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Hcg Levels During Pregnancy

Hcg Levels During Pregnancy

When HCG Levels Suggest a Miscarriage

Your doctor is the best person to tell you what your HCG levels mean, because normal HCG levels vary significantly from person to person, and single HCG levels (even single low HCG levels) do not give much information on how a pregnancy is progressing.

Your doctor can compare the information from your HCG results to other information in your medical history, such as whether or not you are having miscarriage symptoms and the results of an early ultrasound, in order to make a diagnosis.

In general, however, if the HCG levels are dropping in the first trimester, this probably is a sign of impending miscarriage. On the other hand, slow-rising HCG levels that do not double every two or three days in early pregnancy may be a sign of problems, but can also occur in a normal pregnancy.

Where does HCG come from?

HCG comes from the placenta and enters the blood soon after implantation and is detected via pregnancy tests. HCG starts to be produced by the placenta as soon as implantation occurs. This happens about one week after fertilization and ovulation when the embryo implants and the placenta attaches to the uterine lining.

What Are HCG Levels?

In order to fully understand HCG levels, let’s take a look at the earliest stages of pregnancy. Once the egg is fertilized by the sperm, the cells of the egg undergo immediate changes, with cells dividing and dividing, quickly growing into what is called the embryo. The layer of cells that surround the embryo is what produces the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). As the embryo continues to grow, these same cells that produce HCG eventually form into the placenta, which embeds itself into the wall of the uterus.

What is an HCG test?

Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone produced by your placenta once an embryo implants in the uterus.

The purpose of the hormone is to tell your body to continue to produce progesterone, which prevents menstruation from occurring. This protects the endometrial uterine lining and your pregnancy.

A pregnancy test can detect HCG in your urine if your levels are high enough. This is how the test identifies that you are pregnant. But only a blood test can give you a precise numerical HCG reading.

Why is the HCG blood test performed?

The HCG blood test is performed to:

  • confirm pregnancy
  • determine the approximate age of the fetus
  • diagnose an abnormal pregnancy, such as an ectopic pregnancy
  • diagnose a potential miscarriage
  • screen for Down syndrome

The HCG blood test is sometimes used to screen for pregnancy before you undergo certain medical treatments that could potentially harm a developing baby. Examples of these treatments include X-rays.

What should I ask my Doctor?

Your doctor can guide you through the beginning stages of your pregnancy and let you know of other ways to make sure your pregnancy is thriving. It’s recommended that between doctor appointments that you write down any questions, concerns or symptoms to discuss at your next visit and if you are ever worried, you can always give them a call to see if you need to take any action. No question is too small! 

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