Human Chorionic Gonadotropin which is commonly known as hCG is an important hormone especially during early pregnancy. It is manufactured and secreted by the cells which eventually end up as the placenta. It mainly works to stimulate the corpus luteum, which is normally the part where the egg was released in the ovarian follicle. HCG is very essential in building up the wall or the lining of the uterus which ensures there is rich blood supply for the growing or developing embryo.
What Are the Normal Beta hCG Levels in Early Pregnancy?
HCG levels varygreatly in different women; this variation may be brought about due to different menstrual cycle lengths as wellas other related factors. Due to thesereasons, we cannot qualitatively determine or say that there are certain specific normal hCGlevels. Important information can be given by two blood tests done separatelyduringa certain number of days. When two tests are performedduring a pregnancy evaluation, they give a conclusive trend of the hCG levels. The following table shows the normal ranges of hCG:
|Week from the Last Menstrual Period or Other Situations||Number of hCG in mIU/ml|
|5 — 50 mIU/ml|
|4 weeks||5 — 426 mIU/ml|
|5 weeks||18 — 7,340 mIU/ml|
|6 weeks||1,080 — 56,500 mIU/ml|
|7 — 8 weeks||7, 650 — 229,000 mIU/ml|
|9 — 12 weeks||25,700 — 288,000 mIU/ml|
|13 — 16 weeks||13,300 — 254,000 mIU/ml|
|17 — 24 weeks||4,060 — 165,400 mIU/ml|
|25 — 40 weeks||3,640 — 117,000 mIU/ml|
|Non-pregnant women||Below 5.0 mIU/ml|
|Postmenopausal women||Below9.5 mIU/ml|
How to Determine Your Beta hCG Levels in Early Pregnancy
There are different methods that can be employed by your medical practitioner to determine your hCG levels during early pregnancy. The main tests that are usually done involve urine test and blood test which give substantive results showing vividly yourhCGlevels. If you’re not sure about your hCG levels, you can consult your doctor for further information.
1. Take Tests for Beta hCG Levels
- Blood test
The hCG blood test isvery important in finding out the presence of hCG in blood. It is also useful in checking or determining theexact quantity of hCG present in your blood. This test can also be used to determine if a woman has conceived, and also to check abnormal pregnancies. It has been proved to be very important in testing for certain specific cancers.
In a maternal serum triple test as well as quadruple test, the hCGlevels play a major role. The mentioned tests check for levels of certainspecific 4 substances in blood of a pregnant woman:Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), hCG and a certain form of estrogen, i.e. uE3. The quadruple test checks the same components along with the inhibin-A hormone levels in the blood. Determination of the level of these components in blood, together with other factors such as the age of the pregnant woman, are helpful to the doctor in determining the possibilities of birth defects in a baby.
In addition, the doctor may have to combine and perform certain tests during the first trimester of pregnancy to find out if there is presence of Down syndrome in the baby. This test usually utilizesan ultrasound which measures the skin thickness at the backside of the neck of the baby or fetus, also referred to asnuchal translucency as well as the hCG hormone levels in blood. It also determines a certain proteinwhich is referred to as pregnancy-associated plasma protein A or (PAPP-A). The accuracy of this test can be comparable to the second trimester serum quad screening performed in a mother.
- Urine test
The hCG urine test is normally used as a routine pregnancy test, and it doesn’t measure exactly the total quantity of hCG. It just shows thepresence or absence of hCG. There are home pregnancy tests which can be used to show the presence of hCG in urine and are widely available.
2. Understand the Results of Your Beta hCG Levels Tests
The levels of hCGvaries in each pregnant female depending on her situation or condition.If you are pregnant and the test show high levels of hCG, it could be a sign of multiple pregnancy where you can have twins or even triplets. However, this is not just good news since these high levels are also associated with Down syndrome, molar pregnancy, or even theycould indicate that you are further along inpregnancy in contrast to what is estimated by your LMP. In a non- pregnant woman, this high levels could be a sign of a tumor that can beeither non-cancerous or cancerous, developing from the egg, i.e. germ cell tumor. It can as well mean presence of some other types of cancer such as cancer of the stomach, liver, etc.
When you are pregnant and the levels of hCG are low, it could indicate that you may have an ectopic pregnancy, or you are not as far along in early pregnancy asestimated by your LMP. It could as well mean death of the baby, and when the levels drop abnormally, there is alikelyhood of miscarriage.