September 19, 2021

HCG Side Effects

Human chorionic gonadotropin or HCG has a number of uses approved by the Food and Drug Administration. In fertility treatments, HCG is injected in women to induce ovulation. In male patients, HCG injections are used to treat hypogonadism to resolve diminished sexual function. The hormone can also be used as a tumor indicator for certain kinds of cancers.

More recently, the popularity of HCG has surged as a diet aid; a claim that is not supported by medical data and FDA approbation. High endurance athletes have also found some use for HCG as a performance-enhancing anabolic steroid, a practice that is banned by most athletic associations.

Warning for Pregnant Women

This medication is listed by the FDA is pregnancy category X. Any mother who uses HCG while they are pregnant can cause severe birth defects in their child.

HCG Side Effects

Side Effects of HCG include:

hcg side effects– Skin irritation
– Swelling at injection site
– Changes to the premenstrual cycle
– Ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome
– Fluid retention
– Infection at injection site
– Breast enlargement
– Swelling of the hands and feet
– Irritableness
– Blood clot
– Redness in the arm or leg
– Depression
– Severe headache
– Dizziness
– Weakness on one side of the body
– Mental confusion
– Early puberty in young boys (pubic hair growth, sweating, acne, deep voice)
– Breast tenderness
– Chest pain
– Slurred speech
– Multiple pregnancies
– Hair loss

Since HCG is normally done with an accompanying low-calorie diet, patients may experience symptoms of starvation like: restlessness, headaches, weakness, mood swings and food cravings.

HCG therapy may lead to a condition known as ovarian hyper stimulation syndrome that usually occurs during the initial treatment cycle. OHSS is a serious condition that requires immediate medical care. If individuals experience the side effect of ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome, they may suffer from breathing problems, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. They may have abdominal pain, pelvic pain, weight gain or changes in and/or difficulty with urination. Patients who experience any of these symptoms should immediately contact their doctor because ovarian hyper-stimulation syndrome can be fatal.

How to Use HCG Safely

HCG therapy can be beneficial to patients when used for the right reasons and taken as prescribed. HCG requires a doctor’s prescription. It is injected under the skin or into the muscles. The injections should be given by a medical practitioner.

In some cases, the patient will be trained to self- inject the HCG treatment at home. If this is the case, follow prescription directions carefully. Do not self-dose if you are not absolutely sure about the procedure. Needles are disposable and are meant for single use. Dispose used needles and syringes in a designated puncture-proof container.

With ongoing therapies, the doctor needs to regularly assess the efficacy of HCG for the condition being treated. Patients should not miss scheduled doctor’s visits. Patients should also report any unexpected side effects as soon as possible. Seek immediate medical attention in case of an accidental overdose. There are no known life-threatening side effects of an overdose.

How to Handle HCG at Home

Depending on the HCG brand, the medication may be provided as prefilled syringes. This single dose system is discarded after injection. Other brands will be provided as a powder and liquid that will need to be mixed and drawn into a syringe. Inspect the medication before using. If the color has changed or the liquid mixture shows some particles, discard the dose. HCG mixture must be kept at the proper temperature and away from light, heat and moisture.

Precautionary Warnings for HCG Use in Fertility Treatments

HCG Pregnyl is used to stimulate ovulation in women. However, women using HCG Pregnyl as part of fertility treatment are cautioned about the possibility of ectopic pregnancies. In addition, studies indicate that HCG use raises the possibility multiple births as well as the risk of miscarriages.

For male patients, sustained use of HCG can increase androgen production. Patients who have pre-existing hypertension, renal dysfunction and cardiac conditions may need to use a lower dose.

HCG as a Performance-enhancing Drug

Athletes seeking to improve their performance have increasingly turned to HCG combined with anabolic androgenic steroids. Steroids interfere with testosterone production, eventually leading to conditions like testicular atrophy. HCG is used during and after steroid dosing cycles to restore testosterone activity by mimicking the luteinizing hormone. Sustained use of HCG will raise testosterone levels such that natural production will be obstructed at some point.

HCG as a Weight Loss Regimen

HCG in any form is not FDA-sanctioned for weight loss. The FDA has not assessed the efficacy of supposedly homeopathic HCG that is touted as a safe and effective dietary aid by the weight loss industry. It must be noted that the weight loss plan involving HCG requires drastic calorie restrictions. This kind of diet will lead to weight loss even without HCG.

HCG: Use only as Directed

When used according to FDA guidelines, HCG can yield positive results for men and women seeking to resolve fertility issues. Used as a weight-loss aid, HCG may do more harm than good as its beneficial effects on fat loss have not been proven.