A miscarriage is a traumatic time for any woman, that gets further compounded by the changes in the body that had already undergone plenty of changes upon being pregnant. The body produces human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone only during the pregnancy period. It is the presence of this hormone in blood and urine during a test that confirms conception.
The hCG hormone has various functions in the body during pregnancy; it prepares the body for the changes. It promotes corpus luteum to produce vital hormones including estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy. hCG is also responsible for stimulation of the gonad development in the fetus, and for regulation of the luteinizing hormone.
The hCG hormone is produced by cells that form the placenta. As the pregnancy advances so do the level of hCG. Detectable levels of hCG start at 5 mIU/ml during the first week of pregnancy and can rise up to 288,000 mIU/ml in the 12th week. The hCG level in the woman's body doubles approximately every 2.2 days during the first trimester of pregnancy and declines by 10% to 15% from the peak value in the 2nd and 3rd trimester. However, there is no fixed rate at which the level rises, as hormone levels are unique to the individuals. There are two types of tests done to quantify the levels of this hormone; qualitative hCG test to detect if hCG is present in the blood, and a quantitative hCG test to determine the levels of hCG actually present in the blood. A sudden lowering of hCG levels is seen as a signal of an impending miscarriage.
Level of hCG After a Miscarriage
A miscarriage is the loss of a pregnancy in the first 20 weeks (most times), or within the gestation period. It may occur due to hormonal problems, uterine abnormalities, radiations, smoking or drinking, severe malnutrition, etc. The woman's body undergoes hormonal changes, and one important change is the drop in the levels of hCG. Depending on the month in which the misconception occurred, it is normal for the body to have high hCG levels. However, it must drop to zero before the menstrual cycle resumes. The duration is taken for the drop in levels predominantly depends on its level before the miscarriage. This is because the hCG hormone gradually releases its suppression of the pituitary gland. The common time recorded for hCG levels to drop to zero in most women after the miscarriage is four to six weeks.
If the levels do not drop to zero after a miscarriage, it means that the hCG-producing tissue is still present in the body. Until its level does not decrease, the menstrual cycle will not resume which will further complicate the matters.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.