The HCG or human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone that is chiefly involved in human sexual development and reproduction.
In molecular biology, the human chorionic gonadotropin is a glycoprotein: it has a protein subunit linked to a carbohydrate chain. The protein part of HCG is created by the combination of an alpha subunit having 92 amino acids and a beta subunit with 145 amino acids.
HCG is naturally secreted by the syncytiotrophoblast cells in the placenta, an organ formed during pregnancy from the chorion, the outermost membrane enclosing an embryo. For more details visit 1hcgdrops. HCG is produced in increasing levels during the first trimester (weeks 0 to 12, or months 1 to 3) of a pregnancy. Several tumors or neoplasms, such as abnormal masses in human sex organs, can also abnormally secrete the beta subunit of HCG.
HCG is a gonadotropin, a type of hormone related to human primary sex organs: the testes in males and the ovaries in females. As such, HCG is one of the many hormones actively participating in a human’s sexual maturity (during puberty or adolescence) and reproduction. Studies have found that HCG supports ovulation and that it can promote production of other hormones like the testosterone and progesterone. And being a hormone, it has dynamic interactions with other hormones such as the luteinizing hormone, the hormone mainly facilitating ovulation and corpus luteum production, and the progesterone that enables the uterus to nurture the pregnancy to full term.
Measurements and Interpretations
The international unit for measuring HCG is established to be milli-international units per milliliter (mIU/mL). HCG can be measured qualitatively or quantitatively using urine or blood samples. Usually, the qualitative tests, those determining the presence of HCG, would require quantitative HCG measurements, which give exact amounts of the hormone, to produce verified medical diagnoses. HCG results need to be evaluated together with other medical tests as different laboratories and hospitals have more than one normal ranges guide. However, in general, males and non-pregnant females would have at most five mIU/mL HCG levels quantitatively.
High Levels of HCG
A woman is determined to be conceiving from results of 25 mIU/mL HCG amounts or greater. Women expecting more than one babies at a time (that is, for multiple pregnancies such as twins or triplets) normally produce more HCG. But in men, elevated HCG levels could detect tumors or abnormal masses in testes.
A positive result in an HCG test could actually be a false positive for some women with molar pregnancy. This could occur when HCG is found in excessive amounts in a urine or blood sample but further tests reveal that a lump of tissues, not a fetus, has formed in the uterus.
Low Levels of HCG
An HCG qualitative assessment that tested negative could be false negative, meaning a female is really pregnant but her HCG levels may be too low to reach the minimum amount to mark a positive result. This could happen to females who have their fetuses implanted to a fallopian tube, a medical condition known as ectopic pregnancy. Abrupt decrease in HCG amounts could also mean a miscarriage has occurred.
Hormones have numerous types and they all take on myriad forms such as protein, as with HCG, and steroids. The discovery that HCG helps boost testosterone production have led to HCG being manufactured as part of several performance-enhancing drugs.
A diet claiming to aid weight loss in a relatively quicker time has also promoted the use of HCG. HCG shots, drops, or pills are given to patients who are also prescribed specific restrictions such as on calorie intake. While HCG as a hormone is found to repress appetite and adjust hormonal imbalance, which are some factors affecting weight, its sale or distribution for weight loss purposes are declared fraudulent. “HCG diet” has no approval from the US Food and Drug Administration because its efficacy and safety on losing weight are not backed up by clinical trials or studies.
While HCG intake is forbidden in some applications, the administration of HCG is beneficial to adolescent males with insufficient sperm counts and to men of early 40s with decreasing testosterone levels. Fertility drugs containing HCG has also been administered to couples who are having difficulties in conceiving.
The human chorionic gonadotropin is also part of a group of assessments aiming to detect congenital or genetic abnormalities even before the baby is born. Analyses of blood samples or placental cells can spot chromosomal defects in the baby such as Down syndrome or possibly problems in the spine or brain.