Low hCG Levels In Pregnancy
The body produces hCG or Human chorionic gonadotropin in the body of a pregnant woman. It serves to provide the developing fetus with the nutrients it needs to do so effectively. The levels of hCG in the blood is used as an indicator of what is going on in the uterus. There is no standard hCG level to go by since it is something that is varies from one woman to another. Test results that indicate low hCG levels does not immediately imply that there is something wrong.
HCG is first detected in the body at 11 to 14 days after conception has occurred. The urine at home pregnancy test that you take measure the levels of hCG in your body and indicates whether or not you are pregnant. HCG is measured in milli-international units per milliliter (mIU/ml).
The HCG levels during the different stages of pregnancy vary a lot. During the first three weeks of pregnancy on average the levels might be between 5-50 mIU/ml. One week later in the fourth week the levels could be anywhere between 5-426. Week five and six the range might be 18-734 and 1,080-56,500 respectively. Women who are not pregnant can have hCG levels of 5.0 mIU/ml and less. For pregnant women the levels are expected to double every two to three days for the first ten weeks of the pregnancy. This indication of doubling is a lot more important that the actual amount of hCG present.
The numbers presented simply means that low hCG levels in the early part of pregnancy do not necessarily mean that there is something wrong by itself. The range of what is considered normal is extensive and even if you fall outside the range it does not mean that something is wrong as long as your doctor detects the doubling of the amounts every few days. If your hCGlevels fail to double then there might be a real cause for concern. The first conclusion that your doctor would arrive at is that there is a possibility of a miscarriage. It could also indicate that you are having an ectopic pregnancy where the embryo is growing in the fallopian tube rather than the uterus where it should be. The final possibility is that you have a blighted ovum where the egg has been fertilized but it remains undeveloped. Although these are not all guaranteed answers the doctors will certainly explore these possibilities.
The presence of low HCG levels early in your pregnancy is no cause to be alarmed. What is normal for one woman might not be for another when it comes to hCG measurements. If your levels are not doubling you should definitely consult with your doctor to make sure that there is nothing wrong. If you are diagnosed with an ectopic pregnancy the doctor will recommend that the developing tissue be removed immediately since it could rupture and endanger your life.
If the hCG levels suddenly drop there is a possibility that you have a blighted ovum and the result would be a miscarriage that effectively deals with this problem. This would occur naturally without any intervention from the doctor.
It is important to monitor your hCG levels during those first crucial months of pregnancy especially if you have a history of miscarriages. The important thing is to not be alarmed by the results. Low hCG levels does not imply that there is something wrong. Any tests that cause concern should be taken to the doctor who will perform further tests to come to a valid conclusion.