hCG is Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. It is a hormone most well-known for the role it plays in pregnancy. It is produced by the embryo following implantation, and its detection is what elicits a positive result in pregnancy tests.
But I’m a man! Why would I want to take hCG?
LH (Luteinizing Hormone), produced by the pituitary gland, travels through the bloodstream to the testes, where it stimulates the production and release of testosterone. Because hCG is structurally similar to LH, it is used clinically to restore and maintain testicular testosterone production. hCG can be used alone, or as an adjunct to direct testosterone replacement.
I’m already taking testosterone to boost my levels. Why add hCG testosterone support?
Adding hCG to your testosterone replacement regimen preserves your body’s natural testosterone production. If you take exogenous (from an outside source) testosterone, your testosterone levels will rise. When your brain recognizes that your body has enough circulating testosterone, it inhibits the pituitary gland from releasing LH. The testes are no longer stimulated to produce and release testosterone. This is an example of negative-feedback, and is your body’s way of regulating hormone levels. Without stimulation, the testes can begin to atrophy, resulting in testicular shrinkage, reduced sperm count, and possible infertility. By taking hCG these symptoms can be prevented.
How is hCG administered?
hCG is usually administered via subcutaneous injection, much like insulin for a diabetic. The frequency of hCG injections will be determine by our physician. If you are taking hCG with testosterone, the hCG schedule will revolve around the timing of your testosterone injection. For patients opposed to injectable hCG, we can have your prescription compounded in the form of a dissolving sublingual tablet.
Are there any side effects?
Because the purpose of taking hCG is to support natural testosterone production, side effects of hCG treatment are very similar to testosterone therapy. Unless side effects are stemming from an allergic reaction to the hormone or one of its components (which is extremely rare), side effects can be managed through dose adjustments.