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Demystifying HCG: Exploring the "Pregnancy Hormone" and Its Functions


What is HCG?

Human chorionic gonadotropin, commonly known as the pregnancy hormone, plays an important role in reproduction. There are several studies that have shown that it’s an essential part of initiating and maintaining an ongoing pregnancy. It helps in the process of placentation and the development of an embryo. HCG works by thickening the uterine lining of the mother to support the growth of an embryo. It also instructs the body to stop menstruating. HCG can be found in the blood or urine after 10-11 days of conception. Conception is a process where an egg gets fertilized by sperm produced by a male. A female body’s hCG level is towards the higher side in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. After this period, it reduces for the remaining period of your pregnancy. In simple terms, the increase in the hCG levels tells the body that your pregnancy has begun, and now a womb is being created as a safe home for the baby to grow.


A doctor checking a pregnant woman


How is HCG produced?

After conception, i.e., when an egg is fertilized, it travels to the uterus through your fallopian tubes. An embryo (fertilized egg) attaches itself to the uterus walls. This process triggers the formation of the placenta. After your placenta is formed, it releases HCG into your urine and blood. HCG can be detected in the blood after 11 days of conception. However, it takes a bit longer for hCG to get registered in the urine tests. HCG levels increase very quickly for the first 8-10 weeks and then gradually decline for the remaining time of the pregnancy. Doctors are able to determine the development of the fetus by looking at the levels of pregnancy at the earlier stages.

What does HCG do?

Once conception has occurred, the placenta gets attached to the uterus lining and makes HCG. It then triggers the pregnant woman’s body to make more hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone. These two hormones, along with HCG, help to thicken the uterine lining and stop you from menstruating. The balance of these three hormones is the reason a pregnancy is successful.

Uses for HCG

HCG injections can be prescribed for various reasons, primarily to treat infertility. It has been approved by the FDA to be used for fertility treatments and other medical reasons as well. Although it has been marketed by people for losing weight, the FDA hasn't approved hCG weight loss injections yet.

Fertility Treatments

hCG injections for men are approved by the FDA to boost sperm production. In women, it is prescribed to cause ovulation. HCG injections are given according to the schedule of your intercourse and other treatments like IVF and IUI. Studies have shown that HCG has been proven effective in increasing pregnancy success rates and the chances of other fertility treatments. Your healthcare provider will give you detailed instructions on administering hCG shots.

Weight loss Products

HCG is not approved by the FDA to be used for a purpose like weight loss. However, there are various people who claim that hCG has helped them lose weight. So consult your doctor before you proceed further to buy a product or medication for weight loss.

How do you test HCG levels?

You should get tested if you want to know your hCG level during your pregnancy. It will help you interpret and know what to expect next. You have to do regular tests to have an idea about your hCG levels because one test result will mean very little. You will get to know about the progression of your pregnancy by determining the change in the levels of your two consecutive tests, which are done 2-3 days apart. It's important to know that HCG can be detected in both blood and urine, but a blood test is the way to go if you're looking for the most accurate results. This is because it has the ability to detect even the smallest amounts of HCG.

Quantitative Tests-

A quantitative test is also known as the beta test. Its function is to measure the amount of hCG in the blood. The result of the test is measured in milli-international units of hCG per milliliter of blood (mIU/mL). Quantitative blood tests are also helpful in providing information related to miscarriage symptoms, if any, in the first few weeks of the pregnancy journey. When done 2-3 days apart, these tests help compare the hCG levels. The changes in the two test levels help the doctor check whether the pregnancy is progressing how it should at that point in time or not.

Qualitative Tests-

A qualitative test helps to detect if there is any hcg present in the blood. It doesn’t specify the amount, only tells that there is hcg. The result of the test comes as a Yes or No. The test doesn’t have the details about the exact amount of hcg present. Not even if it is falling or rising, just that there is some hcg in the blood.

What are the normal levels of HCG by week in a pregnancy?

The below-mentioned information shows the levels of hcg by week in pregnancy: 

  • Week 3 - 5 – 50 mIU/mL

  • Week 4 - 5 - 426 mIU/mL

  • Week 5 - 18 - 7,340 mIU/mL

  • Week 6 - 1,080 - 56,500 mIU/mL

  • Week 7 to 8 - 7,650 - 229,000 mIU/mL

  • Week 9 to 12 - 25,700 - 288,000 mIU/mL

  • Week 13 to 16 - 13,300 - 254,000 mIU/mL

  • Week 17 to 24 - 4,060 - 165,400 mIU/mL

  • Week 24 to 40 - 3,640 - 117,000 mIU/mL

 Kindly confer with your doctor if your levels are rising a bit differently.

When should I see my doctor?

It's common for most people not to be aware of their hCG levels unless they take a pregnancy test at home. Your Ob-Gyn may inform you that your hCG levels are low, based on the stage of your pregnancy. Usually, obstetricians check hCG levels early on in the pregnancy, but they don't continue to monitor it unless there are any issues. In case your healthcare professional is worried about the progress of your pregnancy, they will conduct further diagnostic tests like ultrasound and recheck your hCG levels. Also, if you are wondering where to buy hcg from, there is no need to worry; visit our hcg category and get the best prices at the lowest prices possible worldwide.

Also Read: How HCG Injection Helps to Boost Fertility in Women


If you've ever taken a pregnancy test, you may be familiar with the term "human chorionic gonadotropin" or hCG. This hormone is often referred to as the "pregnancy hormone" because it's the one that at-home pregnancy tests check for. During the first trimester of pregnancy, your body produces a lot of hCG to support the growth of your baby. Monitoring your hCG levels can provide beneficial information about your pregnancy and may help your obstetrician identify any potential issues. However, if everything is going well with your pregnancy, you probably won't need to worry about your hCG levels. If you have any questions about your hCG levels or what they mean, talk to your healthcare provider and buy hcg online at affordable prices.


1. What role does HCG play in early pregnancy?

It plays a unique role during the pregnancy period. It helps thicken the mother's uterine lining and supports an embryo's growth.

2. Does HCG affect weight loss?

Yes, hcg does affect the weight of a person. HCG injections and a low-calorie diet are recommended by some nutritionists to lose weight.

3. Is HCG the same as anabolic steroids?

HCG is not the same as an anabolic steroid. However, men who use anabolic steroids also sometimes use HCG to reduce or prevent the side effects.

4. Can men produce HCG?

HCG is produced by women during pregnancy to support the growing embryo, but it is also produced in men. It helps men send a signal from the pituitary gland to the testes to produce testosterone.

5. Can HCG be used to treat fertility issues?

Yes, HCG is widely used to treat fertility issues in men and women. In women, it helps the egg mature and is commonly used in both IVF and IUIs, female infertility treatments. Also, in men, it increases sperm production, which helps with infertility issues.

Sources: - 

1. - What Is Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)?  

2. Cleveland Clinic Articles - Human Chorionic Gonadotropin  

3. NCBI Journals - Human Chorionic Gonadotropin: The Pregnancy Hormone and More  

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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