Bob recently asked about using hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) rather than clomiphene to increase testosterone. As I explained in How Clomid Works in Men, clomiphene stimulates the pituitary to make luteinizing hormone (LH), which then acts on the Leydig cells in the testis to make testosterone. So why not use LH directly?
One way to take over the pituitary’s production of its reproductive hormones is to use human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), which looks like LH to the body. It effectively stimulates the Leydig cells to make testosterone. But it’s expensive and must be injected. So if the pituitary is working, clomiphene may be a better choice to start. If the pituitary isn’t working, hCG can be tried. But if the man’s LH is already very high, neither clomiphene or LH will help all that much, as the man’s body is already trying that strategy by itself.
The pituitary also makes follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), which acts on the Sertoli cells around the developing sperm cells. To help stimulate the making of sperm in the testis, recombinant FSH (rFSH) or human menopausal gonadotropin (hMG) may be used. Like hCG, these drugs are expensive and must be injected.
Thanks for the question, Bob!