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HCG stimulation test

Patient information A-Z


The human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG) stimulation test is carried out to determine the body’s ability to produce testosterone under stimulation. Your consultant will have discussed the reason for this test with you.

About the test

The test will involve taking some blood tests, followed by a series of three intramuscular injections which will be started after the first blood test. The final part of the test will involve having another blood test the day after the third injection. It is sometimes necessary to perform a more prolonged test but this will be discussed on arrival in the Weston Centre and any questions you may have will be answered at this time.


On day one we will take the baseline bloods. The local topical anaesthetic cream which you may have been supplied with will help to numb the skin prior to the test. If there any other hormone tests being carried out we may insert an intravenous cannula (small plastic tube) into the crook of your child’s arm, or the back of their hand. If a cannula has been put in it will be removed at the end of the test. An injection of the stimulating hormone will then be given into the muscle, either in the bottom, leg or arm.

After this, you may go home but will need to make an appointment with your GP (general practitioner) practice on day two and day three for two further injections of the hormone which we will supply. A letter will be sent to your GP asking for assistance with the injections. Your child will then need to return to Addenbrooke’s Hospital for another blood test on day four.

Effects of HCG

Side effects of HCG are rare with the short test but can be in the form of skin rashes or a local reaction around the injection site.


At your follow-up appointment you will have the opportunity to discuss the blood results with the doctor and whether any further treatment or tests are necessary.


Please ask the doctor any questions you may have, or contact the specialist endocrine nurses - Karis Reyes, Susan Sparrow, Samantha Gorman or Betty Labeja on 01223 217496.

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Smoking is not allowed anywhere on the hospital campus. For advice and support in quitting, contact your GP or the free NHS stop smoking helpline on 0800 169 0 169.

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Contact us

Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151