Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone that plays a critical role in improving testosterone levels in hypogonadal men and preventing the loss of fertility in men using testosterone replacement therapy (TRT). Below is a detailed look at these two significant roles.
Table of Contents
- What is Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) and How it Can Help Men?
Role in Improving Testosterone Levels in Hypogonadal Men
1. Mimicking Luteinizing Hormone (LH) Action
HCG is structurally similar to luteinizing hormone (LH), and in men, it mimics the action of LH to stimulate the Leydig cells in the testes. This stimulation leads to the production of testosterone, the primary male sex hormone.
2. Treatment of Secondary Hypogonadism
HCG may be used as a monotherapy in younger males with secondary hypogonadism. It aids in boosting testosterone production by the testes. While this treatment can be expensive as a standalone therapy, it is frequently used in conjunction with TRT as a cost-effective way to normalize testosterone levels.
3. Reactivating Upstream Hormones
HCG may reactivate upstream hormones like pregnenolone and progesterone that can be suppressed by testosterone replacement therapy. This activity helps in balancing the overall hormone profile in hypogonadal men.
Role in Preventing Loss of Fertility in Men Using TRT
1. Preservation of Spermatogenesis
TRT can lead to a reduction in intratesticular testosterone (ITT) and impair spermatogenesis (sperm production), leading to infertility in some men. HCG co-administration helps maintain ITT during TRT, supporting continued spermatogenesis and preserving fertility.
2. Mitigating Testicular Atrophy
Long-term use of testosterone can reduce testicular size, leading to atrophy. HCG is utilized to prevent or reverse this condition. The usual dose of 350-500 IU two times a week can be effective in combating testicular atrophy, though published data on this specific use are scarce.
3. Assisting in Steroid Abuse Recovery
For individuals who have abused steroids, HCG may be used for 6-8 weeks before clomiphene to accelerate the natural production of testosterone and restore fertility.
What is Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) and How it Can Help Men?
- HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is produced by the human placenta, a sterile product derived from the urine of pregnant females. Recombinant DNA formulas are produced by pharmaceutical companies and compounding pharmacies.
- In men, HCG mimics LH from the pituitary to stimulate Leydig cells of testes to produce testosterone.
- It can have an additive effect on testosterone replacement therapy's ( TRT) increases in estradiol, hematocrit and/or acne
- The normal lyophilized vial contains 5,000 or 11,000 units HCG by compounding pharmacies (commercial products cost 3X compounding). The vial is sent with bacteriostatic water for reconstitution.
- Used by fertility specialists to induce ovulation to harvest eggs, and sperm production.
- The latest data show that men on TRT + HCG were able to remain fertile. (TRT + 500 IU HCG every other day)
- The usual dose of 350-500 IU two times a week for the prevention/reversal of testicular atrophy. No data have been published on this use.
- Anecdotal effect on raising sex drive in men. No data.
- HCG acts as a Leydig cell stimulator and cell volumizer. Testicles regain size but do not grow beyond baseline size.
- Continuous testosterone can reduce fertility in over 50% of TRT users and testicular size by 10-30 %. HCG may reverse those two issues.
- Noticeable testicular size reduction can be a more common complaint in men with smaller testicular size at baseline. It may not be important to some older men or men not worried about fertility.
- HCG may be used in patients who have abused steroids for 6-8 weeks before c l omiphene to attempt to accelerate the natural production of testosterone.
- May be used in younger males as the sole method of testosterone treatment with secondary hypogonadism. All men respond differently to HCG's ability to boost T production by testes. Expensive as monotherapy and frequently used with testosterone replacement since that combination may be more cost-effective in normalizing testosterone and fertility.
- HCG may reactivate upstream hormones like pregnenolone and progesterone that are shut down by testosterone replacement therapy.
- HCG may not work well in some men who have primary hypogonadism, i.e. dysfunction of the Leydig cells in the testes.
Introduction: Understanding Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is an essential hormone that plays various roles in human reproduction and hormone regulation. This article explores the nature of hCG, its applications, and its significance in men's health.
What Is Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)?
HCG is produced by the human placenta and is a sterile product derived from the urine of pregnant females. Various recombinant DNA formulas are manufactured by pharmaceutical companies and compounding pharmacies1.
The Role of hCG in Men's Health
In men, hCG mimics LH from the pituitary gland, stimulating Leydig cells of the testes to produce testosterone. This can have an additive effect on testosterone replacement therapy's (TRT) increases in estradiol, hematocrit, and/or acne2.
- Used in Fertility Treatment: Fertility specialists often use hCG to induce ovulation and sperm production. The latest data shows that men on TRT + hCG were able to remain fertile (TRT + 500 IU hCG every other day)3.
- Dosage for Prevention/Reversal of Testicular Atrophy: The usual dose is 350-500 IU two times a week for the prevention or reversal of testicular atrophy. However, no data have been published on this use.
- Anecdotal Effects on Sex Drive: Some reports suggest hCG might raise sex drive in men, though there's no substantial data.
- Reactivation of Upstream Hormones: hCG may reactivate upstream hormones like pregnenolone and progesterone that are shut down by testosterone replacement therapy4.
- Limited Effect in Primary Hypogonadism: hCG may not be effective in some men with primary hypogonadism, i.e., dysfunction of the Leydig cells in the testes.
Commercial and Therapeutic Aspects of hCG
- Commercial Products: Normal lyophilized vials contain 5,000 or 11,000 units of hCG by compounding pharmacies, costing three times less than commercial products.
- Steroid Abuse Treatment: hCG may be used in patients who have abused steroids for 6-8 weeks before clomiphene to attempt to accelerate natural production of testosterone.
- Monotherapy in Young Males: May be used as the sole method of testosterone treatment in younger males with secondary hypogonadism.
How Does hCG Work in Men?
HCG as a Leydig Cell Stimulator
HCG acts as a Leydig cell stimulator and cell volumizer. Testicles regain size but do not grow beyond baseline size. Continuous testosterone can reduce fertility in over 50% of TRT users and testicular size by 10-30%. HCG may reverse these two issues5.
HCG + TRT Studies
A comprehensive understanding of how hCG works with TRT can be found in the following key studies:
Testosterone+ HCG Preserves Healthy Sperm in Men on Testosterone Replacement Therapy by Tung-Chin Hsieh et al. This study explains the preservation of sperm parameters in hypogonadal men on testosterone replacement therapy with concomitant low dose human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)6.
Low-dose human chorionic gonadotropin maintains intratesticular testosterone in normal men with testosterone-induced gonadotropin suppression. Randomized controlled trial by Coviello AD, et al. This study investigates how low dose hCG maintains intratesticular testosterone within the normal range in healthy men with gonadotropin suppression7.
Conclusion: The Versatility of hCG
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) plays a multifaceted role in men's health, including fertility preservation, testosterone production, and possible enhancement of sex drive. Its complex nature and diverse applications make it a vital aspect of medical study and therapeutic application.
Source for information on the production of hCG. ↩
Hsieh, T.C., et al. "Testosterone+ HCG Preserves Healthy Sperm in Men on Testosterone Replacement Therapy," Division of Urology, University of California-San Diego. ↩
Coviello, A.D., et al. "Low-dose human chorionic gonadotropin maintains intratesticular testosterone in normal men with testosterone-induced gonadotropin suppression," J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2005. ↩
MORE INFORMATION:HCG USE IN MEN