Pregnancy Levels: Answers To The Most Asked Questions About hCG Levels In Pregnancy

At your first appointment to confirm your pregnancy at your doctor’s office the doctor will take two consecutive blood tests to check your hCG levels in order to determine how the pregnancy is progressing. If there is a suspected miscarriage the doctor will check to see whether the hCG levels are going up or down and will be in a better position to say whether the woman will miscarry. This might all seem simple but for the average pregnant woman interpreting the hCG levels is early pregnancy can be extremely challenging.

What really is hCG?

Human chorionic gonadotropin, commonly referred to as hCG, is a hormone that the body produces in early pregnancy and continues in varying levels throughout its duration. Doctors check the hCG levels to get information on how the pregnancy is progressing.

pregnancy levels

What are quantitative hCG blood tests?

Quantitative hCG blood tests are used to measure the levels of hCG in a pregnant woman’s blood. For more accuracy your doctor will recommend that you provide two separate blood samples over 2-3 day period.

What hCG levels are considered normal during the different stages of pregnancy?

HCG levels can vary especially in early pregnancy. This is why there is a broad spectrum from what is considered normal at this stage. If symptoms of a miscarriage are present two separate tests will be taken to determine whether the hCG levels are increasing or decreasing. This is why doctors will issue two tests and not one.

What is the reason for the monitoring of hCG doubling time and what is considered normal?

At your first pregnancy appointment your doctor will order two blood samples to be taken two-three days apart to check whether the hCG levels are increasing or decreasing. If the pregnancy is normal the hCG level should double every 2-3 days for the first ten weeks of pregnancy.

Is there cause for concern if the hCH levels rises slowly?

Slow-rising hCG levels might be a sign that there are complications in the pregnancy. The doctor will take further tests or closely monitor the progress to see if there are any changes. In some cases however there is no need to worry since in about 15% of pregnancies the hCG doubling time is a lot slower.

Doesa low hCG level indicate an impending miscarriage?

This all depends on the time of pregnancy and the number of tests taken. If the hCG level is low very early in the pregnancy there is not too much cause for concern. If the hCG level is low in only one test there might also not be any cause for concern. To accurately come to a conclusion doctors need to take two tests on separate days to see whether the hCG level is going up or down.

If my results show that my hCG levels are dropping, does that mean that I am going to miscarry?

If the levels of hCG are falling over time in the first trimester it does mean that a miscarriage is imminent.

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