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Post Cycle Therapy For Gynecomastia In Steroid Users

A comprehensive guide on using post cycle therapy to get rid of gynecomastia from steroids.

Post Cycle Therapy For Gynecomastia In Steroid Users2018-12-14T14:27:04+00:00
An infographic about post cycle therapy for gynecomastia

GGynecomastia is excessive breast tissue in adult men and can be caused by a number of reasons [1]. This page is however, about post cycle therapy for gynecomastia and only applies if you have developed gynecomastia as a result of taking steroids [2]. If this is your first visit and you are brand new to gynecomastia, I recommend you read the A-Z guide to gynecomastia to get a hang of the topic and come back here. Below is an illustration showing the anatomy of a chest with gynecomastia compared with that of a normal chest. Post cycle therapy for gynecomastia using pharmacological elements is the first line of treatment that most bodybuilders opt for to get rid of the excessive breast tissue caused by estrogen dominance [3].

An illustration showing difference between gynecomastia and normal chest

Post cycle therapy for gynecomastia is one of the gaps in knowledge that steroid users have.  However, not knowing what post cycle therapy and how important it is for someone who has been cycling with steroids can be the difference between a flat muscular chest and gynecomastia. Before we go into the details of post cycle therapy or simply PCT as it is referred in the bodybuilding community, we have to know what “cycling” is [4].

what is steroid cycling

Cycling means that you are taking multiple doses of steroids over a period of time which is usually between 6-12 weeks [5]. Cycling on refers to the time period that you are using steroids and cycling off means the time interval between steroid cycles [5]. I just wanted to give some background information because contrary to what popular perception, a lot of steroid users are not very knowledgeable in the fundamentals of cycling including post cycle therapy for preventing gynecomastia.

Gynecomastia is one of the visible after-effects of increased estrogen production as a result of steroid use

Why You Should Do Post Cycle Therapy For Gynecomastia

To understand the purpose and scope of post cycle therapy for gynecomastia, we need to first know what actually happens when steroids enter your body and after you cease to use them. Most of the anabolic steroids that are available in the market are derived from the male hormone testosterone and they are converted into the female hormone estrogen through a process called aromatization [6].

Post cycle therapy for gynecomastia can be used to prevent the side effects of aromatisation

Guess what happens?, The female hormone estrogen levels in your body increases to very high levels and one of the most visible after-effect is breast tissue development or gynecomastia [3]. High estrogen levels are one of the main causes of gynecomastia [7].  There are a number of biological and biochemical mechanisms that happens behind the scenes but this is the after-effect. Post cycle therapy for gynecomastia is how you counter and reverse these undesirable effects [5].

What Is Post Cycle Therapy

An illustration of estrogen hormone chemical structure

There are side effects once you start using steroids (cycling on) and once you stop (cycling off) using them and post cycle therapy is a process that involves a number of chemicals, nutrition and pharmacological agents introduced to the body primarily for counteracting the adverse effects of steroids [7]. The adverse effects that we are talking about are excess estrogen, water retention and suppressed natural testosterone production. A proper post cycle therapy will also address muscle loss and reduced stamina that occurs once steroids are stopped or cycled off. Each of these side effects are targeted through one or more of the components in a post-cycle therapy. We will be covering all of them but the focus of this page will be to highlight the importance of post cycle therapy for gynecomastia.

Elements Of Post Cycle Therapy For Gynecomastia


A number of bodily changes occur once steroids enter your body and it is important that you know them. The first change that happens is an excess production of estrogen from testosterone through the process called aromatization [8]. One element of post cycle therapy for gynecomastia called aromatise inhibitors (AI) targets this aromatization process [9,10]. Another change that your body will face is the side effects of excess estrogen and another element in the post cycle therapy for gynecomastia called selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) counters these side effects [11]. The level of testosterone in your body also goes down as a high volume of them are converted into estrogen through the process of aromatization and this is why you have to bring that up to optimum levels with a testosterone booster [12,13]. These three elements are supported by an anti-estrogen diet as well as increased protein intake to prevent muscle loss.

Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator (SERM) and Aromatise Inhibitors (AI) forms the basic foundation of a proper post cycle therapy for gynecomastia [14,15]. Both deal with estrogen but in two different ways. SERM’s on one hand mitigates the risks, side effects and working of estrogen already built up in your body due to steroid use whereas, AI’s try to prevent further production of estrogen from testosterone through the process of aromatization, hence the name aromatise inhibitors [16,17].

How Does A SERM (Selective Estrogen Receptor Modulator) Work In Preventing Gynecomastia

The main role of a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM) in post cycle therapy for gynecomastia is to control the negative effects of excess estrogen. Its mechanism of action and working is different from that of an aromatise inhibitor (AI) [14]. You SHOULD consult a doctor for prescription, contraindications and dosage instructions which will depend on your particular case before taking this.

selective estrogen receptor modulators and aromatise inhibitors used for post cycle therapy requires prescription

How Does An AI (Aromatase Inhibitor) Work In Preventing Gynecomastia

Aromatisation is the chemical process by which the body converts male hormone testosterone into female hormone estrogen [22]. The main role and goal of an aromatase inhibitor (AI) are to prevent this process of aromatizsation in the first place . This is different from a SERM which address the effects of excess estrogen already in the body. You SHOULD consult a doctor for prescription and dosage instructions which will depend on your individual case before taking this.

Side Effects Of SERM’s & AI’s

As with all pharmacological agents that influence the body, selective estrogen receptive modulators (SERM) and aromatase inhibitors (AI) does have side effects and there is no avoiding that fact [9,14]. Post cycle therapy for gynecomastia also holds these risks. Does that mean you should not use them and risk getting gynecomastia? No. You have to be careful and be aware of the side effects and manage them. Not all of the side effects will happen to everyone but the chance of them coming still exists. They key is to use very high quality and reliable SERM’s and AI’s so that the risk of low quality and contaminated products are reduced. Testosterone boosters in general does not have any significant side effects.

Possible Side Effects Of SERM’s

  • Nausea

  • Headaches

  • Discomfort surrounding the chest area

  • Change in mood

  • Acne

Possible Side Effects Of AI’s

  • Nausea with chance of vomiting

  • Joint pain and soreness

  • High blood pressure

  • Hot flashes

  • Headaches

  • Bouts of mild fatigue and weakness

When Does Post Cycle Therapy Does Not Work ?

There is a chance that post cycle therapy for gynecomastia will not work as intended and this can be due to a number of reasons. The main problem in such cases is that a lot of time has passed since the steroids were used and the excess breast tissue that had been formed have been set well into your body. Post cycle therapy for gynecomastia will also have to be discontinued for a minority of users due to high and serious levels of side effects. Another group would be those who are taking medications that will have contraindications for (meaning they do not go well with) SERM’s and AI’s. In all these cases, post cycle therapy for gynecomastia will not be effective [3].

If you are unable to continue with post cycle therapy or if it simply does not work for you even after trying, then the only logical option you have is to go for gynecomastia surgery [3,27]. Gynecomastia surgery is the fastest and guaranteed way you can get  rid of gynecomastia [28,29]. The main challenge for a lot of the men who want to go for surgery is the cost [30]. To know more about the cost of gynecomastia surgery and insurance coverage for gynecomastia surgery, read the A-Z guide to gynecomastia surgery page.

Medically Reviewed By

Medical reviewer at Gynecoma.comThe content of this page was fact checked and medically reviewed by Dr.Sergii Vasyliuk on October 22, 2018. You can read more about him and his credentials at our about page.


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Suggested Further Reading

a-z guide to gynecomastia surgery

the main requirements to get insurance coverage for gynecomastia surgery

causes and frequently asked questions about gynecomastia in teenagers

compression shirts for men with gynecomastia

a-z guide to breast reduction supplements for men

what is man boobs

a detailed guide about causes of gynecomastia

a definitive guide covering everything on gynecomastia surgery cost

an image of a doctor explaining the different available gynecomastia treatment options

a-z guide to breast reduction supplements for men

a comprehensive guide to post cycle therapy to get rid of gynecomastia

the best workouts to lose chest fat for men

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