HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin)
Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a prescription medication containing chorionic gonadotropin obtained from a natural (human) origin. Chorionic gonadotropin is a polypeptide hormone normally found in the female body during the early months of pregnancy. It is synthesized in syncytiotrophoblast cells of the placenta, and is responsible for increasing the production of progesterone, a pregnancy-sustaining hormone. This hormone is present in significant amounts only during pregnancy and is used as an indicator of pregnancy by standard over-the-counter pregnancy test kits. Blood levels of chorionic gonadotropin become noticeable as early as seven days after ovulation, and rise evenly to a peak at approximately two to three months into gestation. After this point, the hormone level will drop gradually until the point of birth.
Although it possesses minor FSH-like (Follicle stimulating hormone) activity, the physiological actions of chorionic gonadotropin mainly mimic those of the gonadotropin luteinizing hormone (LH). As a clinical drug, HCG is used as an exogenous form of L.H. it is typically applied to support ovulation and pregnancy in women, most specifically those suffering from infertility due to low concentrations of gonadotropins and an inability to ovulate. Due to the ability of LH to stimulate the Leydig’s cells in the testes to manufactured testosterone, HCG is also used with mean to treat hypogonadotropic hypogonadism, a disorder characterized by low testosterone levels and insufficient LH output. The drug is also used in the treatment of prepubertal cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both of the testicles have failed to descend into the scrotum. HCG is used by male athletes for its ability to increase endogenous testosterone production, generally during, or at the conclusion of, a steroid cycle, when natural hormone production has been interrupted.