When there is a risk of miscarriage due to hormonal issues then doctors advice medications whose actions are similar to hormones. One of the best treatment options is the human chorionic gonadotropin injection. In this article, we will discuss why an HCG injection is given during pregnancy, how it works and whether it’s safe during pregnancy or not?
In this article:
All You Need to Know About HCG Injection During Pregnancy
What is HCG Injection?
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is a hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy. HCG helps in the production of progesterone throughout the pregnancy and also supports corpus luteum after fertilization. This hormone works in two ways. Firstly, it helps in the normal growth of the egg and secondly, it impels the release of eggs during the time of ovulation.
HCG is also known as pregnancy hormone and thus it can be found in blood and urine after a few days of pregnancy. This is the reason that blood and urine tests are done to rule out pregnancy.
Why is HCG Injections Given During Pregnancy?
HCG injections are beneficial during pregnancy as the HCG hormone is responsible for the growth of the placenta. HCG mainly functions by fostering the fertilized egg when the egg gets attached to the uterus wall and stimulate its growth. As soon as the placenta is formed the placenta cells secrete HCG. With an increase in the size of the embryo, the amount of HCG also increases. Therefore, the normal healthy development of the embryo requires an adequate amount of HCG.
Does HCG Cause Birth Defects?
Sometimes due to the high level of hCG, the baby may develop Down Syndrome. Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder where abnormal cell division forms a complete extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21. Due to this change, developmental and uncommon physical features are seen in an individual.
Down syndrome varies in features in individuals by causing lifelong intelligence impairment and developmental delays. It is the most common type of genetic disorder to occur. Following features are commonly seen :
- Flattened face
- Drooping eyes
- Open mouth with hanging out of the tongue
- Shorthands with small fingers
- Short stature
- Weak muscle tone
The down syndrome also leads to complications such as congenital cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal defects or leukemia.
Side Effects of HCG in Pregnancy
Some of the serious side-effects are :
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS): HCG injection can cause hyperstimulation of the ovary. Symptoms of OHSS are respiratory problems, discoloration of urine with lower abdominal pain.
Weight Gain: due to retention of fluid weight gain occurs. Edema and inflammation can also be seen.
Soreness in the Breast: there may be tenderness and pain seen in the breast.
Depression: The pregnant lady easily gets irritated, hopeless and restless all the time. She has mood swings and is depressed.
Headache and Fatigue: Mild headache is associated all the time with lethargy.
HCG is an important hormone required in the development of the embryo but giving it from the outside requires precautionary measures. The HCG injections must be taken under the supervision of the gynecologist.