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HCG Levels in Pregnancy

What is hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin)?

Human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, is produced during pregnancy. It can be detected by a blood test around eight to eleven days past ovulation. HCG maintains the corpus luteum, which is responsible for progesterone production in early pregnancy. Progesterone helps to keep the lining of the uterus thick for a healthy pregnancy. If there is no hCG present in the woman’s body the lining of the uterus will begin to shed and a new menstrual cycle will begin.

What are normal beta hCG levels?

There is quite a range in what is considered a normal hCG level. In about 85 percent of pregnancies hCG levels will double every two to three days. Your doctor may check your beta hCG level more than once to see if it is rising appropriately. See Justmommies hCG doubling calculator.

Low hCG levels

Low hCG levels may indicate a miscalculated date of conception, an ectopic pregnancy, or a possible miscarriage. However, a perfectly healthy pregnancy may have low hCG levels.

High hCG levels

High hCG levels may indicate a miscalculated date of conception, a molar pregnancy, or a multiple pregnancy

What can interfere with hCG levels?

Some fertility drugs containing hCG may affect your hCG levels. Other than that, other medications including antibiotics and oral contraceptives will not affect your hCG level. If you are taking a fertility medication that would affect your hCG level your health care provider should discuss with you how this would affect your tests.

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