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Hcg Levels Miscarriage

Hcg Levels Miscarriage

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 Doctors Order hCG Blood Tests

Some doctors test hCG levels in early pregnancy as a routine part of prenatal care for all women. Most often, however, urine-based hCG tests are used to confirm a pregnancy.

Physicians usually order a quantitative hCG blood test only when they need more information about what is going on in a particular patient’s pregnancy. This may occur if a woman has vaginal bleeding, miscarriage symptoms, or a medical history or pain which could mean an ectopic pregnancy.

An hCG blood test does not require any special preparation or planning, and you do not have to fast before having your blood drawn. Also, the results should not be affected by the time of day you get your blood was drawn or the amount of water you drink before the test. That's a benefit of using an hCG blood test over an hCG urine test, which is affected by the concentration of your urine.

Miscarriage

A miscarriage is a pregnancy loss that occurs before 20 weeks of gestation. Sometimes low hCG levels can indicate that you have had or will have a miscarriage. If the pregnancy fails to develop a placenta, then the levels may be normal initially but fail to rise. Common signs that you are experiencing a miscarriage are:

  • vaginal bleeding
  • abdominal cramps
  • passing tissue or clots
  • cessation of pregnancy symptoms
  • discharge of white/pink mucus

Ectopic pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg remains in the fallopian tube and continues to develop. It’s a dangerous and life-threatening condition, as it may cause the fallopian tube to rupture and bleed excessively. Low hCG levels can help to indicate an ectopic pregnancy. At first the symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy can be similar to those of a normal pregnancy, but as it progresses you can experience the following:

  • abdominal or pelvic pain that worsens with straining or movement (this can happen strongly on one side initially and then spread)
  • heavy vaginal bleeding
  • shoulder pain caused by internal bleeding (the bleeding aggravates the diaphragm and presents as pain at the tip of the shoulder)
  • pain during intercourse
  • pain during a pelvic examination
  • dizziness or fainting due to internal bleeding
  • symptoms of shock

How is it treated?

Unfortunately, there is nothing that can be done to treat low hCG levels, though low levels alone are not always a cause for concern.

If your low hCG levels have been caused by a miscarriage, it’s possible that you may need treatment if any pregnancy tissue is left inside your womb. If there’s no tissue retained, then you won’t require any treatment at all. If there is, then there are three treatment options available:

You can wait for the tissue to pass naturally.

You can take medication to help you to pass the tissue.

You can have it surgically removed

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