The part of the menstrual cycle is ovulation. It generally begins when your ovary releases an egg. The sperm sometimes fertilizes and sometimes fails to fertilize the egg when released. If the egg is fertilized, it travels to the uterus and results in pregnancy. If the eggs fail to fertilize, it starts to fall apart, and the lining of the uterus begins to shed during your menopausal cycle.

The ovulation process must be understood properly to prevent or achieve pregnancy and treat various medical conditions. Ovulation happens around day 14 of your menstrual cycle of 28 days. All women do not have an equal 28-day cycle; hence the timing of ovulation differs.

The chances of getting pregnant reduce if you don’t ovulate. The infertility symptoms are too short menstrual cycle, too long menstrual cycle, irregular or no periods, which actually indicates that you are not able to ovulate. There are no other symptoms that will indicate you no ovulation.

There are many ways by which you can boost your ovulation. Some of the practices recommended are:

  • Consume antioxidants rich food
  • Try to consume food with no trans fat
  • Eat healthy breakfast
  • Refined carbs recommended
  • In the case of PCOS, stop consuming carbs
  • Increase consuming vegetable protein sources by replacing animal protein
  • Rely on foods rich in fiber
  • Take multivitamin
  • Consume foods with high-fat dairy
  • Stay active
  • Do not take the stress
  • Decrease the intake of caffeine
  • Decrease the intake of alcohol

What is hCG injections?

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a kind of natural hormone that helps to mature the eggs and also enables the ovaries to release the eggs that are developed by a trigger. It also helps to prepare the lining of the uterus to implant the fertilized egg by stimulating the corpus luteum so that the secretion of progesterone starts.

LH, or luteinizing hormone, also acts similarly to hCG. It is a chemical that is produced by pituitary glands, which help to stimulate ovulation. It becomes challenging for some women to produce LH, and hence the fertility problems start. hCG can help them produce LH, which will eventually help them cope with fertility problems as LH can help stimulate ovulation, which is most important for pregnancy.

Purposes of hCG injections

There are various purposes of hCG if we talk about fertilization. The most common use of hCG is to treat infertility issues in women. If you face any problem while conceiving, your gynecologist may recommend you for an hCG injection and some other drugs to improve your fertility.

hCG injections act much similar to luteinizing hormone (LH). In some of Vitro fertilization cases, doctors also prescribe for hCG injections to increase the chances of your body to conceive. The pituitary gland produces luteinizing hormone (LH), helps in conceiving.

Your doctor will make a schedule for you to inject hCG of 5,000 to 10,000 units intramuscularly or subcutaneously.

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How to prepare the hCG injections?

The doctor will recommend you the doses of hCG injections. You can quickly get your doses from the pharmacy near you. You may get a powder that is ready to be mixed or a liquid form of hCG.

In case you receive the liquid form, you are recommended to store it in your refrigerator within two to three hours of receiving the liquid. Do not use the liquid if you forgot to refrigerate it. You may warm the liquid with the help of your hand before injecting it. Frozen liquids are uncomfortable while injecting.

If you have received the hCG powder, you need to mix the powder with sterile water that you will receive with the powder itself. Try to keep the powder at room temperature before you use it. You need to put the powder into 1 milliliter of sterile water from the vial provided and then mix it gently by slowly rolling the vial around.

Try to avoid shaking the vial containing the mixture. Point the syringe upward after drawing the mix of sterile water and the hCG powder into the syringe. Flick the air bubbles gently collected on top and push the plunger till all the bubbles are gone. And you are ready to inject.

When do you take hCG during your cycle to induce ovulation?

The main motive is to produce one healthy egg. The cycle begins on day 2 of your menstrual cycle with an ultrasound just before starting oral medications. The standard oral medication is Clomiphene prescribed to be taken on day two to six or day five to nine of your menstrual cycle.

On day eleven, an ultrasound will be performed for a follow-up to check the follicles’ development. Once the primary follicle(s) reaches 18-20 mm diameter, doctors will recommend for timed intercourse or opt for injecting human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). It causes ovulation, which is embraced by intrauterine insemination.

Injectable gonadotropins are some commonly used methods used for inducing ovulation. Before starting the injectable medication, the cycle begins with an ultrasound on day two of your menstrual cycle. These medications start from day two and continue till day six to ten.

During the ongoing medication procedures, you may require 3-4 ultrasounds to monitor the pace and development of the follicular growth. Once the primary follicle(s) measures the required diameter of 16-18 mm, doctors prescribe hCG or human chorionic gonadotropic injections, leading to ovulation.

Nausea, cramping, bloating, and breast tenderness are some of the symptoms experienced by women during this time. Ovulation is most likely to occur 36 hours later if you are having intrauterine insemination or intercourse. The day you are being injected, and two days following that day will be critical for you.

Who needs hCG?

Women who are unable to ovulate due to irregular periods are the ones who need hCG. It will help them to induce ovulation, thus resulting in pregnancy. Approximately 40% of women are benefitted by hCG.

It also helps in the case of unexplained infertility. hCG helps to improve the quality of eggs, thus resulting in successful fertilization.

Who must avoid hCG to induce ovulation?

You must avoid hCG if you are having:

  • Cancer-related to hormone
  • Tumour or cancer of the uterus, ovary, and breast
  • Ovarian cysts
  • Early puberty
  • Presently pregnant
  • Adrenal dysfunction
  • Bleeding from the vagina without any cause
  • Heart disease
  • Asthma
  • Kidney disease
  • Migraine
  • Epilepsy

Your gynecologist may adjust the dose of hCG or perform several tests to use hCG safely.

The bottom line

hCG is exceptionally beneficial for the ones who cannot become pregnant due to low or no ovulation. It helps to produce LH or Luteinizing hormone, which will help to ovulate, resulting in pregnancy. But it must be kept in mind that it should not be used once you are pregnant and hence can cause anomalies in the newborn. Inform your doctor immediately once you are pregnant during the ongoing process of taking hCG.

Talk to your doctor freely, confirm all your problems and take hCG either in oral or injectable forms once the doctor recommends you with a proper dosage. hCG can work like magic to the ones who are unable to ovulate due to irregular periods and other female infertility issues by maintaining appropriate rules and regulations.

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About Authors

Dr. Jay Mehta

Fertility and IVF Specialist

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Dr. Jay Mehta is the Scientific Director of Shree IVF Clinic. He is a well-known Fertility and IVF Specialist and also among few doctors in the country who specializes in Embryology and Andrology.

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