Hcg levels at stages of pregnancy

Working together with ObGyn physicians in her own practice, she has over 20 years experience in women's health, pregnancy and childbirth.
The most sensitive, accurate and reliable pregnancy test is a blood test for the presence of beta HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), often just called "beta". The post IVF 2ww is full of suspense and anxiety; and women want to know how soon they can do a urine pregnancy test after the transfer to find out if the cycle has been successful or not. The major advantage of blood tests is the fact that they measure the actual level of the HCG in the blood - and this factor can be very helpful in managing pregnancy problems, if they occur. As one would expect, the levels are higher in a multiple pregnancy because there is more placental tissue in a multiple pregnancy. While a single level provides useful information , serial measurements are much more useful. To get maximal information from a HCG level, remember that it needs to be interpreted in conjunction with your ultrasound scan results. Problems with HCG testing can occur if you have earlier been given HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) injections for inducing ovulation. One drawback with the HCG test is that a positive HCG simply means a pregnancy is present in the body - it does not provide any information about the location of this pregnancy, which may be tubal or ectopic.
Many IVF doctors are very creative in manipulating the HCG results and interpreting them, because they want to inflate their success rates ! They give HCG injections during the luteal phase, after the embryo transfer, claiming this is for "luteal phase support". Human Chorionic Gonadotropin which is commonly known as hCG is an important hormone especially during early pregnancy. HCG levels varygreatly in different women; this variation may be brought about due to different menstrual cycle lengths as wellas other related factors. There are different methods that can be employed by your medical practitioner to determine your hCG levels during early pregnancy. In a maternal serum triple test as well as quadruple test, the hCGlevels play a major role.
In addition, the doctor may have to combine and perform certain tests during the first trimester of pregnancy to find out if there is presence of Down syndrome in the baby. The hCG urine test is normally used as a routine pregnancy test, and it doesn’t measure exactly the total quantity of hCG.
The levels of hCGvaries in each pregnant female depending on her situation or condition.If you are pregnant and the test show high levels of hCG, it could be a sign of multiple pregnancy where you can have twins or even triplets.
When you are pregnant and the levels of hCG are low, it could indicate that you may have an ectopic pregnancy, or you are not as far along in early pregnancy asestimated by your LMP. It is hCG that causes the early signs and symptoms of pregnancy and also triggers the need to actually go and have a pregnancy test done.
While it is not a hard and fast rule, it is generally the case that hCG levels increase by about 60% every two to three days during early pregnancy.
Studies show that every two to three days in 85% of normal pregnancies, the hCG levels increase two times.
When you take a pregnancy test, what it really means is that you are checking for the presence of hCG.

Repeated hCG levels tests should be performed for proper assessment of health during pregnancy.
It is not recommended that hCG levels are used as an indicator of gestation age because these figures tend to vary considerably. The purpose of checking hCG levels is certainly not to determine the physical or psychological health of the fetus. This is important, because appropriate care and precautions can then be taken at an early stage. The HCG is produced by the embryo, and is the embryo's signal to the mother that pregnancy has occurred. The benefit of urine pregnancy test kits is that they are less expensive; and testing can be done at home by the patient herself. Even if you are pregnant, the urine test may not be positive, because the HCG levels in the urine are often very low at this time.
Even if you are not pregnant, the urine test may be positive, because of the HCG present in your body as a result of the HCG trigger shot given before egg collection. Possibilities include a non-viable intrauterine pregnancy which will miscarry; or an ectopic pregnancy.
Thus, one reliable sign of a healthy pregnancy is the fact that the HCG levels are increasing rapidly, and often doctors may need to do 2 HCG levels 3 days apart in order to determine the viability of the pregnancy.
Normally, this exogenous HCG is excreted by the body in 10 days; but sometimes it can linger on. HCG levels which do not increase as rapidly as they should may mean that there is a problem with the pregnancy - the embryo may miscarry because it is unhealthy; or the pregnancy could be an ectopic pregnancy. This means that the HCG levels may continue to rise even if you have a non-viable pregnancy ( also known as an anembryonic pregnancy or missed abortion).
This HCG is then detected in the blood when doing the HCG blood test ( or in the urine, when doing a pregnancy test).
Due to thesereasons, we cannot qualitatively determine or say that there are certain specific normal hCGlevels.
It is also useful in checking or determining theexact quantity of hCG present in your blood. This test usually utilizesan ultrasound which measures the skin thickness at the backside of the neck of the baby or fetus, also referred to asnuchal translucency as well as the hCG hormone levels in blood.
However, this is not just good news since these high levels are also associated with Down syndrome, molar pregnancy, or even theycould indicate that you are further along inpregnancy in contrast to what is estimated by your LMP. It could as well mean death of the baby, and when the levels drop abnormally, there is alikelyhood of miscarriage. Indeed, the typical symptoms of pregnancy, such as sudden bouts of nausea, particularly in mornings for most women, seemingly unexplained fatigue, exaggerated emotional responses, extra fullness or tenderness of the breasts, are all attributable to the presence of hCG in a female.
Nevertheless, the level of the increase is dependent on the particular woman as well as on the number of fertilized eggs she is carrying. As pregnancy advances, the rate at which the hCG levels increase, and may take as much as four days to double. This is because each pregnancy is unique and hCG levels may change at different points for various reasons.

Rather, it is simply to establish that the levels of the hormone are consistent with what is considered the medical norm. After eight to twelve weeks gestation, the rate of increase of hCG levels will decrease even more, until it reaches and maintains an ambient level for the rest of the pregnancy.
This is why, if the HCG level is very low, the test may need to be repeated, to confirm that the level is increasing. While they are not clinical pregnancies, they are of useful prognostic information, because they may mean that your chance of getting pregnant in a future cycle are good. Since the HCG test is positive, they then proudly proclaim that the patient is pregnant and that their treatment was successful. If you’re not sure about your hCG levels, you can consult your doctor for further information.
This test can also be used to determine if a woman has conceived, and also to check abnormal pregnancies.
It also determines a certain proteinwhich is referred to as pregnancy-associated plasma protein A or (PAPP-A).
There are home pregnancy tests which can be used to show the presence of hCG in urine and are widely available. In a non- pregnant woman, this high levels could be a sign of a tumor that can beeither non-cancerous or cancerous, developing from the egg, i.e. Be sure to consult with your doctor if you are concerned that your own hCG levels are not within these quoted ranges. The result of an ultrasound taken at about five or six weeks of pregnancy is a more reliable indicator of fetal and maternal health than hCG levels. Yes, this is logical, but in real life, pregnancies are dated from the first day of the last menstrual period ( LMP). Thus, when patients get levels of 14 or 16, they proudly declare that the IVF was successful and that the patient is pregnant.
HCG is very essential in building up the wall or the lining of the uterus which ensures there is rich blood supply for the growing or developing embryo.
When two tests are performedduring a pregnancy evaluation, they give a conclusive trend of the hCG levels.
The quadruple test checks the same components along with the inhibin-A hormone levels in the blood. To make a bad situation even worse, they continue giving the HCG injections to "support the pregnancy". Determination of the level of these components in blood, together with other factors such as the age of the pregnant woman, are helpful to the doctor in determining the possibilities of birth defects in a baby. The doctor then claims that the IVF pregnancy miscarried because of "bad luck" and that the patient's best option is to try again. Patients feel that since they did get pregnant, this is a good IVF doctor - and they keep on doing IVF treatment cycles with him repeatedly.

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