hCG and Low Testosterone
Several weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go back to where I grew up: Puerto Rico. My younger brother got married in a magnificent place between the mountains and the beach. While I was there, I had so many memories, one of which was: how good I felt when I used to live there. I used to travel around the island during the day to explore the different beaches, mountain trails, rivers and rainforests, among other things. At night, had the energy to be able to go partying with friends and dancing with my then girlfriend (now wife), and then wake up early in the morning the following day, ready for work without feeling exhausted. Why? I worked out regularly, maintained myself healthy and my testosterone levels were at their highest peak.
Many men in their early mid-life covet to feel that way. They struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle, struggle to keep themselves awake during the day and have no energy to spend time with their loved ones. They need testosterone, and most of the time… they don’t even know it.
What is hCG?
Testosterone products help boost the levels in the human body but have several side effects which include testicular atrophy (testicles get smaller) and infertility. One of the ways testosterone can get replenished to avoid these side effects is by using hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), and today I will take some time to help you understand how it can help boost testosterone.
In order to understand how hCG works, we need to understand how testosterone gets naturally produced in our body.
Everything starts out in the brain. The hypothalamus produces a hormone called Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) which stimulates another gland called the pituitary to produce folliculin-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH). LH is the hormone and the signal that stimulates the testicles to produce testosterone. If your body is low on testosterone, the testicles send a signal to the pituitary asking for LH in order to produce testosterone.
How does hCG work?
In men, hCG acts as an analog of LH, therefore stimulating the testicles to produce more testosterone. LH also stimulates production of sperm within the seminiferous tubules, which are structures inside the testicles, and therefore maintains fertility in men. HCG comes in injectable form and is usually administered 2 to 3 times a week.
Previous studies have demonstrated that hCG increased testosterone levels compared to placebo. In another study, men taking testosterone along with hCG were able to maintain adequate sperm production and testicle volume. 
Who will benefit from hCG?
Given it helps to maintain fertility, hCG is a good option for men with low testosterone wanting to preserve their fertility. Moreover, men who are concerned about the size of their testicles while being on testosterone replacement therapy, benefit from taking hCG as it may prevent testicular atrophy.
Are there any side effects?
As with other forms of testosterone therapy, side effects include:
- Gynecomastia (growth of male breasts)
- Pain, swelling at the injection site
- Allergic reactions (skin rashes)
Is it safe?
HCG is an FDA-approved medication that has been used to treat both men and women for decades. In men, it serves as alternative to testosterone therapy to help boost testosterone levels while maintaining fertility. On certain occasions, your doctor can prescribe it in conjunction with testosterone products.
This article was authored by Dr. Jonathan Clavell. Dr. Clavell is a urologist who specializes in men’s health including erectile dysfunction, low testosterone, Peyronie’s Disease and BPH.
1. Liu PY, et al. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial of recombinant human chornionic gonadotropin on muscle strength and physical function and activity in older men with partial age-related androgen deficiency. J Clin End Met. 2002;87(7): 3125-35.
2. Hsieh TC, et al. Concomitant intramuscular human chorionic gonadotropin preserves spermatogenesis in men undergoing testosterone replacement therapy. J Urol 2013. Doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2012.09/043