What are the Different Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Side Effects?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 13 August 2019
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Doctors may prescribe human chorionic gonadotropin, or HCG, to treat various medical conditions related to the reproductive system. Just like most other types of medication, this treatment features some side effects, and they tend to differ in men and women. Males may notice breast tissue enlargement, excess pubic or facial hair, acne, enlarged reproductive organs, or a sudden growth spurt resulting in increased height. Females may notice human chorionic gonadotropin side effects like nausea, shortness of breath, indigestion, bloating, and sudden weight gain, to name a few. Both sexes may also observe an increase in headaches, fatigue, mood swings, pain where the HCG was injected, or an allergic reaction.

Males may take this drug before the onset of puberty to make the testicles drop and promote the release of testosterone, but there are some human chorionic gonadotropin side effects to look for. For example, early onset of puberty may occur in some males, resulting in facial acne, a deeper voice, enlarged testes and penis, and the sudden appearance of both facial and pubic hair. Gynecomastia, which is swelling of the breast tissue in males, may also occur, as this condition typically shows up during puberty for some boys. A sudden increase in height and mood swings can also show up when taking this medication. These human chorionic gonadotropin side effects are considered rare, and a doctor should be contacted if any of them are observed.


Women may be prescribed this drug to treat infertility, so many human chorionic gonadotropin side effects tend to affect the abdominal and ovary areas. For instance, pelvic and abdominal pain, bloating, indigestion, nausea, and vomiting may occur. Shortness of breath and sudden weight gain are other side effects that sometimes show up in women taking HCG. More serious complications include slurred speech, chest pain, confusion, and weakness on just one side of the body, all of which require emergency care.

Some human chorionic gonadotropin side effects can occur in both males and females taking this drug, including swelling or pain at the site of the HCG injection, headaches, fatigue, and mood swings. Though these do not usually call for immediate emergency attention, they should be reported to a doctor as soon as possible. Some people find that they are allergic to HCG, as they develop a skin rash, dizziness, difficulty breathing, and itching. Swelling and itching most often occur on the tongue or in the throat when an allergy to this drug is apparent. These side effects typically require emergency treatment.


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