Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone needed to support the development of an egg in a woman’s ovary. If you want to know what is HCG, simply understand it as an indicator of good fertility.
HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, which is actually a form of hormone produced by the placenta or embryo following implantation. This hormone is made by cells formed in the placenta that develops the egg after it has been fertilized and attached to the uterine wall. The biological function of HCG is to indicate the well-being of the corpus luteum to maintain the production of progesterone.
Importance of HCG:
HCG is largely used to cause ovulation as well as for the treatment of infertility in women. This hormone is also measured to identify the sperm count in men. The pituitary gland disorder, which affects the function of the testicles, is treated by injecting the HCG hormone in young males. The presence of HCG helps in the production of progesterone, so the integrity of the endometrial-uterine lining is protected, even in the condition of pregnancy.
HCG is considered for the fertility treatment and as an endocrine drug. The use of this hormone for this purpose was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1974.
Pregnancy and HCG:
HCG is also known as the pregnancy hormone as its level gets increased within a few days of pregnancy. Thereafter, HCG levels continue to rise during some 10-12 weeks of gestation and then it stabilizes. When you conduct a pregnancy test taking the sample of blood or urine, the positive result indicates the high level of HCG hormone that confirms that you have conceived successfully.
Blood HCG testing is more important and sensitive than HCG testing on urine sample; it’s because the blood HCG test can detect pregnancy a few days before a urine test for pregnancy. There are no HCG side effects after going through the test. Typically, a blood containing HCG levels about 25mlU/ml is sufficient to provide correct result, while urine pregnancy tests usually require a higher amount of HCG level for positive results.
Value of single HCG:
The reading of single HCG value above 25mIU/ml confirms pregnancy, but it cannot provide any confirmation at the age of the fetus, as HCG values keep varying during the early weeks of pregnancy. So you can go for another pregnancy after a few weeks to get a clear result. Please note that a single HCG test cannot tell you if you have a singleton or twins; it does not confirm exactly on the viability of pregnancy, and it doesn’t give you exact age of the fetus.
HCG and weight Loss:
The intake of external HCG for weight loss is a bit controversial issue. Since the FDA has not approved HCG for weight loss, its sale is illegal. But, you may probably hear its recommendation by some health experts. Many people wonder, what is HCG’s role in losing weight?
Since natural HCG produced during pregnancy makes women lose a lot of weight, many obese people demand HCG injections that can spark the process of metabolism. Therefore, women lose more weight without feeling hungry. However, doctors could not explain how the injected HCG doses work; on the other, critics claim that HCG hormone does not play any role in fat-burn but caloric restrictions. Some of these HCG diet restrictions are counted as prohibition of oil, intake of only one vegetable, use of HCG hormone on odd days, etc. The clear-cut guidelines on the administration of HCG hormone are very rare. Some experts explain its effects as:
HCG hormone reduces feelings of hunger as in pregnant women, so its injection works in the same way to curb your appetite.
The increasing level of HCG hormone further increases its amount in the body, so the imbalance goes in favor of weight loss process.
Only HCG injections are somehow beneficial for losing weight, while other forms such as pills and drops are not so effective.
It’s fairly advised to have proper medical prescription before taking HCG injection. HCG and weight loss are a form of medication that should be considered under the doctor’s supervision.
HCG side effects:
There are some HCG diet side effects that may occur when using HCG injections. If you feel any signs of its allergic reaction or side effects, then you must stop the use of HCG injections. The possible serious HCG side effects include:
• Severe pelvic pain
• Swelling of the hands or legs
• Flushing and itching of skin
• Stomach pain and swelling
• Shortness of breath
• Weight gain
• Pain in chest, groin and calves
• Nausea or vomiting
• Vision changes
• Urine reduction
Some less serious or common HCG side effects are also there, such as:
• Lack of appetite
• Loss of interest or pleasure
• Pain at place of injection
• Trouble concentrating
• Enlargement of breasts
• Trouble sleeping
Only the health experts or your doctor can prescribe the use of HCG hormone. You should not self-inject this hormone and don’t forget to dispose of used syringes and needles. The precautions are necessary to consider if you are taking its doses at certain intervals. If you have queries regarding what is HCG, how it works and what are its effects, you can consult doctors and some guidelines are also available online and offline to help you out.