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What Are HCG Injections?

HCG is the hormone measured by home pregnancy tests.
HCG injections may be used to help a woman get pregnant.
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  • Written By: Kristeen Moore
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 31 July 2014
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Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) injections are medications used to provide the body with HCG hormones most commonly used in women trying to get pregnant. HCG may also be prescribed for young men with growth disorders, or for other less common uses including weight loss and increased athletic performance. Injections can be prescribed by a doctor, although there is an illegal black market for this drug.

The most common use for HCG injections is to help women get pregnant. The hormones are necessary for women to develop eggs, as well as for healthy eggs to prosper during ovulation. These types of medications are generally categorized as infertility treatments.

HCG hormones are most often viewed as female-specific, though both genders naturally have amounts of these hormones produced by the pituitary gland since it is necessary for the proper development of reproductive organs. In some cases, infertility specialists determine that a man might need assistance increasing his sperm count in order to help a woman conceive. This is a common use for HCG injections to treat infertility, as it can increase sperm production.

Some physicians prescribe HCG injections for obese patients as a method to lose weight. It is thought by some doctors that the increased amounts of hormones can help with weight loss while still retaining lean muscle mass. These methods are not widely adopted because there is a general lack of evidence of the effectiveness of the injections against fat loss.

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Used as anabolic steroid adjuncts to help increase athletic performance, HCG injections have appeared in the professional athletic world. Athletes use the hormones to increase the effectiveness of steroids to maintain weight and increase muscle mass. Using HCG hormones for athletic purposes is illegal, although some athletes attempt to purchase the medications from street markets.

Most doctors recommend that HCG hormones be administered by another person, such as a family member. The ideal location of the injection depends on for what you are taking HCG hormones. Some of the most common places include large muscle groups, such as the gluteus maximus. Users should also take care in disposing of tainted needles and syringes as directed by a physician.

Especially if a patient has cancer or a hormone-related health disorder, HCG injections are not without risk of side effects. Pain and swelling are the most common in healthy patients. Abusing injections can cause life-threatening effects. These medications are not designed for pregnant women, as they can harm a fetus.

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Discuss this Article

John57
Post 5

@LisaLou - I tend to agree with your thinking. It never ceases to amaze me what many people will do to lose weight.

I have a friend who was also on the HCG diet, but she was taking HCG sublingual drops instead of receiving the injections.

I think the hormone is supposed to work the same way in your body, but her daily calorie count was severely restricted too.

She told me this is something she had discussed with her doctor and felt comfortable going ahead with. I have seen where you can purchase HCG injections online, and I think that is where my friend is getting her drops from too.

I think I will stick to my exercise program and portion control in the meantime. For me there needs to be a lot more study and research done on this before I would be willing to try - especially if I had to give myself regular injections.

LisaLou
Post 4

I sure have been hearing a lot about the HCG diet and injections lately.

Recently my step daughter told me about this new diet she was trying. When she explained it to me, I was very concerned for her.

In addition to the HCG injections, she was limiting herself to very few calories a day. I think it was something like only 500 calories.

She said as long as she was taking the HCG that she wasn't hungry and had the energy she needed. I had a hard time understanding how that could be, and really hoped she wouldn't stay on this program very long.

She was able to lose some weight, but as soon as she stopped, she seemed to put gain the weight back almost overnight.

In talking with her after she decided it wasn't worth it, she said she really was hungry and crabby because all she thought about was not being able to eat.

It seems to me there are much safer and healthier ways for someone to lose weight.

indemnifyme
Post 3

@JessicaLynn - HCG can have unpleasant side effects even if you don't have some kind of disorder. A friend of mine was doing HCG injections to treat her infertility. The hormones made her feel extremely moody and irritable. I don't think I would want to deal with that just to lose weight.

Oh, I also wanted to mention that HCG is given to egg donors too. It makes them release more eggs than normal, so they can be harvested and donated.

JessicaLynn
Post 2

@Azuza - It's amazing the weight loss strategies people will promote trying to make money. I've heard of the HCG diets, and it sounds a bit wacky. I also think it's potentially dangerous to buy HCG injections on the black market.

I feel like you never really know what you're getting when you buy medical stuff from illegitimate sources. Also, as the article said, HCG can have side effects if you have a hormonal disorder. I imagine it would probably be bad news for someone with an undiagnosed hormonal disorder to start taking black market HCG.

Azuza
Post 1

I've read a little bit about people using HCG injections for weight loss. As the article said, it's pretty controversial. From what I understand, a British scientist "discovered" this use while working in India, but most doctors in the United States don't recommend it.

Still, that doesn't stop people from promoting the use of HCG for weight loss, especially online. I've seen several advertisements for the "HCG" diet, which from what I gather is a diet supplemented by "HCG drops" you buy online, which I'm not sure really contain any HCG. I imagine some people might try to purchase black market HCG injections for this diet too.

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