If you are trying to conceive and have had no luck for the past few years, there might be hope for you in this fertility treatment. The human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) treatment induces ovulation to treat infertility. Well, it also boosts sperm count in men. But, there are some limitations to this treatment. It should not be administered to a woman who has primary ovarian failure, wherein the ovaries no longer produce eggs properly.
Furthermore, use of HCG treatments for fertility comes with high risks of multiple pregnancies. Although the chance of pregnancy is high, 30 to 60 out of 100, 35% of these pregnancies often result to miscarriages. That is why constant monitoring, with the help of your doctor, is very important. This treatment is also not recommended for those who had an early puberty (precocious puberty) and for those who are suffering from hormone-related cancers (including prostate cancer).
Proper precaution and dose adjustment is needed for those who have any of these conditions:
- Ovarian cyst
- Premature puberty
- Thyroid/Adrenal gland disorder
- Tumor, breast cancer or cancer of the pituitary gland, hypothalamus, prostate, ovary and uterus
- Uterine bleeding
- Kidney disease
- Heart disease
The HCG treatment can be administered in two ways: into the muscle or under the skin. Either way, this treatment should be administered by a doctor, nurse or licensed health professional. If you are doing this at home, you should seek permission from your doctor first. Your doctor should inform you of all the possible risks, preparations and precautions.
How Does The Treatment Work
For infertility in women, HCG induces ovulation. It is usually given after taking menotropins. To ensure that this medication works for you, it’s a must to visit your doctor regularly for proper monitoring.
Some brands of HCG comes in single-dose, pre-filled syringes while others are in powdered form with a separate liquid which you will mix and draw into a syringe. After mixing the powder with the liquid, you should keep it tightly closed in the refrigerator. Dispose any unused doses after 30 days of mixing. There are preparations which can be kept refrigerated for up to 60 days. Be sure to check the labels for proper information.
If you notice any discoloration or unnecessary particles in the mixed medicine, dispose of it immediately. The powdered form should be stored at room temperature and away from direct sunlight, heat, and moisture.
Use each disposable needle only once. Dispose of needles properly after use. It is recommended to place your used disposable needles in a puncture-proof container for safety and to keep them away from children and pets.
In the FDA pregnancy category, HCG treatment is listed under X. This is because HCG can help you become pregnant, but if used while pregnant, it can cause possible birth defects. If you’re undergoing treatment and you think you are pregnant, contact your doctor immediately.
The effects of HCG on breastfeeding is unknown. If you are planning to breastfeed, consult your doctor for proper assessment. Do not breastfeed unless you have consulted your doctor about it.
Just like any other medication, HCG shots come with certain risks. In case you notice any signs of blood clot such as warmth, redness, pain, tingling or numbness in your leg or arm, call your doctor immediately. Some women under this hormonal medication develop Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS) which can be life-threatening. Call your doctor immediately if you feel severe pelvic pain and swelling on the legs and hands.
So, even if HCG is among the most remarkable solutions to infertility, you shouldn’t be too complacent when it comes to potential side effects.