppress you that much.
Although RAD140 isn’t a full agonist of the androgen receptor like Ligandrol, it still is highly suppressive, and one has to watch his dosages carefully.
It’s very likely that you’ll need to do PCT after a RAD140 cycle, especially if you’ve consumed dosages of 10mgs a day or more.
If you want to avoid doing PCT with RAD140, I’ve got check out my guide on RAD140 PCT.
Playtime is over, as with YK11, one cannot avoid doing PCT – you simply have to do it.
I personally recommend Clomid for the job, which is a SERM I’ll talk about in a future section.
Same as with YK11, there is no playing around with S23. It’s the strongest SARM to date and no other SARM can rival its power.
It’s highly suppressive and you’ll need to do a four-week PCT for it, it’s just mandatory if you want to feel good again.
Now that we’ve explored all the SARMs that do and don’t need PCT, it is time to introduce some PCT supplements into the fray.
Nolvadex is a popular trade name for Tamoxifen Citrate, a SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator) which is used for the treatment of breast cancer in women.
Nolvadex binds to the estrogen receptors in our body, leaving no room for your natural estrogen to reach abnormal levels.
Besides that, it also helps facilitate the production of your natural Testosterone levels, so it has a dual role in the body.
Nolvadex is usually taken in either 20mg or 40mg dosages a day when used for PCT by bodybuilders.
If you want to know the exact science behind it all, as well as some good tips and tricks, refer to my article on Nolvadex.
Clomid is the brand name for Clomiphene (Clomifene), which is a popular SERM used to treat infertility in women.
Clomid is stronger than Nolvadex and has more side effects, but it works wonders against the suppression caused by potent SARMs such as YK11 and S23.
Like Nolvadex, Clomid also binds to the estrogen receptors in your body and it also helps with the production of two hormones essential for the creation of new natural Testosterone, those being FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) and LH (Luteinizing Hormone).
Clomid is used in either 25mg or 50mg dosages a day when utilized as a PCT supplement by athletes.
If you’re interested in learning more about Clomid, its side effects, and how to properly imbue it, check out our Clomid PCT after SARMs article.
PCT Side Effects
I’m of the opinion that PCT should be avoided at all costs, if possible.
The reason behind that is because it has side effects which can seriously affect your day-to-day life. Some of them can be quite serious and require you to discontinue usage or visit a doctor.
Luckily for us, these are quite rare and it’s very likely that you won’t experience them.
Here are some of the most common side effects of PCT supplements that you should be aware of:
- Upset Stomach
- Hot Flashes
- Mood Swings
- Discomfort in The Breast Area
- Muscle Cramps/Pain
- Hair Shedding
- Libido Loss
While these might sound harsh on paper, they are not that serious, and you’ll get over them without the need of any outside medical attention.
However, if you experience of any of the following, immediately discontinue usage and contact your local doctor:
- Changes in Vision
- Changes in Personality
- Shortness of Breath
- Chest Pain
- Eye Pain
- Swollen Feet
These are not to be taken lightly as they can seriously impact your life in a negative way. It’s best that you keep an eye out for any of these side effects and remain prepared for the worst.
The good news is that I’ve used PCT several times and never experienced any of the harsher symptoms. The worst thing that happened to me personally was a bit of a headache and nausea coupled with a few stomach issues.
Other than that, I felt completely fine and went on to power through the four-weeks without much hassle.
Where to Buy PCT Supplements
Most PCT supplements are actually approved by the FDA, but you still need a prescription to use them – you can’t buy them over the counter.
Doctors are quite leery in prescribing them, so your best bet is to buy it from a vendor.
Here is where problems arise – it’s quite difficult to find a reliable vendor that sells PCT supplements.
On top of that, a lot of websites sell fake PCT products.
That is why I keep an up-to date list of top sites to buy PCT products from.
These are companies that I’ve tested myself and I’m 100% confident in.
The most important thing that I keep in mind when updating the list of top PCT companies is quality. If a company doesn’t have 100% reliable PCT products, I don’t go nowhere near it.
However, I also keep in mind affordability, shipping speed, other products on the site, etc.
PCT is a necessary evil, especially if you’re using potent SARMs like S23 or YK11. It’s a lifesaver in those circumstances and you’re best off not shirking your duties as the consequences are quite dire.
All in all, I do recommend that you take PCT when you’re experiencing heavy Testosterone suppression, but you should not use it if you’re only experiencing mild or medium suppression.
We’ve seen that PCT has some side effects that can seriously affect one’s life, so it’s best to stay on your toes.