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High Hcg Levels

High Hcg Levels

HCG Basics

HCG is produced in the cells of your placenta during pregnancy, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Your doctor can first detect this hormone in blood tests roughly 11 days after pregnancy begins. She can also detect it in your urine in roughly 12 to 14 day after the start of pregnancy. In the vast majority of women, hCG levels double approximately every 48 to 72 hours, until they reach peak levels sometime between the eighth and eleventh week of pregnancy. After this peak, your hCG levels will gradually decrease until you give birth.

Symptoms and Treatment

MedlinePlus lists symptoms of a molar pregnancy that include vaginal bleeding during your first three months of pregnancy; severe nausea and vomiting; abnormally excessive or low growth of your uterus; and symptoms of abnormally high thyroid function such as rapid heartbeat, restlessness and heat intolerance. Your doctor may recommend a suction curettage procedure to end a molar pregnancy. If this occurs, avoid getting pregnant again for at least six months.

Where does HCG come from?

hCG is produced by the cells which will eventually become the placenta. Long before it is fully formed, the early placental tissue sends a message to the site of the ovarian follicle where the egg was released. This area is known as the corpus luteum and it plays a really important role in influencing the production of oestrogen and progesterone. These hormones are responsible for building up a rich vascular (bloody) lining in the walls of the uterus which will nurture and feed the developing embryo before the placenta has had a chance to form. Without this feedback loop occurring, the chances of the embryo surviving would be pretty slim. Issues relating to the function of the corpus luteum are thought to account some women experiencing fertility problems and early miscarriage.

What can a high HCG mean?

There are a few reasons why a woman’s hCG can be particularly high. Miscalculation of pregnancy dates, carrying a multiple pregnancy or very rarely, a molar pregnancy. It is common for health care providers to recommend repeat testing with 48-72 hours to check for changes in the level of hCG.

What Does HCG Do?

hCG is responsible for maintaining a thick uterine lining, without this hormone the lining would begin to shred putting the pregnancy at risk. hCG is the hormone responsible for preventing periods. hCG is produced by cells that form the placenta, and this means it is not usually present in the body unless you are pregnant. In most, but not all, healthy pregnancies, hCG levels double every two or three days at the start of the pregnancy. As the pregnancy progresses, this rate may slow to every four days, but the levels are expected to continue to rise until sometime between weeks eight and 11.

HCG Levels & Pregnancy Loss

After a pregnancy loss, hCG levels should drop down to less than 5mlU/ml within around six weeks. The time it takes to reduce will depend upon the level of the hormone at the end of the pregnancy, and how the loss occurred. If you experience a pregnancy loss, your healthcare provider will recheck your hCG levels a few weeks later to make sure they have reduced.

What do high HCG levels mean?

High hCG levels can mean a few possible outcomes, and it’s important to consult with your doctor to know for sure:

Miscalculation of pregnancy dating: As in the case of low hCG levels, miscalculating the pregnancy date can mean inaccurate expectations of hCG counts.

Molar pregnancy: While not technically a form of miscarriage, a molar pregnancy is when defective placenta cells, which either grow too fast or around a non-viable embryo, continue secreting hCG. If you experience heavy bleeding in early pregnancy and have high hCG levels or experience high blood pressure in early pregnancy, then it’s possible that a molar pregnancy has occurred. It’s important to seek a medical professional right away in order to assess whether intervention to remove the abnormal cell growth is needed.

Multiple pregnancy: If hCG levels are higher than expected, it’s possible that you could be pregnant with multiple embryos, meaning twins or more.

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