Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) is a protein hormone that is produced mostly by the females during early stages of pregnancy. This natural hormone has several important roles in the body. It is one of those hormones which when detected in the females will be a very crucial sign that they are pregnant.
Being a hormone, it can influence several physiological functions of the body. It has therefore for this reason been adopted to be used for medical purposes by specialists around the world. Here in this article, we will consider how the hormone can be of use to all people including men.
Commercial names of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
Human chorionic gonadotropin in nowadays is a drug under different commercial names. The common ones include Pregnyl and Novarel. Also a related drug called Ovidrel. These drugs are injectable forms and not orally taken. Different uses of the drug may either mean that it is an endocrine drug or a drug for fertility purposes. Endocrine drugs tend to influence the hormonal levels in the body and therefore the body will react to how the hormone changes. Fertility drugs on the other hand simply improve your fertility status.
Effects in the body of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
Once injected, HCG will start affecting the body in about 4 to 12 hours. During this time, it is highly concentrated in blood if measured. In the body, HCG has a half-life of about 30 hours and is usually excreted in urine. The effects of the hormone are very similar to those of another hormone in the body called luteinizing hormone. Basically, it will affect ovulation and estrogen production in women while in men it will have effects on spermatogenesis as well as production of testosterone and a related hormone dihydrotestosterone. These effects have found their way in the specialists of body builders and are currently utilizing it in that sector.
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Biological roles of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin in the body
HCG is an important hormone during early pregnancy days. Here are some of its roles during these critical days in the life of the fetus.
- Keeps the corpus luteum functioning
Corpus luteum is an important temporary endocrine gland in early pregnancy. It produces 2 important hormones, estrogen and progesterone. The role of HCG here is to make sure that the corpus luteum continues to produce these 2 hormones until the placenta is mature enough to start producing these hormones at which point it disintegrates.
- Stimulate production of testosterone in the fetus
HCG also help stimulate the fetus to produce testosterone. Testosterone is particularly important in the fetus helping in the differentiation of the sexual organs.
- Enhances the production of corticosteroids
Corticosteroids are other important group of hormones that are important and there production is essential.
- Help suppress the reaction of maternal lymphocytes
A fetus is usually considered a foreign object by the body and typically, the mother’s body is supposed to reject it through the reaction of lymphocytes. However, with HCG and other factors, the baby is not normally rejected.
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Human Chorionic Gonadotropin and pregnancy detection
One of the earliest sign of pregnancy is detection of HCG in blood about 24 to 48 hour after implantation. The hormone after a few days will be detected in urine. Waiting for long periods of times for example after about 16 weeks will not lead to a positive pregnancy test using HCG because its levels will be very low both in blood and urine.
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Roles of HCG as a drug and supplement
Human chorionic gonadotropin as a drug is very important when it comes to fertility issues. It generally improves fertility both in men and women, usually through encouraging sperm and egg production in men and women respectively.
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- Sex-linked conditions
Besides fertility, Human chorionic gonadotropin comes in strongly as a drug used to relive some sex-linked conditions in both men and women. For example, cases of undescended testes in male infants as well as undeveloped female sexual traits in teenage girls can easily be cured using HCG.
- Weight Loss
As a supplement on the other hand, human chorionic gonadotropin has been implicated in helping reduce weight loss. This however has not been approved and therefore purchase for this purpose is illegal.
Indications for the use of HCG
Having seen the roles of HCG as a drug, here some of the areas and groups of people who will need HCG upon their cases being presented to a health practitioner who specializes in the area.
- Deficiency of testosterone in the body.
- Life threatening spontaneous abortions.
- Cryptorchidism, that is, undescended testicles in infants either unilateral or bilateral.
- Male hypogonadism.
- Bleeding in women which is considered dysfunctional.
Things to consider before using Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
As a medication, HCG has some restrictions on how to use, when to use and when not to use. All these guidelines were stipulated not long ago (2011) by the Food and Drug Administration. Here are some of the things that you need to consider before it is safe for you to take Human chorionic gonadotropin as a medication.
It is not safe for pregnant mothers to take HCG because they are already producing plenty of it and any additional hormone is likely to interfere with the pregnancy. The hormone has been proved to cause birth defects and therefore should never be taken during pregnancy or when one is planning to become pregnancy sooner.
Some people are usually allergic to some drugs, HCG being included. It may not just be the hormone itself but even the component in the drug. It is therefore important to know if you are or are not allergic to HCG before going ahead and taking it for whatever purpose you want. Allergic reaction can be deadly hence the reason to be more careful.
Prostate cancer patients
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is not considered a safe drug to be used by those who may be having prostate cancer. This is because the hormone is likely to accelerate the progress of the cancer to more ugly phases. Even people with other cancers which are sensitive to male hormones can easily be accelerated by this hormone when it is used as a drug or a supplement.
Related Article:: Prostate Cancer And Steroids: Let The Pendulum Swing
Other factors that medical specialists considers before administering Human Chorionic Gonadotropin as drug include:
- If one has any cardiac related conditions.
- People having kidney diseases and conditions.
- Seizures and migraines.
- Asthmatic people.
- People with ovarian cysts.
- People in early stages of puberty.
Side effects of using Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
Any drug has side effects. For human chorionic gonadotropin, being a hormone makes it even more dangerous when it comes to side effects. Here are some of the side effects that you are likely to encounter when using HCG.
- Experiencing fatigue and having a headache.
- Easily irritate and also being restless.
- One is likely to become depressed.
- Gynecomastia in males.
- Sudden swelling of the extremities.
- Probability of having multiple pregnancies usually increases.
- Life-threatening allergic reactions.
- Thrombosis is highly likely to occur.
- Problems are likely to occur in the ovaries including swelling and rapturing.
- Some teenagers enter puberty earlier than expected.
Components That Are Likely To Interact With Human Chorionic Gonadotropin in the Body
Once taken as a drug or a supplement, human chorionic gonadotropin is likely to interact with several compounds in the body, which in most cases may lead to allergic reactions or even bring about other adverse effects that are not allergic reactions. It is good that your specialist knows about whether you have been using some of these components or anything that night contain them.
Generally, HCG will interact with several medication, vitamins, supplements taken together with the diet such as protein supplements, herbal drugs and even recreational drugs.
- Drugs that affect blood
Drugs that affect any aspect of blood will definitely interact with human chorionic gonadotropin when taken as drug or a supplement. These include those drugs, which are taken to treat clotting disorders and those taken to increase red blood cells count.
- Drugs for treatment of some cancers
Beside drugs for treatment of cancers that mostly interact with HCG are those that will have effects on blood supply. A good example is thalidomide, which also implicate in causing birth defects.
Besides drugs, HCG will also interact with alcohol. When HCG is taken in the hope of improving fertility, then alcohol should not be taken. This is because their interactions usually leads to birth defects.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin & Dosage
Just like any other medication out there, dosage when it comes to human chorionic gonadotropin when used, as a drug is crucially important. The dosage for HCG will depend first on the condition that treat and secondly on sex of the patients. Different conditions require different doses, as do the sexes. Taking an overdose of the drug is considered an emergency situation and you should make effort to conduct the poison center as soon as possible. If you happened to miss the dosage, there is usually no much concern but efforts should be made to reschedule the dosage within the shortest time possible.
The Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Diet
For reasons other than medical purposes, some people tend to on an HCG diet especially in the hope of losing weight. However, the diet is not good at all for several reasons. The main reasons as to why the diet is not a good choice is the fact that it accompanies a diet with low calories. Of course the low calorie diet will make you lose some weight, the low amount of calories are disastrous especially to the brain since it cannot maintain it. It generally not a safe option if you want to lose weight and one should not go for it.
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- HCG Diet formula
Having said that HCG diet concept is not a good choice to go for, people out of curiosity may wonder what can be a perfect HCG diet formula for them. The truth is, HCG all this aspect has not been regulated by FDA and therefore finding sufficient information on this aspect is not easy or it does not even exist. However, talking to a knowledgeable physician may help shape things out and make you find a right HCG diet formula for you.
How the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin diet work in weight loss
How does HCG come in to reduce weight? People have reported losing a lot of weight using this supplement although it is not safe as already stressed. The idea of how it actually reduces weight comes from how the HCG produced during early stages of pregnancy works. During these days, the hormone instructs the body to use stored fat for energy purposes so that the mother can sustain the baby.
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Therefore, when taken as a supplement, it will in the same way instruct the body to use stored fat and this implies that the user will not have to ingest many calories. The end results is usually a reduction in weigh due to use of body fat for energy purposes. Therefore, the loss of weight is not due to the action of the hormone but due to the fact that it cause a change in diet, which then triggers a drop in weight.
Besides the normal HCG used as a medication and as a supplement, there is another product similar to HCG called HCG drop.
- Roles of HCG Drop
The product believed to have an effect on the metabolism and on weight loss. It has been implicated to help shape metabolism and reduce weigh hence proving of importance to those with the intention of losing weight.
However, the concept is not well proven and it has been shown that effectiveness actually depends on how the body of the person will take it. This is to mean that HCG drop may be very effective to some people while it may have no effects at all to some people.
- HCG Drop reactions
HCG drop not regulate by Food and Drug Administration. Therefore very little information is known about it. Especially when it comes to how it will react with the some components in the body and also other medication that one is taking. Consult a specialist in case you want to try out the product and see how they may advise you.
Recommendations on the use of HCG by Athletes
Despite the fact that use of HCG by athletes may not be the best thing you can do as an athlete, there are certain recommendation which when followed may give some results, which are good. The recommendations are below:
- If one has been taking anabolic steroids for at least 6 months and wishes to try out HCG, then it is recommended that you should reduce intake of the steroids the moment you start on HCG. HCG here is believed to reduce the testosterone deficiency. Upon completion of your anabolic steroid cycle, then you should also stop the HCG dosage as well.
- So as to ensure optimal level of testosterone in the body, it is recommended that HCG be taken during a break of at least two weeks for anabolic steroid cycles lasting between 3 to 4 weeks long.
Sometimes the athlete may be on prolonged anabolic steroid use without bothering on the use of HCG. In such a case, one should incorporate the HCG in their post-cycle therapy. Inject HCG every day for a total of 20 days.
HCG and Cycles
Look at the recommendations, let us now turn to the cycles. If you can meet the above recommendations, then you can proceed and check out if these cycles can work for you.
- HCG cycles for Men
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For men who wish to use HCG, the cycle that is best for them will depend on how much they weigh. An athlete with about 70 kg will require between 1500 to 3000 units of Human Chorionic gonadotropin every day. The dosage increases with increase in weight up to a maximum of 10000 units of every injection per day.
- HCG cycles for Women
For women, HCG mainly prescribed for medical purposes. The recommended cycles for women vary and include:
- Injecting 3000 international units(IU) twice every 3 days for 3 full weeks.
- Injecting 1500 international units of HCG every day for at least 5 to 6 weeks.
- Using about 500 to 1000 units two times a week for a period of 8 weeks.
- Safest cycle to use
For athletes on anabolic steroids, a safe cycle will be good for them. It involves taking HCG in the 3rd week of the anabolic steroid cycle in doses of between 1000 and 1500 units of HCG. The dosage normally divides into two injections and should end upon the end of the anabolic steroid cycle. Upon completion, one should enter the post cycle therapy.
What happens in case of long time period anabolic steroid cycles?
Some anabolic steroid cycles are particularly long or sometimes some athlete continue using the steroids without necessarily stopping. In such cases, if one still wants to incorporate Human chorionic gonadotropin in the cycle, then the pattern changes slightly. This will mean that you should take HCG every 6 months if not every a quarter of a year. The dosage is usually 1500 units every 4th day.
- HCG cycle for shorter Anabolic Steroid Cycles
For those athletes who prefer shorter recovery anabolic steroid cycles, the cycle for HCG also changes slightly. For example, there are those anabolic steroid cycles that run for a period of about only 3 weeks. The HCG dosage used is between 1500 to 2500 IU once every 3rd or 4th day.
Related Article:: Recommended Recovery Time Between Anabolic Steroid Cycles
- HCG in Post Cycle Therapy
Under recommendations, it was mentioned that it is good to have HCG as part of Post-cycle therapy for those athletes who have used anabolic steroids for a longer time without incorporating HCG. So how does it come in and in what dosage? Having HCG during this period is very important because it serves to help one avoid some major side effects especially atrophy of the testicles. The HCG also help maintain the muscle size gained over the cycling period. HCG does this through its ability to help realign the hypothalamus pituitary axis back to the normal functioning.
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The post-cycle therapy involves clomide(50 mg) administered 2 times a day for the first 30 days, tamoxifen (20 mg) every day for 40 days and 2500 units of HCG daily for the first 16 days.
Forms of HCG Commonly used
Most forms of HCG that you are likely to find are the injectable forms. HCG itself is a powdered substance, which comes, sealed in ampoules. As an injectable supplement, administrate it either subcutaneously or intramuscularly.
Preparation of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin for Injection
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin must be properly so that it can be safe for injection into the body. Normally use sterile water or an isotonic solution for dilution purposes. The volume injected depends on the content of the bottle. For example, a bottle having 1000 pieces of the hormone will mean that only 1 ml is injected. The ampoules should be processed with alcohol using the syringe and then introduced in a bottle containing a special powder. Care should be taken to have a few bubbles as possible. After that, shake well to ensure that the powder is well dissolved at the point, which the drug is ready for use.
You can reuse the prepared solution for as long as you want provided that it store it in a refrigerator. The temperature should not rise to more than 20 degree centigrade and the solution should not expose to sunlight.
Human chorionic gonadotropin as seen here is a very important hormone if used for the right reasons and at the right time. While it is very important in the lives of bodybuilders and athletes, care should not take is to misuse it because it has disastrous effects. FDA regulates its medical uses, which is good thing. On the other hand other uses not regulate and therefore their applications will depend on how much you want to risk yourself.