HCG (Human chorionic gonadotropin) Drug Profile
HCG (Generic name: Human chorionic gonadotropin)
Pregnyl by Organon. 5,000 to 20,000 IU (International Units) per 10 cc vials. This drug is not a steroid but it is widely used in athletics today. HCG is a natural protein hormone secreted by the human placenta and purified form the urine of pregnant women. This hormone is not a natural male hormone but mimics the natural hormone LH (Luetinising Hormone) almost identically. This LH stimulates the production of testosterone by the testis in males. Thus HCG sends the same message and results in increased testosterone production by the testis due to HCG’s effect on the leydig cells of the testis.
Normally this HCG is used to treat women with certain ovarian disorders and it is used to stimulate the testis of men who may be hypogonadal. Athletes use HCG to increase the body’s own natural production of testosterone which is often depressed by long term steroid use. Also when steroids are used in high dosages they can cause false signals to the hypothalamus that results in a depressed signal to the testicles. Over a period of weeks of this depressed signal the testicles ability to respond to any signal from the pituitary becomes very weak, which results in testicular atrophy. To avoid this athletes will use HCG to keep an artificial signal going to the testis and preventing testicular atrophy. When administered, HGC raises serum testosterone very quickly. A rise in testosterone firs appears in about two hours after injecting HCG. The second peak occurs about two to four days later.
HCG therapy has been found to be very effective in the prevention of testicular atrophy and to use the body’s own biochemical stimulating mechanisms to increase plasma testosterone level during training. Some steroid users find that they have some of their best strength and size gains while using HCG in conjunction with the steroids. This may wee be due to the facts that the body has high level of natural androgens as well as the artificial steroid hormones at that time.
The optimal dosage for an athlete using HCG has never been established, but it is thought that a single shot of 1000 to 2000 IU per week will get the desired results. Cycles on the HCG should be kept down to three weeks at a time with an off cycle of at least a month in between. For example, one might use the HCG for two to three weeks in the middle of a cycle, and for two or three weeks at the end of a cycle. It has been speculated that the prolonged use of HCG could repress the body’s own production of gonadotropins permanently. This is why the short cycles are the best way to go.
The side effects from HCG use include gynecomastia, water retention, and an increase in sex drive, mood alterations, headaches, and high blood pressure. HCG raises androgen levels in males by up to 400% but it also raises estrogen levels dramatically as well. This is why it can cause a real case of gynecomastia if dosages get too elevated for that person. Another side effect seen from HCG use is morning sickness (nausea and vomiting). There have been no cases of overdose complications with the use of HCG nor have there been any associated carcinomas, liver or renal impairment. HCG was at one point looked at to see if it could carry the AIDS virus, due to the fact that it is biologically active, but the latest word is that this could not be possible in any way.
So we see how HCG be used by athletes to avoid some of the problems associated with abruptly stopping a steroid cycle. This product is also not picked up on steroid tests, so some athletes use it to keep androgen levels high before a contest that has drug testing. HCG must be refergerated after it is mixed together, and it then has a life of about 10 weeks. It is taken intramuscularly only; this drug is often available by order of a physician if you show symptoms of hypogonadism. It is hard to find on the black market.
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