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Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) September 26, 2020

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HYOO muhn kor ee ON ik goe NAD oh troe pin) is a polypeptide hormone and used for different reasons in men and women.

hCG History

hCG was discovered over 80 years ago and has been commercially available since 1932. It has been used in women to promote the final stages of follicular maturation and progression of the immature oocyte in assisted reproductive strategies. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin was used to induce and maintain spermatogenesis by increasing intra-testicular testosterone production.

LH and hCG comparison

Human luteinizing hormone (LH) and chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) are glycoprotein hormones that bind the same receptor (LHCGR), relating to the superfamily of the G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Although both share similar molecular compositions, the two hormones have different physiological functions. LH is produced by the pituitary in a pulsatile manner, inducing ovulation and maintenance of the corpus luteum in females. In adult males, LH regulates spermatogenesis acting on Leydig cells located in the testes, by controlling testosterone production. hCG is about 10-fold more potent than LH in cAMP recruitment.

hCG Uses

hCG is often prescribed in conjunction with testosterone products for testosterone deficiency to help maintain fertility and sexual function.

hCG Benefits

  • Increases circulating testosterone
  • Increases sperm production
  • Maintains intratesticular testosterone production
  • Maintains testicular size
  • Boosts sexual function, although there is conflicting evidence

hCG Injections

While it can be administrated intramuscularly (IM) and subcutaneously (SC), both hCG serum and follicular fluid levels will be significantly greater with SC compared with the IM route.

hCG Pharmacokinetics

hCG has a mean half-life of 2.32 days and so stability is achieved in approximately ten days.

Possible hCG Side Effects

  • Headache
  • Feeling restless or irritable
  • Mild swelling or water weight gain
  • Breast tenderness or swelling
  • Irritation where the injection is given.

hCG Safety

When administered correctly and supervised by a physician Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is safe. hCG is FDA-Approved for a variety of uses.

References: PMID: 23071612, PMID: 24283620, PMID: 25578932, DOI: 10.1210/jc.2004-0802, DOI: 10.1016/j.juro.2012.09.043, DOI: 10.1016/s0015-0282(16)60906-8, DOI: 10.1016/s0015-0282(02)04918-x.

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