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Hcg Injections For Infertility

hcg injections for infertility

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)

HCG (Profasi, Pregnyl, Ovidrel ) induces the same effect that your natural LH surge provides — the maturation and ovulation of the mature egg or eggs from the ovary, and then supports the production of progesterone by the ovaries for approximately one week..

It is administered when the follicles have reached the adequate size (16 – 20 mm) and the estradiol level is sufficient.

Appropriately-timed HCG injection ensures ovulation approximately 36-40 hours later, and enables perfectly timed intercourse or insemination. Please note that HCG injections will cause ovulation, but your pituitary will not release LH (positive urine ovulation test), so do not test ovulation when using HCG injections.

Uses of HCG

When you take fertility drugs during an in vitro fertilization, or IVF, cycle, it's important to control the timing of ovulation. The eggs are removed from the follicles that develop in the ovary with a fine needle during egg retrieval. When follicles get too large, they might ovulate before the egg retrieval, which prevents the IVF team from fertilizing them in the laboratory and placing them into the uterus several days later. To prevent early egg release, your doctor instructs you to take hCG between 34 and 35 hours before an egg retrieval, since ovulation generally does not occur until 36 hours after the injection. The hCG also matures the eggs so they'll be ready for fertilization after retrieval.

What is HCG & What Does It Do?

HCG is a protein hormone produced by the placenta that is immediately released after implantation of a fertilized egg and is required to sustain pregnancy. During the early weeks of pregnancy, HCG stimulates natural progesterone production by signaling the corpus luteum (the mass of cells that remains in the ovary after ovulation) to continue to release progesterone, which causes a woman to miss her menstrual period. Production of HCG increases steadily, doubling about every 48-72 hours, during the first 10 weeks of a healthy pregnancy.

Use of HCG as a Fertility Treatment

Scientists have recently learned that HCG may be released prior to implantation to support implantation of an embryo. One 2014 study of 210 women going for In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), reports that intrauterine injection of HCG before an embryo transfer during IVF showed a “significant increase” in the implantation and pregnancy rates for those receiving the HCG injection versus those who did not.*

How do gonadotrophins work?

The two hormones your body produces that are crucial for ovulation to take place, are luteinising hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).

Gonadotrophins are injectable forms of these hormones. They directly stimulate your ovaries to produce and ripen eggs.

The type of gonadotrophins that have been in use for the longest time contain both FSH and LH. These are called human menopausal gonadotrophins (hMG).

Some drugs, called follitropins, now contain only purified FSH. There is not much evidence to suggest that one type of gonadotrophin is better than another at stimulating the ovaries to produce mature eggs, although some may be cheaper or more available than others.

You’ll have gonadotrophins in conjunction with another hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG). This hormone completes the final stage of egg maturation and can trigger ovulation, too.

Preparing/Mixing HCG

One form of hCG, Ovidrel, comes in a 250mcg prefilled syringe. Once you open the box, the medicine is already prepared and loaded in the syringe with the needle attached. Simply open the packaging, remove the air bubble by holding the syringe with the needle facing up, and slightly depress the plunger until all the air is removed, and inject the medication subcutaneously.

hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, Pregnyl or Novarel) also comes in a box with a 10,000 unit vial of powder and a vial of diluent (liquid) which is used to mix the powder. Your doctor will tell you how many units of the medicine to take and how they prefer you to mix it. For example, if you are taking 10,000 units, you will remove 2mLs of diluent and inject it into the powder. Allow the powder to dissolve and then pull the entire 2mLs back into the syringe. Inject the medication intramuscularly or subcutaneously, according to your doctor’s instructions.

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