What are Normal hCG Levels During Pregnancy?

(January 21, 2013)

The hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin hormone is produced in a woman's body during pregnancy. It is released in the bloodstream soon after the fertilized egg implants itself into the lining of the uterus. This occurs about 8 to 12 days after conception has taken place. The hCG levels are measured so that the progress of the pregnancy can be monitored. So what are normal hcg levels during pregnancy?

The level of hCG in the blood is initially very low at just 5 mIU/ml. It then increases rapidly and doubles after every 72 hours. Over a period of a few days, the levels will have increased enough to be detected in the urine. A urine based pregnancy test done at this time will produce positive results.  Normal hcg levels during pregnancy are known to vary a great deal. Different women may have varying hCG levels. A woman may also show variation in hCG levels during different pregnancies. In the initial few weeks of pregnancy, the level of hCG may be quite low. However this in itself is not significant as doctors pay attention to whether the levels increase over a period of time. In many cases, pregnancies may begin with low levels of hCG and then progress in a healthy manner. Doctors usually repeat the blood test in 2 to 3 days and then again a couple of days after that. This helps them evaluate if hCG levels are rising sufficiently. Normal hCG levels during early pregnancy tend to double after every 48 hours. They peak at about 10 weeks and at this time, the levels may be as high as 60,000 mIU/ml. However normal levels may range from 10,000 - 25,000 mIU/ml. Over the next few weeks, hCG concentration will drop and stabilize at about 15,000 mIU/ml. This concentration will continue till the end of the pregnancy. Normal hCG  levels during pregnancy with twins tend to be higher. However these levels are within the range of single pregnancies and hence one cannot assume that a twin pregnancy has occurred on this basis alone.

It is important to discuss your hCG levels with your doctor. It is not advisable to interpret the results as being indicative of complications or a miscarriage. Only a series of hCG tests helps to reveal a pattern and this will enable your doctor and you, to know if your pregnancy is progressing in a healthy manner.

Submitted by N H on January 21, 2013 at 03:59

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