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Facts About hCG Levels and Early Pregnancy

Rutuja Jathar Apr 10, 2019
hCG levels are actually the most important deciding factor for detecting the pregnancy as well as miscarriage symptoms. Read on to know more on this aspect.
The hCG hormone, also called human chorionic gonadotropin, is an essential hormone produced during pregnancy. It is actually produced by the embryo just after conception.
hCG is also produced by the placenta in the later stages of pregnancy. It plays a key role in maintaining the levels of progesterone and corpus luteum of the ovaries, both of which are very important for a healthy pregnancy.

Significance of hCG Levels in Early Pregnancy

The blood hCG levels during early pregnancy start to rise within 8 to 11 days after conception and keep on increasing until the 16th week of the LMP (last menstrual period). Normal average hCG levels during this time are 6,500 mIU/ml. These levels keep on changing per 30.9 hours till about the 8th week of the LMP.
The levels tend to double on an average and reach its peak during the 9th and 10 th week after the LMP. This is the reason why hCG becomes the deciding factor in the earliest detection of pregnancy. Following are the conclusions that one can derive from the hCG levels.
► hCG levels less than 5 mIU/ml: Pregnancy test negative
► hCG levels between 5 - 25 mIU/ml: Equivocal. Test after a few more days
► hCG levels more than 25 mIU/ml: Pregnancy test positive
There are many reasons for checking the hCG levels early in a pregnancy besides the confirmation of conception. Blood hCG levels can determine several other factors like ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, multiple pregnancy, and early pregnancy miscarriage as well.
Such cases tend to show lack of hCG production during early pregnancy. It is also true that hCG tests need to be performed for more than 3 times within 48 hours to determine the progress of pregnancy.
Given here are the hCG levels for single baby (in mIU/ml) according to the weeks after LMP -
  • 3 weeks:  0 to 5
  • 4 weeks: 5 to 426
  • 5 weeks: 18 to 7340
  • 6 weeks: 1080 to 56500
  • 7 to 8 weeks: 7650 to 229000
  • 9 to 12 weeks: 25700 to 288000
  • 13 to 16 weeks: 13300 to 254000
  • 17 to 24 weeks: 4060 to 165400
  • 25 weeks to childbirth: 3640 to 117000

Some Facts About hCG Levels in Early Pregnancy

➜ hCG hormones are also called pregnancy hormones. They are important for producing progesterone and estrogen. hCG levels are normally measured by performing two types of blood tests and a typical urine test. hCG is typically measured in mIU/ml, which is 'milli international units per millimeter'. Quantity of hCG is also called beta subunit of hCG levels.
➜ One thing to remember is that one cannot rely totally upon hCG levels. Low levels do not necessarily mean that there is something wrong with the pregnancy, and normal levels during early pregnancy cannot guarantee that there are no complications. Hence, other techniques like ultrasound findings are very helpful compared to the detection of the hCG levels.
➜ One significant fact about hCG is that its injections are used for various other benefits like weight loss and treatment of infertility. These injections are used as a parallel fertility medication for both males as well as females.
➜ It is arguably stated that high hCG levels during early pregnancy actually work as an active agent against HIV. Women who are already on hCG injections might take 5 to 15 day's time to get cleared out from their system and hence, they can show disruptions into the tests that are done till 14 days after taking an hCG injection.
Ensure you have the best and balanced diet, perform plenty of pregnancy exercises, lead a stress-free lifestyle, and undergo timely medical interventions for a healthy and tension-free pregnancy! Take care!
Disclaimer: This is for informative purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.