Question

What are the side effects of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)?

Answer

Human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG (Pregnyl«, Ovidrel«, Novarel«) is a drug that can be used to treat infertility. Infertility is described as the inability to conceive a baby within one year of trying. HCG is a hormone normally produced by the placenta during a pregnancy. It acts similar to luteinizing hormone (LH), and can cause ovulation. HCG in combination with other treatment helps conception to occur in females. It also helps males dealing with fertility issues to produce more testosterone.

Risk of side effects when used as weight loss supplement

HCG is not indicated to help people lose weight. The risks of using this medication for weight loss are great, and there have been no proven studies regarding the effectiveness for this particular use. Side effects of hCG can include nausea, pain, vomiting, headache, irritability, depression, fatigue, rash, hives, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, stomach bloating, chest pain, leg pain, sudden shortness of breath, weight gain. Be sure to talk to your doctor right away if your side effects from hCG become bothersome or severe. If you are having difficulty becoming pregnant, be sure to talk to your doctor about what the best treatment is for you.

Learn about hormone levels in our Health Encyclopedia.

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