HCG injections are commonly used to increase fertility. HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, is a naturally occurring hormone that promotes the development of an egg inside the ovary and causes the egg to be released when it is mature. When women are pregnant, they produce HCG, which is the hormone that pregnancy tests look for.
HCG injections can aid in stimulating ovulation in women who are unable to become pregnant on their own. This is referred to as induction of ovulation.
What Exactly Is Ovulation Induction?
By stimulating the growth and release of more than one egg, HCG can help a woman ovulate more than once during a single menstrual cycle. This treatment is typically suggested for women who infrequently ovulate or do not ovulate at all. This HCG is just one option among many; there are other medications that are FDA-approved and used to stimulate ovulation, and it is up to you and your doctor to determine which medicine is best for your specific situation.
When Does Ovulation Happen After an HCG Injection?
Ovulation can occur between 24-48 hours after receiving an injection of human chorionic gonadotropin, with the average time being within 36 hours. Ovulation within 24 hours is less likely, but it can happen, so couples should be prepared.
When Should IVF Be Considered?
HCG injections and IUI are less invasive than IVF and may be used as the first line of defense in fertility treatment. If ovulation induction fails after one or more attempts, IVF may be considered.
IUI Increases the Chances of Conception:
Fertility specialists will frequently use intrauterine insemination, or IUI in conjunction with HCG treatment to increase the chances of success. IUI is a simple procedure that involves inserting treated sperm directly into a woman’s uterus in order to increase the chances of an egg becoming fertilized. However, certain couples favor to try for a baby naturally after receiving an HCG injection, while others may prefer to improve their chances with IUI.
If this is the case, a fertility specialist will schedule the intrauterine insemination procedure after the ovaries have been stimulated with HCG.
HSG Improves Pregnancy Outcomes:
A water-based or oil-based contrast medium is placed in the uterus and fallopian tubes during HSD. This fluid contains a dye that shows the shape of your uterus and fallopian tubes on an x-ray screen. The contrast can also be used to treat “tubal flushing.” This is essentially an HSG without imaging.
While the contrast medium does not appear to affect the fertility test itself, it does appear to affect the post-HSG pregnancy boost. In women with infertility, researchers compared the efficiency of tubal flushing— water-based, oil-based, combination, and no tubal flushing.
They discovered increases in pregnancy rates over six months using both oil-based and water-based contrast media, with the oil-based contrast medium showing a greater increase. This was true regardless of the characteristics of the couples being studied.
Why Does HSG Improve Pregnancy Outcomes?
No one knows for certain why HSG increases or tubal flushing and your chances of becoming pregnant, but there are some theories. According to one theory, the dye flushes out the fallopian tubes, clearing minor obstructions in some women. If this is the case, the hysterosalpingogram HSG test will show that the fallopian tubes are not blocked. On the x-ray, some contrast may appear to stop and then resume. This could be caused by the dye breaking through very thin adhesions.
Another possibility is that the dye solution improves the endometrium (uterine lining), making it easier for an embryo to implant successfully. It may have anti-inflammatory properties. Another theory is that the dye solution affects the area around the ovaries, increasing ovulation.
Another theory holds that simply inserting the catheter into the cervical os increases pregnancy rates in some cases. This is known as endometrial scratching when done therapeutically. While common, the procedure is painful, costly, and has unintended consequences.