Can hCG Help Boost Low Testosterone Levels?
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone whose main function is to maintain pregnancy. However, some researchers have begun to investigate whether hCG can help increase low testosterone levels in men.
Research on the effects of hCG on testosterone levels is still in its early stages, and so far the results are inconclusive. Early findings suggest that hCG treatment may cause fewer side effects than traditional testosterone replacement therapy (TRT).
This article defines hCG and discusses testosterone function and levels. It also considers scientific research on whether hCG could increase testosterone levels and the risks and considerations involved. Finally, it describes some alternative methods to increase testosterone levels.
hCG is a type of hormone. Several organs produce hCG, including the pituitary gland, liver, and colon. However, the
The main function of hCG is to maintain pregnancy. During pregnancy, the placenta secretes hCG, which stimulates the corpus luteum – a temporary structure in the ovaries – to produce the hormone progesterone. Progesterone helps the uterus grow during pregnancy and helps prevent uterine contractions.
Testosterone is a sex hormone. In men, the testicles are the main source of testosterone. In women, the ovaries produce testosterone in relatively small amounts.
According to the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, typical blood testosterone levels for men and women are as follows:
- Men: 10 to 30 nanomoles per milliliter of blood (nmol/ml)
- Females: 0.7–2.8 nmol/ml
Testosterone plays a vital role in typical sexual development in men. During male puberty, testosterone works to:
Testosterone levels generally
There is some evidence that hCG treatment can increase testosterone levels.
The researchers administered hCG to each of the men for about 8 months. On average, these men experienced a 49.9% increase in testosterone levels and 50% reported improvements in libido, energy levels and symptoms of erectile dysfunction.
Although the above results are promising, the authors acknowledge several limitations of the study, including the small sample size, the lack of a control group, and the non-randomized design. More high-quality randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are needed to help determine the extent to which hCG treatment might help prevent low testosterone levels.
Scientists are still working to fully understand this process. However, hCG
Like traditional TRT, hCG treatment may also carry some risks.
However, hCG can cause side effects. The
Research on hCG treatment is still in its early stages and more studies are needed to determine its safety.
An important factor that contributes to the safety of a drug is the dosage. The lack of research on hCG as a treatment for low testosterone levels means that there is very little evidence regarding safe and effective dosages.
People looking to boost their testosterone levels may benefit from one of the alternative methods outlined below.
The largest spike in testosterone levels occurred with moderate-to-high intensity resistance training involving multiple muscles or muscle groups, combined with short breaks between exercises.
However, the testosterone surge was temporary. It was also lower in older men and those with obesity. The review authors add that there is very little evidence to suggest that such changes might last longer.
Testosterone replacement therapy
Some people may choose to supplement their natural testosterone production with TRT. A
According to the review, compared to placebos, testosterone therapies did not lead to significant improvements in the following health conditions:
The review authors also warn that TRT can have adverse health effects. For example, they refer to a former
The placenta mainly produces hCG during pregnancy. Recently, some scientists have started investigating the possibility of using hCG to treat low testosterone levels.
Early studies suggest that hCG may help increase low testosterone levels in men. However, these studies are still in their infancy and are subject to multiple limitations. Further large-scale, high-quality RCTs are needed to determine the safety and effectiveness of hCG as a treatment for low testosterone.
In the meantime, people looking to boost their testosterone levels may benefit in the short term from moderate to high intensity resistance training. Alternatively, they can discuss with their doctor the possibility of traditional TRT.