Posted 7/11/2017 2:47 PM (GMT -6)
Those of you who have ever owned an unaltered buck hamster will probably remember that his "badges of authority" were hard to miss. Mine, on the other hand, are hard to find.
I was reading something the other day about hypogonadism -- about how one could make some guesses about its cause based on the size, the firmness, and the sensitivity of the testes. It's been almost three years since my ADT ended and the kinetics of my testosterone recovery have been disappointing. It occurred to me that I hadn't checked on the boys for a while and I decided to go looking for them the next time I was in the shower.
Ah. THERE's something on the left. No, wait... It's a bit too plasticy feeling. That's the pump for my implant. BUT over THERE on the right! Hmm. No, that's the control for my sphincter. I was SURE they were here somewhere... Oh, THERE's one of them. I had found "Lefty" and then, after a minute's more groping, I identified "Dexter". JEEZ, I thought, They are sorta tiny.
If you were to transplant my boys onto a buck hamster he would be justifiably proud, being somewhat above average in that department.
Fortunately, I already had a plan in place to try to fix this. I've been taking clonidine citrate for a while now because it will sometimes stimulate natural production of testosterone. But it hasn't been working. My T level has been dropping and I am now unarguably hypogonadial at 124 ng/dL. So, Plans A, B, and C having failed, on to Plan D: human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG).
The most common use of hCG is for women wanting to get pregnant. Women needing a little help conceiving get frequent small doses to encourage ovulation, with a higher incidence of twins and triplets being a common side effect. For a woman who requires in vitro fertilization to conceive they give her a whole bunch of hCG all at once and two days later she'll be popping out eggs by the dozen for them to "harvest". There is a certain pleasing circularity to using hCG to encourage pregnancy since it is made by extraction from the urine of pregnant women.
It is also used for adolescent males experiencing delayed puberty, and for trying to jump-start the junk of older men with Late-Onset Hypogonadism (LOH) like me.
I am the first among my MO's patients to try hCG for faltering recovery after ADT and it took us several days of research to decide on a dosing regimen: 1500 units, three times a week for four weeks, then 1250 units, twice a week thereafter until success is declared or the money runs out. It comes in 10,000 unit vials (coincidentally, the single dose given to women prior to iVF) and, armed with a coupon from goodrx.com, I managed to score a vial for a mere $105. That'll last me two weeks, as will the second vial. After that it's basically one vial a month.
There is, in theory, a "generic" available but I don't think anyone bothers with it since the price seems to be the same. My little bottle is a brand name product called Pregnyl.
If it works Dexter and Lefty should wake up and grow, regaining some of their former magnificence, and get back to work. My next lab work is in three months. Maybe I'll see some results by then.