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Hcg Levels After Miscarriage

Hcg Levels After Miscarriage

How Long Until hCG Falls to Zero After Miscarriage?

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone that your placenta makes during pregnancy. It tends to rise through the early stages of pregnancy, doubling every two to three days during the first four weeks or so of gestation and peaking during weeks eight to 11 of gestation. If you miscarry, your level of hCG will get lower gradually and eventually return to your pre-pregnancy level of zero (or it will become so low that it's undetectable during testing).

How Long hCG Takes to Fall to Zero

The exact length of time that it takes for hCG to leave your system after a miscarriage varies from woman to woman. It depends on how high the hCG level was at the time that the pregnancy was lost. In general, a woman who had a very early miscarriage is likely to have her hCG return to zero faster than someone whose loss occurred later in the pregnancy.

What Is HCG?

hCG is a hormone which your body produces when you are pregnant. The full form of the same is human chorionic gonadotropin. hCG is produced by the cells that form in your placenta. The hormone nourishes the egg once it is fertilized and is attached to the uterine wall.

hCG After Miscarriage

The week of the pregnancy during which a miscarriage occurs and the corresponding level of hCG in the blood at that time will determine how long it takes hCG levels to return to pre-pregnancy levels. A miscarriage at 8 to 10 weeks, at the highest concentration of hCG, will generally take the longest to return to normal compared to miscarriage at other times. How the miscarriage occurred, such as spontaneous miscarriage or medical procedure, can also affect how fast hCG levels decrease. In general, hCG levels return to normal by 4 to 6 weeks after a miscarriage, but they may occur sooner during the very early stages of pregnancy.

When Tumors Cause High hCG

Levels of hCG can also remain high or even increase after an apparent miscarriage in a group of diseases known as gestational trophoblastic disease. This disease involves an abnormal growth in a women’s uterus that can range from a benign tumor to a malignant cancer such as choriocarcinoma. These tumors develop from cells that would normally form the placenta when a woman becomes pregnant. Levels of hCG are typically higher than in a normal pregnancy of the same duration and will not drop as expected after an uncomplicated miscarriage. The failure of hCG levels to return to normal after a miscarriage should prompt further evaluation and diagnostic testing.

How do pregnancy tests detect hCG levels and determine if you’re pregnant?

Pregnancy tests are designed to detect changes in hCG levels using a scientific technique called sandwich enzyme immunoassay, and while this sounds complicated (and the biochemistry definitely is!), the principles are about as complicated as making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

hCG is a large molecule made of two separate components: the alpha part and the beta part. A pregnancy test comes with antibodies (aka “bread slices”) to detect the alpha part (“the peanut butter”) and the beta part (“the grape jelly”). So, if you take a pregnancy test and are pregnant, hCG in your urine will be sandwiched by the antibodies on the stick, and this sandwiching triggers the release of a dye, creating the dark line which indicates a positive pregnant test. The second line is a control test to make sure the antibodies are working.

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