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Side Effects of hCG Injections

Side Effects of hCG Injections

hCG injections are often recommended in fertility treatment. However, their effectiveness for other purposes such as weight loss is highly questionable. Moreover, they are known to induce serious side effects.
Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
The human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone is naturally produced by the body. Its presence in urine indicates the onset of pregnancy. This hormone is excreted through the placenta in pregnant women. Recently, these injections have become greatly popular for weight loss treatments. Additionally, they are also used along with anabolic androgenic steroids to stimulate muscle growth. However, they are not entirely safe and should never be taken without a proper medical prescription.
Adverse Effects
Pregnancy Complications
hCG is used in fertility treatment because of its property of stimulating ovulation. Thus, when it is administered in the body, it stimulates the ovaries to produce more than one egg. Production of multiple eggs increases the chances of fertilization with the sperm. If more than one egg gets fertilized, then it may result in multiple pregnancies. Often, it leads to twins, triplets, quadruplets, or sometimes even more babies in a single pregnancy. Needless to say, this is highly risky for the concerned woman. In certain rare cases, this hormone may become a cause of ectopic pregnancy, which means the fetal development begins in the Fallopian tubes, instead of the uterus. This can be a fatal condition and needs immediate medical intervention.
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome
As mentioned above, hCG stimulates the ovaries to release eggs, but sometimes ovaries may become overstimulated by follicles, and the condition may have severe effects on the health of the woman. Severe pelvic pain, stomach pain, swelling, nausea, vomiting, and shortness of breath are some of the symptoms of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.
Digestive Disorders
The hormone may interfere with the normal digestion mechanism of the body and bring about unpleasant effects. These include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and decreased urge to urinate. Prolonged use may cause irreversible damage to the digestive system. Digestive disorders are the most common side effects of hCG injections when administered in conjunction with steroids.
Premature Puberty in Men
Young boys who have been exposed to hCG at an early age may have to endure several adverse conditions. Untimely onset of puberty is one of them. Premature puberty is characterized by facial and pubic hair growth, deepening of voice, sweating, acne, and development of sexual organs.
Gynecomastia
Since this hormone is primarily concerned with women, its administration in men causes hormonal imbalance in their bodies. The increase of female hormones such as estrogen, leads to marked enlargement of breasts in men.
Development of Blood Clots
hCG is known to interfere with the blood clotting mechanism of the body. Blood clots can be extremely life-threatening for the person. The clots may enter arteries and block them inducing heart attacks, or they may hamper the functioning of other vital organs. Dizziness, tingling in arms, confusion, and numbness are some of the signs that indicate the formation of blood clots.
Water Retention
Another adverse effect is an increase in the water weight of the body. This is due to retention of fluids. Although this is not necessarily a serious condition, the swelling associated with it can cause discomfort to the individual.
The other minor side effects include headaches, depression, swelling at the site of injection, etc. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, you must consult your doctor without delay. Also, never order hCG injections on your own through the Internet or other such unreliable mediums.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.