Yash IVF

What Are hCG Levels & Does It Confirm Pregnancy?

Yash IVF Best Infertility clinic in Pune

Good morning readers.

It is with immense joy and hope in our hearts, we are entering yet another promising year 2023. Every effort is directed at chasing those double red lines and it’s worth seeing a bundle of joy in the arms. We have seen many ways of confirmation of pregnancies.

No wonder, the human body is dynamic and has a chemical messenger of fertility.

The pregnancy hormone, hCG or Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). This is called pregnancy hormone as it is present in larger quantities and most pregnancy tests are designed to test it!

Fertility is a family concern and all are eagerly waiting for the arrival of angels in their arms, we are truly nostalgic about being the part and parcel of the journey.

The most promising moment in any human pregnancy is when the fertilized egg attaches to the womb and while resting there for a while, establishes a connection or lifeline between embryo and mother.

About half of IVF pregnancies fail during this phase, which we call implantation. This holds even for natural pregnancies. A lot of research has gone into analyzing or understanding what makes this implantation successful.

Many changes happen even in the uterine lining or endometrium. That’s why the process of Implantation is a very critical early stage in every pregnancy.

At one end, the body treats the implanted embryo as foreign material whereas the immune system modulates the response in such a way that pregnancy continues.

Implantation happens during the brief period of 8 to 10 days after ovulation. This phase is sometimes accompanied by spotting or light bleeding and cramping but is not a reliable indicator of implantation.

After successful implantation, the embryo and generated placenta release the pregnancy hormone or hCG. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy and acts as a chemical messenger. hCG does the following functions during pregnancy.

1. It provides cushioning to the growing embryo.

2. More production of estrogen and progesterone is produced  these hormones help thicken your uterine lining

3. Stops the menstruation

4.hCG levels rise after conception and continue to rise until 8 to 11 weeks of pregnancy.

5.hCG  is a definite marker of pregnancy

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG ) increases as pregnancy progresses. Levels of Human chorionic gonadotropin levels double up every 72 hours. After 8-11 weeks, levels of Human chorionic gonadotropin start declining.

hCG or Human chorionic gonadotropin detection can be done at home through urine tests But the actual value can be received through blood work. One should always confirm pregnancy through clinical blood sampling even though your home test is done.

American pregnancy association has given these reference ranges for Human chorionic gonadotropin.

Expected hCG Levels in the First Trimester

Weeks Since Last Period or menses         hCG Range (if Pregnant)

 3 Weeks              5 to 72 mIU/ml

 4 Weeks              10 to 708 mIU/ml

 5 Weeks              217 to 8,245 mIU/ml

 6 Weeks              152 to 32,177 mIU/ml

 7 Weeks              4,059 to 153,767 mIU/ml

 8 Weeks              31,366 to 149,094 mIU/ml

 9 Weeks              59,109 to 135,901 mIU/ml

 10 Weeks           44,186 to 170,409 mIU/ml

 12 Weeks           27,107 to 201,165 mIU/ml

 14 Weeks           24,302 to 93,646 mIU/ml

 16 Weeks           8,904 to 55,332 mIU/ml

Kindly note, this is for reference only high or low levels of the hormone are not the key indicator of a healthy pregnancy as many factors can influence total hCG level like maternal smoking, weight, ethnicity, parity (the number of times a woman has given birth), severe morning sickness.

More important is the doubling of hCG levels which double every 48 to 72 hours from whatever level they started and peak around 8 to 11 weeks gestation, then decrease.

An hCG level of <5 mIU/ml indicates the embryo has not been implanted. Rising of hCG level appropriately is more important. If the initial value is >5 mIU/ml, then the doctor will advise multiple blood tests for a few more days to ensure a rising level of hCG. if your level remains normal after multiple blood tests, the doctor will order an ultrasound. Every doctor has their protocol driven by experience and will process it accordingly.

What are normal levels of hCG in non-pregnant cases?

For a non-pregnant woman, normal levels of hCG are usually less than 5 mIU/mL.

What if hCG levels are low?

It is possible to have a healthy pregnancy with a low hCG level especially when the values rise appropriately. On another end, it also indicates,

1. Ectopic pregnancy, 2. Blighted ovum (gestational sac and placenta present but without embryo. 3. Chemical pregnancy or miscarriage.4. Miscalculation of last menstrual period

What do high levels of hCG mean?

High levels of hCG could indicate:

Carrying multiples (twins, triplets or more).

Molar pregnancy.

Miscalculation of last menstrual period.

Abnormal growths on your uterus.

How is hCG used for fertility?

HCG injections can increase your chances of conception or pregnancy when used with IVF (in-vitro fertilization) or IUI (intrauterine insemination).

It works by inducing ovulation (release of the eggs from ovaries)

If a history of infertility runs in a family, monitoring hCG levels early in pregnancy can help.

This blog about hCG or Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a conscious effort to bring to notice the complex processes during pregnancy. It is no more simple calculations of months. This science requires the expert to interpret and take a timely call for parenthood.

We have referrals of many such cases of varying Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)levels with a history of recurrent miscarriages and multiple attempts of ARTs.

Many successes and every case is making us rich in experience & expertise.


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