Getting Pregnant and Fertility Drugs: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin

One cause that can often contribute to difficulty getting pregnant is irregularity with regard to ovulation. Ovulation problems that result in female infertility can occur due to hormonal imbalances, ovarian irregularities as well as a variety of health complications. As such, fertility drugs, including human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) can help minimize such fertility problems. But what exactly is hCG and how can it help improve a couple�s chances of getting pregnant?

What is Human Chorionic Gonadotropin?
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone that assists in the regulation of the corpus luteum, a follicle that produces both estrogen and progesterone in order to maintain the first term of pregnancy.

hCG is usually produced in a woman's placenta. It is taken from the urine of pregnant women in order to induce ovulation in some women.

How Does hCG work?
The hCG hormone increases the quantity of eggs that are released by the follicles on a monthly basis.

It mimics another hormone, known as lutenising hormone (LH), which results in the rupture of the follicles and the subsequent release of eggs. As such, a higher than average number of eggs are released, increasing a couple's chances of getting pregnant.

Is hCG for Me?
Human chorionic gonadtropin is most beneficial to women who are experiencing ovulation abnormalities, including the following conditions:

  • anovulation
  • irregular menstruation
  • polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

How Do I Take hCG?
hCG is administered via an injection. It is usually given a few days prior to ovulation.

Your reproductive endocrinologist will monitor the follicles as well as endometrial development using an ultrasound; an injection will then be given in order to induce ovulation.

Dosages are generally between 5 and 10 thousand units. It takes approximately 36 hours for hCG to work.

What Happens After My Human Chorionic Gonadatropin Injection?
After your hCG injection is administered, your reproductive endocrinologist will give you and your partner instructions regarding timed intercourse.

Alternatively, you and your reproductive endocrinologist may decide that intrauterine insemination (IUI) is the best form of treatment for your fertility problems.

Side Effects of hCG
It is possible that you will experience side effects as a result of receiving hCG. The most common side effects are:

  • abdominal discomfort
  • fatigue
  • headache
  • irritability
  • sore breasts
  • water retention

In addition, human chorionic gonadotropin is associated with an increased risk of multiple pregnancies.

What is the Cost of hCG?
hCG is a fairly expensive fertility drug. Ampules cost on average between £17 to £37 per ampule. Each injection can require up to 6 ampules.

Some insurance companies cover the cost of hCG; as such, you should consult with your health insurance provider regarding coverage before starting treatment.

What is the Success Rate of hCG?
hCG is a fertility drug that is associated with a high level of pregnancy success.

Over 90% of women begin to ovulate after receiving hcG treatment; the pregnancy rate per cycle is on average 15% per cycle, but this percentage increases with the use of IUI.

Visit our forum to chat with other women about the different types of fertility drugs you may need.

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