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HCG Injections: About the Hormone, Uses, Levels, & Side Effects


About the HCG Injection

HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, which is secreted by the placenta during pregnancy. Hence, it is also known as the pregnancy hormone. It thickens a woman's uterine lining and thus supports the embryo's growth and signals the body to stop menstruation. Blood tests measuring HCG levels can be used to detect how well the pregnancy is progressing. 


Human Chorionic Gonadotropin written on a piece of blue paper


What does HCG Injection Do?

HCG is a naturally produced hormone in pregnant women and is also referred to as the pregnancy hormone. A minimal quantity of the hormone is also produced in non-pregnant women, with no significance. Human chorionic gonadotropin injections are usually prescribed to women with infertility issues. Apart from that, HCG has multiple uses. The below-mentioned are some of them:-

  • Women's Infertility: - HCG aids in the normal development of an egg in a woman's ovary and stimulates its release during the process of ovulation. This helps treat female infertility and further increases the chances of survival. Read a complete guide on How to treat infertility with HCG.”

  • Successful Pregnancy: - HCG increases the chance of successful Pregnancy. The placenta starts secreting the hormone immediately after the implantation of the fertilized egg into the uterine wall. It generally takes 8-10 days for HCG levels to rise sufficiently in the urine and blood and is detected using an at-home pregnancy test. 

  • Male hypogonadism: - Male hypogonadism refers to the improper functioning of the male reproductive organs (testes), which fails to produce sex hormones required for fertility. The medication improves sperm quality and helps treat delayed puberty. 

  • Weight loss: - Surprisingly, HCG injections are used for weight loss by a lot of people dealing with excessive weight gain issues. It is beneficial for those who are highly obese and looking for a faster way to achieve the required weight. The dosage will definitely depend on your age, gender, health history, weight, and many other factors. But before that, make sure to discuss it well with your medical practitioner. 

What are Normal HCG Levels?

During pregnancy, the HCG levels rise rapidly and then slightly decline. The results are given in milli-international units per milliliter (mIU/mL). The normal HCG results are-

  • Healthy men: less than 2 mIU/mL

  • Non-pregnant women: less than 5 mIU/mL

The HCG levels during pregnancy differ from stage to stage. Go through the points below for a better understanding.

  • 3 weeks: 5 - 72 mIU/mL

  • 4 weeks: 10 -708 mIU/mL

  • 5 weeks: 217 - 8,245 mIU/mL

  • 6 weeks: 152 - 32,177 mIU/mL

  • 7 weeks: 4,059 - 153,767 mIU/mL

  • 8 weeks: 31,366 - 149,094 mIU/mL

  • 9 weeks: 59,109 - 135,901 mIU/mL

  • 10 weeks: 44,186 - 170,409 mIU/mL

  • 12 weeks: 27,107 - 201,165 mIU/mL

  • 14 weeks: 24,302 - 93,646 mIU/mL

  • 15 weeks: 12,540 - 69,747 mIU/mL

  • 16 weeks: 8,904 - 55,332 mIU/mL

  • 17 weeks: 8,240 - 51,793 mIU/mL

  • 18 weeks: 9,649 - 55,271 mIU/mL

There are a lot of HCG injections available in the market under various brand names. But, before you decide to take up any treatment, make sure to consult your doctor and follow his guided treatment plan.

What are the Low-level HCG Treatments?

Low HCG levels aren’t always a sign of concern. To add on, there is no cure for a situation like this where low levels of HCG are the point of concern. However, there are available treatments for underlying conditions that can cause low HCG levels, like an ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage.

In case of an ectopic pregnancy, your medical instructor may prescribe medicines or even suggest surgery to remove the affected fallopian tube and the pregnancy itself.

In case of a miscarriage, treatments may include removing pregnancy tissue that has been left inside the uterus and might involve a surgical procedure or oral medication.

How should I use this medication?

First, you will have to prepare your injection by mixing the powdered form of HCG with bacteriostatic water. Do not shake the mixture, just gently roll the vial slowly. Draw the fluid into a syringe. Flick the syringe to collect the air bubbles on the top and then push a little until the bubbles are gone. Your doctor will explain the injection sites to you before they allow you to do it by yourself in an emergency situation. You can inject HCG either subcutaneously or intramuscularly.

When being injected subcutaneously, the injection is given into the layer of fat above your muscles or under the skin. The best subcutaneous sites to inject hcg are the back or side of the upper arm, front of the thigh, or lower abdomen. In some cases, injecting hcg directly into the muscles is important as it helps in quicker absorption of the medicine. The best intramuscular sites are the outer arm, upper outer buttocks.

Benefits of Real HCG Injections

The benefits of using Real HCG injections are as follows:

  1. Improves fertility - Hcg injections help in improving fertility in men and women both. In women, it increases the chances of conceiving, and in men, it increases the testosterone levels and sperm count.

  2. Restores Testicular and Penis size - When hcg is used along with TRT it helps restore penis size and help treat a condition called cryptorchidism that affects the testes. This combination of hcg with TRT also improves libido and penis sensitivity. 

  3. Helps in weight loss - HCG injections with a healthy hcg diet help in improving metabolism and losing weight. hCG diet curbs your appetite, keeps your calories down, and only burns fat not muscles, therefore it has been proven very successful during the journey of weight loss.

Potential Side Effects of Medication: What to Watch Out For

The following are the side effects of HCG injections.

Common side effects

  • Headache

  • Swelling and pain

  • Restlessness or irritable

  • Fatigue

  • Breast tenderness or swelling

  • Depression

  • Water weight gain or mild swelling

Serious side effects

  • Severe pelvic pain

  • Diarrhea

  • Urinating less than normal

  • Swelling in the legs or hands

  • Vomiting or nausea

  • Swelling or stomach ache

  • Breathing problems

  • Weight gain

Make sure to inform your doctor if you are a breastfeeding or nursing mother before starting the treatment. Before starting the drug course, discuss all the above-listed side effects with your doctor and share the list of your ongoing medications (if any) to ensure that you are safe to use the drug.


If you are undergoing HCG treatment, kindly be patient enough with the treatment plan and cooperate with your doctor. The result might take up some time than what you might be expecting, but nothing feels better than holding your world (your child) around your arms. Be dedicated, and do not lose hope. Remember, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

FAQs About HCG

1. State 5 warnings and safety advice to use HCG.

  • Do not use the injection if you are allergic to it.

  • The medication should not be used during pregnancy. Inform your medical instructor if you become pregnant during the treatment.

  • Limit your alcohol consumption while on the treatment.

  • Follow the dosage instructions as prescribed.

  • Do not self-administer the process of taking the injection at home without medical guidance.

2. HCG- Is it Good for Weight Loss?

Under some medical circumstances, HCG is also used for weight loss programs, only under strict medical guidance. However, your medical practitioner will guide you through the entire process along with its benefits and side effects.

3. Real HCG vs Homeopathic HCG - In Brief

Real HCG, i.e., Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, is a prescription drug and requires close monitoring by a medical practitioner. It is also effectively used as a part of the weight loss journey only under medical supervision. The medication enables the body to use the stored fats. It supports healthy body functionalities even while on a restrictive diet, thus allowing a quick and safe weight loss journey without making the individual starve or causing any side effects.

Whereas, Dieters use homeopathic HCG or Synthetic HCG along with severe calorie restriction. Through this process, the individual may experience temporary weight loss. And as soon as the person settles down with a regular dietary plan, he/she tends to regain all the lost weight or even more. This is because, without real HCG, the body tends to interpret the strict diet as starvation, and once the person resumes regular healthy eating, they immediately regain the lost weight.

Also Read: How HCG Injections Help in Getting Pregnant?

Medically Reviewed By:

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B. Pharma

(Dr. A. Sharma, PharmD, is a licensed pharmacist and a medical writer with 10 years of clinical experience. He strives to empower patients to understand their medications so that they become better healthcare advocates.)


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