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Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone produced in the placenta of the female body during the early months of pregnancy. It is in fact the pregnancy indicator looked at by over-the-counter pregnancy test kits, as, due to its origin, it's not found in the body at any other time.
Medically, hCG has been used for the treatment of undescended testicles in young males, hypogonadism (underproduction of testosterone)1 and as a fertility drug used to aid in inducing ovulation in women. In veterinary practices, it can also be used to rapidly induce ovulation, most often in cows and horses.
For male steroid users, hCG can mimic the action of luteinizing hormone (LH) in the body. Luteinizing hormone is a pituitary hormone that is released and signals the manufacture of testosterone in the testicles. It is this ability that enables the compound to help restore the normal function of the testes to respond to endogenous luteinizing hormone. This ability can be dramatically reduced after a long period of inactivity, as is the case when administering anabolic steroids. Even when the release of endogenous LH has been resumed to its normal levels, testosterone levels may not return to normal because of the extended duration of inactivity to which the testes were exposed2 .
Individuals will also often use HCG to combat testicular atrophy, a result of the hypothalamus-pituitary-testes-axis (HPTA) shutdown. Whereas the cosmetic aspects of atrophy itself are entirely harmless, the fact remains that inactive Leydig cells are more susceptible to damage at the molecular level from reactive oxygen species, aka free radicals. For this protective purpose, hCG is quite effective—as are antioxidants such as Taurine.