Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) is a human hormone made by chorionic cells in the fetal part of the placenta. It is generally engaged in the treatment of infertility. HCG is produced by the placenta during pregnancy. It serves to maintain the corpus luteum during pregnancy and also influences steroid production.
Mechanism of action
The mechanism of action depends upon the purpose for which it is being used.
- Adult females – HCG has actions like those of luteinizing hormone which appears to have extra follicle-stimulating hormone activity. HCG promotes the development and maintenance of the corpus lutetium and the production of progesterone.
- Adult and adolescent males– HCG act like luteinizing hormone. It stimulates the production of testosterone. Response to treatment is also noted by the development of masculine features and the regulation of serum testosterone levels.
- Male infants and children – HCG acts like luteinizing hormone. It causes the Leydig cells of the testes to produce a testosterone surge and induce the descent of palpable testes.
- All Genders – HCG has no known effects on appetite or on mobilization or distribution of body fat. It is effective for weight loss or treatment of obesity. In sports, HCG is used as an undetectable anabolic steroid. It helps to increase the body’s production of epitestosterone and testosterone without increasing the ration of the two hormones in the urine above normal values.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) is given medically and intramuscularly. Like other polypeptides, HCG is degraded in the gastrointestinal tract which requires a parenteral administration.
HCG is directed for different reasons such as:
- HCG injections can be used with other fertility drugs to increase the chance of pregnancy among women.
- HCG helps with the production of testosterone and sperm in men or adolescent boys.
- HCG injections are also used for male children with a birth problem of the testes or cryptorchidism.
Doses may vary from person to person. Dosage regimens of urine-derived HCG depend upon the patient’s age, weight, gender, the condition being treated and the prescribing clinician’s judgment.
Contraindications and precautions
Your health provider needs to know if you have the following:
- kidney disease
- heart disease
- ovarian cancer or cysts
- a migraine
- prostate cancer
- allergic reaction to HCG
Your health provider will check your urine samples, ultrasound and blood tests.
Adverse reaction/ Side effects
The possible side effects of HCG include:
- changes in emotions
- irritation or inflammation at the injection site
- a headache
There are other signs of allergic reactions such as:
- itching or hives
- swelling on the face, lips, or tongue
- skin rash
- enlargement of breast, penis, or testes
- development of facial or pubic hair
- a sudden increase in height and weight
- stomach or pelvic pain
- shortness of breath
- passing of small amount of urine