What Stimulates the Production of HCG?

HCG Injections

HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone produced by the cells that surround the growing embryo that goes on to form the placenta. It can be detected in urine within 7 to 9 days after fertilization. During the menstrual cycle, the egg is released from the ovary, and the remnants leftovers of the ovarian follicle produce progesterone. 

If the egg is fertilized, it produces HCG and helps maintains the survival of the corpus luteum. It acts on the lining of the womb to maintain a healthy pregnancy. If fertilization does not happen, the HCG level will fall which leads to the shedding of the lining of the womb and results in menstrual flow.

What Stimulates the Production of HCG?

This hormone is naturally found in men’s and women’s bodies. However, the body produces more and rises at its peak around 10 weeks of pregnancy. It will gradually fall after childbirth. Other cases such as germ cell tumors or cancers may cause the body to produce HCG.

What Factors Affects the HCG Level?

If your hormone levels fall below the normal range, avoid panicking as it does not necessarily cause any concern. Many women have low HCG levels but still maintain a healthy pregnancy. However, if you experience unusual symptoms, talk to your doctor. Factors that may affect your HCG levels are:

Miscalculated gestational age. Typically, the gestational age of your baby is calculated by the date of your last menstruation. This can be easily miscalculated, particularly if you have a history of irregular periods or are unsure of your dates. When low levels are detected, it’s often because a pregnancy that was thought to be between 6 and 12 weeks is not that far along. 

Miscarriage. Be aware of this as it can occur before 20 weeks of gestation. Sometimes low levels can indicate that you have had or will have a miscarriage. If the pregnancy fails to develop a placenta, then the levels may be normal initially but fail to rise. Common signs that you are experiencing a miscarriage are abdominal cramps, vaginal bleeding, and cessation of pregnancy symptoms.

Blighted ovum. This is when an egg is fertilized and attaches to the wall of your womb, but does not continue to develop. When the gestational sac develops, the hormone can be released, but the level does not rise since the egg doesn’t develop.

This occurs very early in pregnancy. Usually, you’ll experience your normal menstruation symptoms and think it’s your usual period. However, if you’re trying to conceive, you may do an early pregnancy test that could pick up the hormones.

Ectopic pregnancy. It happens when the fertilized egg remains in the fallopian tube and continues to develop. It’s a dangerous and life-threatening condition, as it may cause the fallopian tube to rupture and bleed excessively. 

How Do You Test HCG Levels?

There are two types of blood tests to detect the hormone:

  • A qualitative test is to know if the hormone is present in the blood but it doesn’t specify the amount.
  • A quantitative test that measures the amount of hormone present in the blood. 

HCG for Fertility

This hormone can increase your chance of becoming pregnant by inducing ovulation. This is given by doctors to patients who have fertility issues. If you have a history of infertility, monitoring hormone levels early in pregnancy can help healthcare providers determine if a successful pregnancy has occurred.

What is the role of HCG in Men?

It can be used to treat men with hypogonadism and infertility. It acts in a similar way to the luteinizing hormone, stimulating testosterone and sperm production in the testes. It can be administered via intramuscular or subcutaneous injection. Side effects can include swelling of the testes, groin pain, and behavioral change.

Standard levels vary from person to person. This is because hormone levels depend on what is normal for you, how your body responds to pregnancy, as well as how many embryos you are carrying. The way your body reacts to pregnancy is entirely unique.

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