HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) was discovered in 1920 when human placental HCG extract was applied to rabbits and its effects were observed . It was then discovered in 1928 that HCG was actually a hormone that was crucial to pregnancy and all its roles . Shortly thereafter, various preparations were developed and tested in which the first HCG preparations were extracted from the pituitary gland of various animals and subsequently marketed by Organon on the prescription drug market in 1931 as Pregnon. In late 1932, this trade name was changed to Pregnyl, which is the trade name whereby HCG is universally known as. Organon manufactures, markets and sells Pregnyl today, but is not produced by pituitary extract.In the late 1940s, accelerating techniques allowed laboratories to extract HCG from pregnant women’s urine through filtration and purification, and by the late 1960s, all HCG pharmaceutical manufacturers had adopted this method for producing HCG. Today, it is still the way HCG is still being produced, and while other methods have been developed, the extraction of HCG from pregnant women to urine is the most effective, efficient and cost effective means of doing so.
During the 1950s and 1960s, when HCG initially began to see widespread use in medicine, it had a very wide range of medical indications that it was approved for treatment. These included: treatment for excessive bleeding from the uterus, Froehlich syndrome, cryptorchidism, female infertility, depression, male infertility and hypogonadism and many more medical indications. Finally, the large list of approved treatments was shortened as the FDA had increased control over the prescription drug market in the 1970s, and today HCG is used only for the treatment of hypogonadism and cryptorchidism in men and infertility in women.