Slow Rising HCG Levels
One indicator which you want to keep an eye on when you are pregnant is your HCG levels. HCG is short for human chorionic gonadotropin. This hormone is produced by your body when you are pregnant and the levels of HCG may reveal some information about your pregnancy. The purpose of HCG is to help ferry the appropriate amount of nutrition to your growing fetus. As your fetus grows, your HCG levels should increase to reflect your fetus’ growing needs.
A lot of women worry when they think their HCG levels are unusual, for example rising slowly. HCG levels should rise, so that part is fine, but the rate at which it happens should be double every few days. There is a lot of variation though with HCG levels. They aren’t a perfect indicator of what is going on with your body or your fetus, and they can only be used as a general point of reference. Every pregnancy has a wide range of levels which might be present and represent nothing out of the ordinary. Your HCG levels certainly shouldn’t be decreasing; if they are, you should have it checked out immediately as it could indicate a problem. If your HCG levels are doubling every 2-3 days then everything is as it ought to be. If your HCG levels are rising but doing so more slowly than that, you may or may not have a problem.
For some women, slowly rising HCG levels are the readout for a normal, healthy pregnancy. But for others it may be indicative of a problem such as blighted ovum, an upcoming miscarriage, or ectopic pregnancy. If you believe you may have one of these problems you should get it checked out. A blighted ovum is an egg which has been successfully fertilized but doesn’t develop. This usually leads to a miscarriage which can occur naturally without intervention. A miscarriage is heartbreaking, but it will rarely endanger your own life. In the case of ectopic pregnancy though, surgery may be necessary. This is when the embryo grows in the fallopian tube and not your uterus where it belongs. Medical intervention is necessary at this point to save your life.
You can’t go on HCG levels alone to determine whether your pregnancy is normal or not. Even doctors use HCG levels only as a reference to decide whether further testing might be necessary in a given situation. If your levels are slow or decreasing, your doctor will probably order an ultrasound or another test which can give a more definitive answer. If your levels are normal though there is rarely a need to investigate further during the first trimester of your pregnancy since it indicates all is proceeding smoothly.
So if your HCG levels are increasing at a slow rate and it’s making you anxious, ask your doctor to check into it with ultrasound or another technique to give you some peace of mind. But don’t panic, because it could be that nothing is wrong and you have a healthily developing fetus!