The blood level of hcG in a woman with an ectopic pregnancy usually rises at a slower rate than normal. Typically, hCG levels double about every two days for the first four weeks of a normal pregnancy, then slow to every 31/2 days by six weeks. Those with failing pregnancies will also frequently have a longer doubling time early on or may even show falling hCG concentrations during the doubling period. hCG concentrations will drop rapidly following a miscarriage. If hCG does not fall to undetectable levels, it may indicate remaining hCG-producing tissue that will need to be removed (dilation and curettage – D&C).
HCG is mainly used by male athletes as it increases the production of both testosterone and epitestosterone and so keeping the testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio unchanged from normal values (vital in avoiding detection of the presence of other prohibited substances). It is also used to maintain testicular volume in males who are using anabolic steroids . However, it is now thought that it is the hormone FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) which is responsible for maintaining testicular volume and so HCG use would be entirely ineffective. HCG use in females would have no beneficial effect at all.