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Testosterone and hCG

Testosterone replacement therapy is more than simply giving yourself exogenous (outside the body) testosterone. Our bodies are complex machines with literally hundreds of biological processes occurring at the same time. Because of this, treatment can become a complicated issue in regards to maintaining our body’s homeostasis.

During treatment, supplementary drugs such as hCG are usually administered to help maintain this homeostasis, prevent side effects and make testosterone optimization more effective. 

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone produced by women during pregnancy. In men, we produce a hormone called luteinizing hormone (LH) from our pituitary gland in the brain. hCG is very similar in structure to LH and has similar effects as LH does on the testicles. When LH is secreted in healthy men, it causes the testicles to produce more testosterone. 

As we age, some men produce less LH and thus have low testosterone. This is called secondary hypogonadism and is commonly caused by aging. When hCG is administered to a man, it acts on the testicles the same way LH does and signals them to create testosterone. But only if the testicles are healthy. If the testicles are unable to produce testosterone, this is called primary hypogonadism and hCG will have little effect.

So you might be thinking, can hCG be used by itself to treat low testosterone? Yes! And in fact, we prescribe this therapy to younger men who want to keep their fertility. hCG monotherapy can be effective in treating some men who have low testosterone without many of the side effects of exogenous testosterone replacement. The two most concerning side effects men have with testosterone replacement is loss of fertility and testicular atrophy (shrinking testicles.)

Testosterone replacement usually shuts down the testicles ability to produce sperm, thus becoming an effective male contraceptive strategy. If you are undergoing testosterone replacement and want to maintain your fertility though, hCG has been shown to preserve fertility as well as reverse long term steroid abuse effects on fertility.

In addition to preserving fertility, hCG also helps prevent testicular atrophy when dosed along with testosterone replacement. When using exogenous testosterone, the body senses there is enough testosterone in the bloodstream thus it stops producing LH, which in turn decreases the testicles ability to produce testosterone. This can lead to the testicles shrinking. When hCG is administered along with testosterone, the testicles continue to produce testosterone and do not shrink.

During your initial patient consultation at Alpha Medical, hCG will be discussed in more detail as well as the minimal risks and benefits of adding this to your treatment plan. Call us today at (575) 222-0320 to book your consultation.

Justin Montgomery, NP

Clinical Director, Alpha Medical