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An HCG steroid is a drug that is used mainly in women for the treatment of infertility, in combination with other hormones. In men, HCG steroid may be used to treat delayed puberty or low sperm count. It is usually given by prescription only, is known by different trade names in different countries and should be used only under the supervision of a medical doctor.
Infertility can occur due to numerous factors and should be treated on a case-by-case basis accordingly. In the natural reproductive process, numerous hormones and chemicals are involved in a complex cascade which allows conception. In infertility, one or more hormones may not be present in the correct amounts, making conception difficult. The treatment of infertility usually involves daily administration of drugs such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) by injection.
HCG steroid is given to trigger the final follicular maturation and release of the egg from the ovary. The woman should then have sexual intercourse on that day and the day following it, in order for conception to occur. In the case of assisted reproduction, artificial insemination will be performed during this time. HCG steroid works by mimicking the action of the naturally occurring luteinizing hormone.
In men, it does the same thing, in that it mimics luteinizing hormone. This, however has a different effect in men, as it stimulates the production of testosterone. This action may be used to treat delayed puberty, undescended testicles and low sperm count. It is also this action that opens HCG steroid to illicit abuse by body builders, a dangerous activity. Abuse of steroids may lead to long-lasting and unwanted adverse side effects and should be avoided.
The medicine is given by injection, usually either intra-muscularly or subcutaneously, and therefore should be administered by a qualified health professional. As is the case with any medication, it may cause unwanted side effects which the doctor will discuss before administering the drug. The most commonly reported adverse effects include nausea, vomiting, headache and fatigue. Should any severe adverse effect occur, medical help should be sought.
While the use of HCG steroid has been shown to be very effective in treating infertility, it is important to note that it does not work on its own. It works in combination with a number of other drugs and the doctor's instructions should be followed closely to ensure the highest success rate possible. Infertility can be a devastating condition and psychological support is recommended.