How Does hCG Injection Help in Pregnancy?

Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is one of the important hormones in the female body that is naturally secreted in the pituitary gland. Like the reproductive hormones estrogen and progesterone, HCG levels change during pregnancy. Since the placenta usually produces HCG, it can stimulate ovulation and increase the chance of pregnancy.

Human chorionic gonadotropin helps with pregnancy by increasing progesterone levels. On the other hand, HCG is sometimes injected to stimulate ovulation along with infertility treatments (e.g., IVF).

HCG levels increase after pregnancy. Therefore, a pregnancy blood test after 11 days or a urine test after 12 to 14 days can determine the pregnancy result.

Human chorionic gonadotropin helps with pregnancy by increasing progesterone levels.

How Is HCG Produced in Pregnancy?

HCG hormone is a glycoprotein produced by the placenta in pregnant women, especially in the first pregnancy weeks, to help produce progesterone and prevent menstruation. HCG levels increase as time passes, so during the first 10 weeks of pregnancy, their levels double every 48 or 72 hours.

When Is HCG Ampoule Injected?

The HCG injection is given under the following conditions:

  • Treating female infertility;
  • Treating male hypopituitarism;
  • Diagnosing male hypogonadism;
  • Stimulating ovulation in IVF or IUI procedures;
  • Preventing ovarian cysts, miscarriage, etc.;
  • Diagnosing and treating cryptorchidism in adolescent boys.

HCG Injection and Pregnancy

HCG injection has a significant role in pregnancy. This drug is considered an equivalent to luteinizing hormone (LH) and causes the normal growth of follicles, ovarian stimulation, and ovulation. LH hormone is, in fact, a chemical substance produced by the pituitary gland that naturally stimulates ovulation and thus is used in IVF treatment.

Therefore, HCG shots help treat female infertility in combination with other fertility drugs such as urofollitropin (Bravelle) and monoterpenes (Menopur).

HCG injection has a significant role in pregnancy by follicles growth and ovulation.

What Is the Dosage of HCG Injections?

The average hCG trigger shot dosage for female infertility treatments is 5000 to 10000 units. Although this dosage may seem a bit high, the medical team will provide a suitable schedule for the HCG intramuscular or subcutaneous injection. The dosing of HCG injection to increase sperm in men is 1,000 to 4,000 units 2 to 3 times a week for several weeks to months.

Where and How to Inject HCG?

HCG injection is given in different techniques depending on whether the vial is in liquid or powder. Liquid HCG vials should be refrigerated immediately (within 3 hours) after taking from the pharmacy and not be removed from the refrigerator except at the injection time. It is important to know that the non-refrigerated HCG liquid should not be injected into the body under no circumstances. However, since direct injection of HCG cold liquid usually causes discomfort, it is better to raise the temperature of the vial by holding it between hands before injection.

The powdered HCG, on the other hand, can be kept at room temperature. During injection, one should draw 1 cc of bacteriostatic water into the syringe, pour it into the powdered vial, and then rotate it slowly. This solution should never be prepared with tap water or mineral water.

Powder and water are mixed by gently rolling the vial containing the solution between hands. The reason is that shaking the vial may reduce HCG effects. Finally, the HCG injection is given in the desired area based on the doctor's advice after drawing the solution into the syringe and removing the air.

HCG injection is given in different techniques.

What Are the Risks and Side effects of HCG Injection?

HCG ampoule, like many other drugs, carry risks and side effects, some of which include:

  • Allergic reactions (it is possible to detect by skin test before injection);
  • Pain, especially sudden lower abdominal pain;
  • Headache;
  • Increased irritability;
  • Mood swings;
  • Fatigue;
  • Depression;
  • Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS);
  • Ovarian cancer (in rare cases).

IVF Injections Side Effects
Read more: Side Effects of IVF Injections: How to Deal?

What Are the Risks of HCG Injection During Pregnancy?

Although HCG shots help treat female infertility, their use is dangerous during pregnancy. The reason is that it can cause birth defects in the embryonic nervous system. Therefore, Women should stop taking HCG and inform their doctor immediately in case of getting pregnant or even suspecting to be pregnant. Furthermore, HCG injections should not be used in higher dosages or longer periods than the doctor prescribes.

It is dangerous to use HCG during pregnancy.

hCG trigger shot and Twins

According to research, women who inject HCG can increase their chances of having twins and multiple births more than others. However, as the risks of pregnancy increase with the increased number of embryos, the patient must be fully observed by a doctor during infertility treatment as well as her pregnancy.

Does IVF increase chance of twins
Read more: Twins in IVF: Chances and Complications of Twin Pregnancy

When Is the Best Time for HCG Shot?

The best time to inject human chorionic gonadotropin for people who have failed to get pregnant after many attempts are during ovulation. Ovulation usually occurs 12 to 16 days before the next menstruation. Fertilization and pregnancy are possible within 24 hours after ovulation. Therefore, the doctor will first examine the follicles with ultrasound and then injects HCG if the size of the follicles is suitable.

The best time to inject human chorionic gonadotropin for people who have failed to get pregnant.

When Is the Best Time to Have Sex after HCG Injection?

According to the ovulation timeline, the best time for having sex is about 36 hours after the HCG injection. It is also better to have intercourse every other day for 3-4 days to increase the chances of pregnancy.

What Are Ovulation Symptoms After HCG Injection?

Ovulation usually occurs about 24 to 48 hours (36 hours on average) after the HCG injection. Therefore, if the egg is released during this time, the symptoms of ovulation will be as follows:

  • Increased body temperature;
  • Increased libido;
  • Spotting, brown discharge, and light bleeding due to follicle rupture;
  • Abdominal bloating due to increased estrogen;
  • Clear and elastic cervical mucus due to increased estrogen;
  • Mild pelvic and abdominal pain;
  • Breast tenderness and pain;
  • Changes in the cervix;
  • smell sensitivity.

Read more: What Are the Common Ovulation Signs and Symptoms?

HCG Hormone and False Positive Pregnancy Tests

As HCG Injection increases the HCG levels in the body, it may sometimes result in false positive pregnancy tests. In other words, the HCG level is very high for about a week after the HCG injection, so a positive blood test does not necessarily mean positive pregnancy.

However, the pregnancy test result gets closer to reality when the extra amounts of HCG leave the body after at least 10 to 12 days. Therefore, the best time to perform a pregnancy test is about 2 weeks after fertilization.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1) Does HCG injection cause ovarian cysts?

As mentioned, the main purpose of the hCG trigger shot is to stimulate ovulation. This can increase the size of the follicles (due to the release of the most mature egg) and enlarge the ovaries. Therefore, there is a risk of ovarian cysts.

In fact, many enlarged follicles do not release eggs or do not have eggs; therefore, their accumulation in the ovary can produce small and large ovarian cysts.

2) What is the Reason for two simultaneous HCG injections?

Sometimes two HCG injections are given at the discretion of the doctor. This administration method is not the same for all patients and depends on factors such as the number of necessary injections, the length of treatment, the dosage of HCG, etc. The two injections can either be given separately or simultaneously with one syringe.

3) What is the difference between HCG and HMG injections?

The HMG injection can help the growth and maturation of the eggs and does not affect egg release; HCG injection is given to stimulate ovulation and release eggs.

4) Does HCG shots cause false pregnancy?

There is still no research on the increased risk of false pregnancy after an hCG trigger shot; however, observations show that the risk of false pregnancy in women who have done HCG therapy is more than in others.

5) Can men get HCG injections?

HCG shots for men can treat hypogonadism (low testosterone production). The increased HCG levels can stimulate testosterone production, increasing sperm counts in men. Therefore, HCG Injections can be very effective when male infertility is caused due to lack of sperm. 

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