Do you know that the widely known Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or HCG is more than just a substance to lose weight? HCG has a greater significance in the medical field. If you don’t know about it yet, it is not only used to cure testicular atrophy but more than that, HCG plays a vital role identifying certain medical conditions.
HCG Test Process.
The HCG test is done in laboratories either in a private laboratory or in a hospital. There are two ways to conduct the HCG test. If the test only requires the identification of HCG presence in the body, a urine test is conducted. This is not a painful process since the patient only has to provide his first urine of the day.
The other method involves a blood sample obtained from the patient. Since blood is extracted from the bloodstream through a syringe, this may be quite uncomfortable for some people. A blood test is conducted to identify the level of HCG.
Different laboratories have their own range of normal HCG levels. Determining the result of an HCG test can mean different things depending on the situation, the gender of the patient, and other factors.
Sign of Pregnancy
For females, HCG increases during the implantation phase to help thicken the uterus lining and protect the fetus. It will continuously escalate until the 14th week after the last menstrual period. Once it reaches its peak, it will start to slowly dwindle. When the baby is delivered, HCG content is completely eliminated in the female’s blood.
The presence of HCG does not only indicate pregnancy. It is also used to identify particular conditions during pregnancy:
• Ectopic pregnancy. When the fertilized egg is implanted outside the uterus or if implantation occurs in fallopian tube, the amount of HCG is lesser compared to that of a normal pregnancy.
• Multiple pregnancies. It is easier to identify possible twins or triplets in a pregnancy with the use of HCG. HCG is higher in multiple pregnancies.
• Birth defects. Along with the other four substances that are examined in the pregnant woman’s blood, HCG is crucial in identifying possible birth defects in the baby in as early as 15-20 weeks.
Down syndrome can be easily recognized by a combination of an ultrasound and blood test to identify HCL level. This is done during the first three months of pregnancy.
• Miscarriage. The only time HCG will gradually decrease is during the end of pregnancy such that by the time the baby is delivered, HCG content is completely gone. However, if the test shows an unusual decrease in HCG levels during the first few weeks of pregnancy, it could mean a possible miscarriage.
Symptom of Cancer
Although Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is formed by the placenta, some tumors and cancel cells also secrete HCG. This is the reason why Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is also used as a tumor marker. If the female is not pregnant but her HCG level is higher than the normal range, it could signify the presence of cancer cells in the body. Similarly, the presence of HCG in higher levels than the normal for males can also indicate testicular cancer.
GTD or gestational trophoblastic disease is a type of tumor developed in the female’s uterus. When this tumor is formed during the early phase of pregnancy, it could lead to molar pregnancy. Regrettably this could also lead to an extraordinary cancer known as choriocarcinoma.
High levels of HCG can also indicate the presence of germ cell tumors that develop in ovaries and cancers. This is why if a female has elevated HCG levels but is not pregnant, it can mean that she has tumors in the ovary. As for men, germ cell tumor is a 90% indication of testicular cancer.
HCG is also used to identify medical conditions that are non-cancerous such as ulcer, bowel disease, and cirrhosis.