Ok, so one of the common joked about side effects of anabolic steroid use is the classic “little penis” syndrome, where your penis supposedly shrinks up and gets smaller. We see this used all the time in everything from movies to sitcoms. Does this “joke” have any basis in reality or is it just another popular misconception about anabolic steroid use?
In fact like any popular reference, there is a hint of truth to this myth, but it isn’t at all about the size of your penis, in fact has to do with the testicles. The testicles are responsible for producing the majority of a mans testosterone, therefore when the body senses more than enough testosterone being available (or testosterone analogs like anabolic steroids) in the hypothalamus, it works on a messenger system that controls the entire testosterone releasing process. This process involves the hypothalamus sending a messenger to the pituitary gland which then releases the chemical messengers follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH), collectively known as gonadotropins. These then make their way to the testicles and in turn increase sperm production and testosterone production respectively. Now, when a person takes higher than normal levels of androgens like anabolic steroids, the hypothalamus, sensing there is enough “testosterone” like androgens in the body, reduces these hormones and there for effectively shuts off the testes from making it’s own testosterone. The testes left in this state for 2-12 weeks, will naturally shrink from 10-40% to conserve themselves. Actually, there are studies showing that this “shut down” is not damaging, it actually prolongs the life of the testes and increases their functional life. The “shrinking effect” however is what propagated the myth.
If shrinking is inevitable on a cycle of steroids, what can we do to reverse this as quickly as possible after a cycle of steroids? Popular belief uses anything from time, which we know works, to herbal agents like tribulus, to over the counter testosterone boosters like Formadrol or even prescription breast cancers drugs like Tamoxifen Citrate! These agents are all meant to boost the stimulation of LH and FSH by reducing estrogen.
The hypothalamus is also sensitive to estrogen, which means if it senses a shortage of estrogen, it will also stimulate testosterone production! That is correct, the body’s entire estrogen store is made from testosterone via aromatase. Aromatase is simply an enzyme that converts testosterone and androstenedione to estrogen’s like estradiol and estrone. By blocking this conversion we can “fool” the body into producing more testosterone with its ultimate goal being to boost estrogen. Estrogen governs many biological processes and is essential for proper life. Too much is bad, but you do need some to function at your peak. Prescription drugs like Arimidex and Letrozole have been used by bodybuilders to reduce the testosterone to estrogen conversion. There are natural agents that have similar properties and strengths like 2-Phenyl-Di-Benzyl-Benzopyran-4-One and 3-Beta-Hydroxy-Urs-12-En-28-Oic Acid, both which have been shown in preliminary studies to prevent this conversion.
Prohormones have a similar possible “shut down” effect when taken and it’s also advantageous to use one of these agents after a cycle of prohormones as well. Popular prohormones like 4-AD from Advanced Muscle Sciences and Methyl 1-D from LG Sciences, may also have this health promoting shut down effect. Time will certainly kick start the testes and bring them to normal levels, but the bodybuilder may want to accelerate that process in a similar way to steroid users.
Another way to trick the body is to block estrogen at the receptor level. Prescription drugs like Tamoxifen and Clomiphene are used by underground steroid users to stop the effects of estrogen. These drugs, called competitive antagonists get in the way and take the place of estrogen, yet don’t have the same level of activity, so they “block” the estrogen at the receptor. This approach seems to have a much better effect for bodybuilders coming immediately off cycle, since there is no natural testosterone to convert immediately post cycle. Luckily, natural agents are available that mimic the effects of these prescription drugs. Two popular ones are Resveratrol and Ellagic Acid. Both of these can act like Tamoxifen in preliminary studies, making them ideal immediately post cycle.
The only product I’ve found that has both the aromatase inhibitor and competitive antagonists in a natural supplement is LG Science’s Formadrol (called Forma-D on bodybuilding.com). It should be able to give your boys a nice bounce whether you use prescription products like illegal anabolic steroids or prohormones/prosteroids like Methyl 1-D (M1D).
It’s always best to discuss anything like this with your doctor and weigh the pros and cons of hormone use.
Formadrol Extreme can be found at: