Slideshows Images Quizzes

Copyright © 2018 by RxList Inc. RxList does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.

Definition of Human chorionic gonadotropin

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Human chorionic gonadotropin: (hCG) A human hormone made by chorionic cells in the fetal part of the placenta. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is directed at the gonads and stimulates them. Hence, the name "gonadotropin."

The presence of hCG is detectable by immunologic means within days of fertilization and forms the foundation of the common pregnancy tests. The level of hCG tends to be higher with a female fetus soon after conception.

The level of hCG in maternal serum also enters as one component in the "double" and the "triple" screening tests used during pregnancy to assign risks of Down syndrome and other fetal disorders.

SLIDESHOW

Early Signs & Symptoms of Pregnancy See Slideshow
Reviewed on 12/12/2018

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors