The simple truth of the matter is this: the thinking on Clomid is based on some very sketchy evidence which has been parroted endlessly among the bodybuilding community. In a way, I'm at fault myself. Allow me to explain.
A few years back, I co-wrote an article with Brock Strasser called "The Steroid Summit." In that piece, I mentioned Clomid and ejaculate volume. Where I was going with this was the fact that I noticed a definite decrease in ejaculate volume and this would indicate that Clomid wasn't doing what it was supposed to do. Brock replied "Oh yeah, Clomid will definitely increase ejaculate" and he went on to say how male porn stars are using it to enhance their "bursts of drama" so to speak. We were tackling a lot of topics and I didn't want to dispute his contention so I let it go. At any rate, wouldn't you know... the rumor about porn stars and Clomid ran rampant. I started hearing it everywhere, even in places unassociated with bodybuilding.
I knew I couldn't be the only person experiencing negative effects from Clomid so I did a little personal survey. It turns out I wasn't as weird as I thought. Out of over 100 bodybuilders I questioned, about 1 in 4 experienced in the use of steroids and aromatase blockers admitted that Clomid didn't have the effects they were hoping for. Many also claimed that Nolvadex, which has a very similar structure to Clomid, caused a loss in libido and a weak ejaculation. Even among those who felt it helped them, there were complaints about "emotional distress" and "weepiness", both of which suggest an increase in estrogen. So how can anyone be sure Clomid is actually beneficial?
Still, the rumors persist.
I was on a popular internet message board recently and someone was claiming that they weren't getting back their atrophied testicles even after using 50mgs of Clomid for two weeks. The resident "guru" suggested taking 100mgs for another two weeks. This line of thinking is straight from the middle ages when doctors prescribed leeches to cure a disease -- if the patient got sicker from the treatment the solution was; more leeches! Ridiculous? Of course. Some things never change.
There are several major problems associated with Clomid, as well as Arimidex, Nolvadex, Teslac or any other estrogen blocker. For one thing, all these compounds are indiscriminate in how much estrogen they block. So what's bad about that? Well, the whole point of using an anti-estrogen is to protect against the spillover of estrogen that comes with the excessive use of androgens. If the body can't metabolize all that testosterone, it aromatizes into estrogens. What the experts fail to address is the fact that the amount of aromatization varies greatly from individual to individual. If the steroid dosages are moderate, there might not be any aromatization of any consequence, and the anti-estrogens may lower levels below what they were normally! And keep one very important fact in mind. A little estrogen in men is necessary for a healthy libido. (It's also necessary for other things such as bone density, skin tone, etc., but I can't think of anything more important to most men than their dicks.)
More recently, it's even been suggested that estrogen may play a role in the proliferation of androgen receptors. This may explain why some experienced steroid users claim that they get decreased results when adding an anti-estrogen to their stack. It was once thought that anti-estrogens such as Nolvadex decreased IGF-1, but this has not been validated with any concrete evidence. Nevertheless, studies done on rats found that androgen receptor binding was dramatically increased after the administration of estradiol, increasing the anabolic potency of the androgenic steroid. If nothing else, this shows that estrogen is, on some level, directly or indirectly involved in the process of promoting muscle growth. There's also the added element of strength and size gains due to the water retention that estrogen inflicts. And just as a kicker, anti- estrogens may also increase sex hormone binding globulin which is the last thing you want when coming off a cycle.
Clomid has also been known to produce a decrease in the LH response to LH releasing hormone. This is something that has been known for a while, (findings on this date as far back as 1978) yet curiously ignored. Naturally, studies aren't conducted to benefit the bodybuilder on steroids, so we must learn to read between the line sometimes. In doing so, conclusions can be drawn. All too often steroid gurus draw them incorrectly.
The notion of increased sperm count is also one of contention. Allow me to get technical for a moment and break my own rule about references for a second while I cite this quote from a study done on Clomid. "Treatments with idiopathic oligospermia for six to nine months resulted in a significant increase in gonadotropin testosterone and estradiol levels. A significant increase in sperm density was observed only in subjects with low sperm count below normal basal FSH levels. In cases where sperm density increased, FSH levels decreased, suggesting an inhibitory effect."
What this suggests in plain English is that not everyone reacts to Clomid treatment in the same way and sperm levels must be abnormally suppressed for the drug to be of any benefit. And even in situations where that is the case, the side effect was lowered Follicle Stimulating Hormone, which as you may know, controls the amount of Leutinizing Hormone we release which in turn regulates how much testosterone we have. This is why so many bodybuilders claim to crash after coming off of the Clomid.
Judging from this information it's clear that Clomid, at best, is a crap shoot and its benefits, if any, are temporary. So why is everyone still taking it? Of course, this is hypothesis on my part and a lot of the pedants and pundits will refuse to acknowledge it. After all, all the pros use Clomid. Why should anyone listen to me? They don't have to, but they should.
I was speaking with Jerry Brainum on this very subject. I should mention, Jerry, unlike some of the self-appointed experts that abound on the internet and the world of underground newsletters, is one of the most knowledgeable people in the business on the subject of nutrition and pharmacology. He's been writing on the subject before most of these pseudo whiz kids were born. He knows everybody who is anybody in the world of bodybuilding. When I mentioned my theories about Clomid he said to me; "You're not alone. I don't know a single pro who still uses Clomid."
This in itself speaks volumes. Of course, it may not be the best validation for my argument since there are plenty of pro bodybuilders who are complete jackasses when it comes to knowledge and application of anabolics. He or she usually hires someone who knows something, or more likely, can get something. The protocol is then to load the syringe to the top and keep shooting until the stash is gone. Nevertheless, the fact that Clomid has lost its allure among the higher echelon on the bodybuilding ranks is a sure sign it isn't working well. If it did, they'd all use it, even if they stayed on 365 days a year. Who wouldn't want to maintain testicular size and increase natural production while keeping estrogen low? If Clomid was effective in doing so, there'd be no reason to stop. They know what works and what doesn't. And they know that Clomid sucks. (Of course, there's always some lunkhead who doesn't catch on right away.)
Forget Clomid. For more effective methods of keeping excess estrogen in check, read on.