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Role of HCG injections in Fertility Treatments

  • 4.7 (6 Votes)

HCG injection is one of the most crucial hormonal injections administered to women who are undergoing fertility treatment or are pregnant. HCG is also known as pregnancy hormone. It helps in the release of eggs from the mature follicles in IUI and IVF treatment as well as helps in sustaining pregnancy.

Medications and injections have a crucial role in fertility treatments because they help to create the desired environment for the success of the respective treatment. Type of medication to be utilized during the treatment depends upon the treatment and severity of the problem. HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) injection is one such injection, which is utilized in almost every fertility treatment such as IVF or IUI. Apart from helping in the development of follicles in the ovaries, it also aids in the release of the eggs from the ovaries in women. It also aids in sustaining pregnancy when a woman has recurrent miscarriages due to the lower levels of the HCG hormone in the body. Here, you will be able to find the various facets of HCG injections and utilize the knowledge in your respective treatments and pregnancy.

What is HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)?

hCG is basically a hormone which supports the growth and development of the baby in the early weeks of pregnancy until the placenta takes the role. It also helps in the release of eggs from the ovaries during ovulation in women. It is popularly known as “Pregnancy Hormone.” It is produced naturally in a female’s body once she is pregnant as it promotes the production of progesterone hormone, which helps in maintaining the uterus lining. It can be detected in the urine or blood of the women who are pregnant. Presence of hCG hormone in female body can be detected with the help of pregnancy test kits or blood test.

What are the uses of HCG injections in fertility treatments?

  • HCG injections or shots are utilized during fertility treatments such as IVF, IUI to improve the success rates of fertility treatments.
  • It is also used in the treatment of certain conditions that are linked to sex hormone like absence of sexual characteristic in young girls and undescended testes in men.

Let’s find the use of hCG injections or shots for various treatments to help women in conceiving.

1. Use of hCG injections in IUI

HCG has similar structure and functionality as that of the LH hormone. Likewise LH, HCG is used to stimulate or induce the ovulation during IUI treatment. It is required once drugs like clomiphene citrate or Clomid are used for the successful stimulation and growth of the eggs. HCG injections or trigger shots are given 36 hours prior to the scheduled egg retrieval process. After the hCG injection is given, semen insemination is then carried out after a day or two. hCG injections help in egg release as well as in timing the sperm insemination process.

2. Use of hCG injections in IVF

The hCG trigger injection or shot is used during IVF for inducing the final maturation of the eggs in the woman before the process of egg retrieval. The dosage of the shot is determined by the body mass index of the woman.

3. Use of hCG injections during pregnancy

The hCG hormone increases during pregnancy and the falling level of this hormone is taken as an indicator of an impending miscarriage. HCG hormone injections are administered to the women who experience multiple miscarriages with an idea that its falling levels could be one of the reasons behind it.

In the latest researches, it is found that Human Chorionic Gonadotropin hormone is released into the body right before the implantation of the embryo takes place.  Studies have shown that there is a notable increase in the implantation as well as pregnancy rates after HCG contributes to the process.

4. Use of hCG in Conceiving with Anovulation

Women who have a history of an ovulation or PCOS respond well to HCG injections. Women having such issues are given hCG injections in the mid cycle to promote egg release.

When should one take HCG injections in fertility treatments and pregnancy?

Timing during which HCG injections should be administered play a crucial role in determining the success of fertility treatments. The timing of administration also ensures proper growth and development of the baby in the womb of the mother. During fertility treatment, HCG injections are administered when there is a presence of the mature egg follicles inside the ovaries. HCG injections help in the release of the mature eggs from the ovaries. It is essential that you inform your doctor regarding your queries and get to know the timings of the HCG injections according to your requirements. Ovulation takes place 36 hours after injecting the HCG hormones. So, two days after this step along with the day of administration of HCG injection are much vital for the successful pregnancy.

Why are the false positive results caused by HCG injections?

A false positive pregnancy test appears when you get a positive pregnancy test result without actually being pregnant. There are high chances of having a false pregnancy when you are being administered with HCG injections. It can happen because the leftover HCG hormones get detected by a urine test thereby influencing the pregnancy test result. Therefore, it is recommended that one should wait for at least 2 weeks after the administration of HCG injection to find out the actual results from the tests. This will prevent from finding a false positive pregnancy test and help you in realizing the reality. This will help you commence with the required treatment again for a successful and true pregnancy.

How to know you are pregnant after the use of HcG injections?

At times, HCG injection symptoms and pregnancy symptoms are very similar to each other. Therefore, it is really important to differentiate both from each other and find the actual results related to the news of pregnancy. Some of the commonly seen symptoms include

  • Headache
  • Depression
  • As well as fluid retention in the body

The doctor recommends or performs a series of blood tests for the female patient. This helps to know the real rise of the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin hormone in the body of the woman who is planning pregnancy or undergoing fertility treatment. This is combined with an ultrasound test, which finally confirms the presence of pregnancy. Therefore, it is essential to note the time period when you are taking a pregnancy test for confirming the presence of a successful pregnancy.

What happens when HCG injections are not taken?

One does not need to worry if HCG injections are not taken. You need to remember that HCG remains in our body for a time period of around 3 days. So, even if you have missed one of your HCG injections once in a while, then you need not panic at all. You just need to contact your doctor and schedule for the next HCG injection appointment. This will help you to balance the HCG doses given to you. In this way, you will be able to prevent yourself from missing out on the benefits of HCG injections.

What are the side effects of HCG injections?

HCG injections are indeed useful for the body. But when the usage of HCG injections increases it also leads to various side effects, which need to be noted from time to time.

  • Risk of Ovarian Hyper stimulation: The HCG injections given at the time of pregnancy leads to the hyperstimulation of ovary, which is also known as Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome (OHSS). At least one fourth of the women suffer from the side effects of HCG injections. These symptoms vary from one pregnant woman to another. Some of the symptoms subside within a week or two.
  • Soreness and Swelling in Breast: Soreness and swelling of the breast are one of the common side effects of increased utilization of HCG injections. You need to monitor your body well if you feel discomfort or unusual change in the body.
  • Increase in Fluid Content in Body: You need to note that HCG injections in pregnant women or women who are undergoing fertility treatment lead to the increase in the fluid content in the body. This thereby leads to the increase in the weight of the body. Most of the women can face this side effect after HcG injections are given to them. The increase in the weight gain varies from one woman to another. If you find that you are putting on more weight, and then consult your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Depression, fatigue, stomach pain and headache can also be seen in women who are given HCG injections for fertility treatments or during pregnancies.

Now, you are aware of the various aspects of HCG injections and their role in fertility and pregnancy. You can also learn regarding various fertility treatments like IVF, IUI, IMSI and ICSI on ElaWoman blog.

Recommended Reads

Five Things You Need To Know About Fertility Treatments

About Unexplained Infertility And Its Treatment

Treatments Used for Infertility Issues in Couples

Homeopathic Remedies For Infertility Treatment

Dr. Srilatha Gorthi

About The Author

Laparoscopic Surgeon, Gynecologic Surgeon Dr. Srilatha Gorthi

Dr. Srilatha Gorthi is an infertility specialist and laparoscopy surgeon located in Hyderabad. Her area of expertise lies in the field of Gynae diseases and conditions, and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART). She provides a number of services that comprise of In vitro Fertilization (IVF), Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), ICSI, TESA, MESA, Gynae Hysteroscopy, Laparoscopy, treatment of Ovarian Cysts, Endometriosis, PCOS, Fibroids, Polyps and so on. Dr. Srilatha Gorthi practices at The Birthplace Hospital, Revive Multi Specialty Clinics and Fertility Centre, and The Birthplace Clinic and has a rich experience of more than 18 years. Dr. Gorthi has won 9 Gold Medals in MBBS.She is a reputed member of the Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI), European society of Gynaecological Endoscopy and British Medical Association, UK, and British Fertility Society. You can get her information at


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Krishna Gaur

Please suggest the best way to take these shots and how much do HCG shots cost?

Oct. 5, 2018, 8:54 a.m. 5.0


Lata Shah

I missed my HCG injection for one week. Is it going to trouble me? Or I need to start taking these shots from the beginning?

Oct. 2, 2018, 12:52 p.m. 4.5


Tamanaha Dev

I observed white vaginal discharge after having HCG shots. Is this normal or just any side-effects?

Sept. 13, 2018, 9:48 a.m. 4.5


Reshma Desai

Thanks for this information, I think, I am able to make my mind to have HCG injections now. And the side-effects don't look so vulnerable.

Sept. 12, 2018, 2:01 p.m. 5.0


Sarita Bansal

I have a low egg count, does having HCG injections will help me?

Aug. 20, 2018, 11:42 a.m. 4.5


Shivlal Mhari

Aug. 18, 2018, 1:27 p.m. 4.5

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