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Ovulation problems

Gives details on the use of hCG, human chorionic gonadotropin hormone, in inducing ovulation.

Ovulation induction by hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin hormone)

The drug hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin hormone) is similar to LH; it is normally produced from human placenta. It is a highly purified extract from the urine of pregnant women. It is given in the form of an injection either intramuscularly or subcutaneously by self-injection e.g. profasi and pregnyl.

The administration of hCG is timed according to the size of the leading follicles, the development of endometrium as measured by ultrasound scanning, as well as the levels of estrogen in the blood.

hCG administration helps the follicles to burst and release the eggs about 36-48 hours after the hormone is given. hCG is usually given after the woman has already received ovulation drugs such as Clomiphene, hMG, FSH or a combination of these drugs.

Ovidrel (Ovitrelle) is the first recombinant human hCG and is given by subcutaneous rather than intramuscular injection. Recombinant hCG achieves similar results to urinary hCG in terms of pregnancy rates and the incidence of OHSS. However, recombinant hCG is more costly than urinary hCG.

The Committee on Safety of Medicines in the United Kingdom has advised that no medical products using urine sourced in a country that has reported cases of human variant CJD (the human form of mad cow disease) be used in the UK.

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