How Does HCG Injection Help With Pregnancy?

HCG Injections

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or HCG is a hormone found in both males and females.  However, it is at higher levels in women’s bodies during pregnancy. HCG injection is used in combination with other fertility drugs to increase a woman’s chance of pregnancy. In men or adolescent boys, it helps the production of testosterone and sperm. 

What are the Effects of HCG Injections?

HCG is used in combination with other fertility drugs to increase a woman’s chance of pregnancy.  It also has positive effects that help men with HH conceive, increasing sperm levels in about 25% of men according to one study. HCG is also used in male children with cryptorchidism, a specific birth problem of the testes.

How Do HCG Injections Help With Pregnancy?

An HCG injection can mature an egg follicle in the ovary because it is similar to the luteinizing hormone. The medication can be used alone, in an ovulation induction cycle as with intrauterine insemination, or during in vitro fertilization. Ovulation will occur approximately 36 hours after taking it, allowing your healthcare provider to better time intrauterine insemination or egg retrieval.

How Do HCG Injections Work?

Since HCG reacts with your body in the same way as LH, it is often used to induce ovulation. Ovulation is necessary for pregnancy and injections to help the ovaries release eggs. When there is a follicle in the ovary, a shot can help cause the egg to be released as part of ovulation.  Injections are also used to time egg retrievals in an IVF cycle.  As the hormone triggers the egg’s final growth spurt and releases from the follicles, injections are sometimes referred to as trigger shots.

How Many Injections Are Recommended?

Fertility treatments are highly specific to each person.  Injection timing and the amount will be determined by your doctor based on your specific health issues and fertility treatment.  Depending on your specific situation, injections can be used alone or in conjunction with other fertility drugs. 

Typically injections are 5,000 to 10,000 units of the hormone to be administered subcutaneously or intramuscularly.  You should always follow the directions of your doctor when it comes to the schedule and timing of injections.

What Are Its Side Effects?

Stomach cramps

Severe side effects include breathing difficulties and swelling in your face, lips, or tongue. These side effects do not come all at once or may not occur at all. Seek immediate medical help in severe cases of side effects. Other side effects may include:

  • Rapid weight gain or swelling around your waist
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Severe stomach pain 
  • Pelvic pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Little or no urination at all
  • Stomach pain and bloating
  • Foamy mucus
  • Shortness of breath

Common side effects that may occur to most people:

  • Headache and restlessness
  • Irritability and or depression
  • Swelling or tenderness of the breast
  • Pain in the injection site

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice in case of severe or persistent side effects.

How Long Does HCG Shots Stays In Your System?

It takes about 10 days for the hormone to clear from blood and urine. There are cases in that you may get a false positive because you are detecting the medication that is still in your blood and urine, not the hormone that a pregnancy is making.

holding blood

How Can You Measure Your HCG Levels?

A blood test is the most accurate way to detect and track levels.  Home pregnancy tests detect the presence of pregnancy hormones but cannot tell you the amount of hormone in your urine. Despite some pregnancy tests on the market indicating if your hormone levels have risen over a baseline.

Fertility tracking systems can help you track other fertility hormones like luteinizing hormone, and estrogen.  Monitoring and tracking these hormones can help you achieve your fertility goals and provide valuable health information.  

About Edward Mallorca

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