For a long time, hormones were misunderstood. Back in the early 20th century, a cocaine-fueled Sigmund Freud thought that the reason women sometimes acted erratically was due to a female-only phenomenon known only as hysteria. It is now thought that Freud had used this explanation in place of science he did not understand in regard to the basic functions of a woman’s body, including premenstrual syndrome and menopause. Later, teenagers came to be described as balls of raging hormones, and any response that varied from calm and rational by even the slightest degree came to be known as “hormonal.” Recently though, scientists have begun to understand the importance of hormones when it comes to everything from mood to health. They have also begun to understand how the balance of hormones is vital when it comes to living a long, healthy and happy life. One of those important hormones is the hCG hormone.
The hCG hormone (hCG is short for human chorionic gonadotropin) is a type of hormone known as a glycoprotein hormone. The hCG hormone is produced by women during pregnancy, and is specifically made by the developing embryo soon after conception. It is also later made by the syncytiotrophoblast, which is a part of the placenta which houses the embryo in the womb. The hCG hormone plays a vital role during the term of pregnancy. Critically, the hCG hormone prevents the disintegration of something called the corpus luteum of the ovary. This substance maintains progesterone production, a process that is critical for a successful pregnancy in humans. The hCG hormone is also thought to play a large hand in the increased immune tolerance during pregnancy for the mother and the fetus. Rampant hCG is thought to protect the budding embryo from disease during the first trimester of pregnancy.
If you are a parent now, chances are you or your significant may have taken a home pregnancy test in order to find out about the good news. Whether you take a home test with a test strip or go to the doctor, the hCG hormone plays a vital role in finding out whether or not a woman is pregnant. Doctors and pregnancy test strips both test for the presence of the hCG hormone in order to find out if a women is with child.
On the other hand, the presence of hCG is not always beneficial and it is not always indicative of the state of pregnancy. The presence of the hCG hormone in the body can also indicate the presence of a certain type of tumor. Sometimes, when tumors are suspected, doctors will test for hCG. Also, sometimes when doctor’s test blood and find the hCG hormone they can then discern that a tumor may be present in the body.
The hCG hormone also has other uses. Clinically, it can be used to induce ovulation in the ovaries and testosterone production in the testes. This means that the hCG hormone can be used in fertility treatments for women who cannot currently conceive. For this reason, some scientists collect urine specimens from pregnant women in order to extract the hCG for use in fertility treatments. The hCG hormone can also be extracted via genetic modification. The drugs Pregnyl, Follutein, Profasi and Novarel are made using the method of extracting the urine from pregnant women. The drug Ovidrel, though, is made the other way – through genetic modification.
If you are interested in fertility treatments, it may be beneficial for you to ask your doctor about the hCG hormone. Just be sure to consult your regular physician and someone who knows about the history of your attempts to start a family.
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