Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) injections are used by mothers-to-be, to safeguard their pregnancy. But is it safe to use HCG injections to avoid miscarriage? Does it have any side effects? Well, this article will tell all that you need to know about HCG injections.
What is HCG?
The hormone that is produced by the placenta after the sperms are implanted in the ovary is known as Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG).
HCG works in two ways. First, it helps in the normal growth of the egg in the ovary. Second, it impels the release of eggs during ovulation.
HCG is quite aptly termed as pregnancy hormone and can be identified in the blood and urine of a pregnant woman a few days after pregnancy. This is why urine and blood tests are done to find out if a woman is pregnant.
Does HCG Injection Help in Preventing Miscarriages?
Miscarriage is the biggest nightmare in an expecting mother’s life. If there is a history of multiple miscarriages in the past, it is but obvious that when you are trying to conceive again you would like to take all necessary precautions to avert miscarriage.
In these scenarios, the doctor might suggest HCG shots to stimulate the release of eggs in the ovary. Research suggests that HCG injection along with some other hormonal shots may help women in getting pregnant but that it has its own pros and cons.
How does Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Injection Works in Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, HCG hormone is secreted by the cells which are accountable for the growth of the placenta. The function of HCG hormone during pregnancy is to foster the fertilised egg after it gets attached to the wall of the uterus and helps it to grow. Once the placenta is successfully formed, the placenta cells exude HCG hormones. As the embryo grows bigger, the amount HCG hormone secreted by the placenta increases significantly. Hence, it has been asserted that for the normal and healthy development of embryo during pregnancy, an adequate supply of HCG is required.
Side Effects of HCG in Pregnancy
The use of HCG injection during early pregnancy has a number of side effects that must not be ignored. It also tends to aggravate some of the pregnancy symptoms like queasiness, pain and sensitivity of breasts, etc. Here are few serious side effects of HCG injections that must be considered and consulted thoroughly with your gynaecologist before taking the shot.
- The HCG shots during pregnancy may cause hyperstimulation of ovary which is called the ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Researchers confirm that 25% of women who take this shot to get pregnant suffer from mild to serious problems associated with the syndrome. If the symptoms of OHSS are mild, then it will subside within a week. Severe symptoms of OHSS have rarely been observed in women after HCG shot. The symptoms of OHSS include respiratory problems, discoloured urine and pain in the abdomen. If any of the mentioned symptoms become severe, then you must consult your gynaecologist immediately.
- HCG shot makes the body to retain fluid; as a result of which, you may gain weight. Oedema or inflammation has also been observed in many cases. Gaining a little weight is normal and there is nothing to worry about. But if the weight gain is abrupt then it is advisable to consult the doctor.
- Another significant change that may occur in the body after the HCG shot is the soreness and swelling of the breast. In some women, the breast becomes painful and starts feeling a little tender. It has been observed that once the body starts getting adjusted to the HCG shots, these symptoms tend to fade away. If the problem persists, then you must consult your doctor.
- Depression is one of the other side effects of HCG shots. It could cause irritation, hopelessness and anger all the time. This is because any hormonal change in the body causes depression and mood swings. This may again not last for too long but if it does, you may have to see your physician.
- HCG shot may also result in fatigue, headache, stomach pain and soreness at the site of the injection.
HCG injection must only be taken at the advice of your gynaecologist. All the possible symptoms and severities for HCG pregnancy must be discussed. If any of the symptoms tend to continue, then you must consult your gynaecologist immediately.