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Hormone Used to Treat Infertility May Be a Potential Treatment Option for IC/BPS

Rao CV. Therapeutic Potential of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Against Painful Bladder Syndrome/Interstitial Cystitis. Reprod Sci. 2016 Mar 22. pii: 1933719116639139. [Epub ahead of print]

Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone that can cause ovulation and is therefore used in women to treat infertility. Research has shown that HCG helps eggs develop in the ovaries, and during ovulation, can stimulate egg release. In addition HCG can be used in men to improve sperm count, and for boys who have one or more undescended testicles. Now, researchers believe HCG could also be helpful in interstitial cystitis/painful bladder syndrome (IC/BPS). This is because individuals with IC/BPS often have damage to the urothelial cells that line the bladder, allowing toxic substances to pass and causing discomfort and pain in the lower abdomen and pelvis, among other symptoms. Previously, researchers have studied bladder biopsies from patients with IC/BPS and discovered that HCG may play a major role in the integrity of the bladder lining, and that a disturbance in human gonadotropin signaling is associated with IC/BPS. Scientific leads to date, as described in this article, suggest that HCG can help with this, and has potential as a treatment in the future.