Measure your hCG levels with this handy calculator. A normal increase in hCG in the first 2-3 weeks of pregnancy indicates a viable pregnancy.
|Total difference in hCG:||2 mlU / ml|
|Double hCG every:||72 hours|
|Two-day increase:||72 hours|
What is the normal level of hCG in early pregnancy?
HCG levels rise during the first 6-10 weeks of pregnancy and then slowly decrease in the second and third trimesters. As pregnancy progresses, growth slows down significantly. Between 1,200 and 6,000 mIU / ml of serum usually takes about 72-96 hours to double the hCG, and above 6,000 mIU / ml it often takes more than four or more days to double the hCG.
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It makes no sense to follow hCG values higher than 6,000 mIU / ml, since at this point the increase is usually slower and is not related to the course of pregnancy. In most normal pregnancies at an hCG level below 1,200 mIU/ml, the hCG usually doubles every 48-72 hours. At levels below 6,000 mIU / mL, hCG levels typically rise by at least 60% every 2-3 days. An increase of at least 35% within 48 hours can still be considered normal.
Normal doubling times of hCG
|HCG level||Expected doubling time|
|Less than 1,200 million IU / ml||Da 30 a 72 hours|
|1200-6000 mIU / ml||72 to 96 hours|
|Over 6000 mIU / ml||Over 96 hours|
What is slow growth of hCG?
The slower-than-expected rise in hCG is more consistent with abnormal pregnancies such as miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies, and the decrease is usually associated with failed pregnancies such as miscarriages or chemical pregnancies.
In many early pregnancies, the hCG level will double every 31 to 72 hours. As pregnancy progresses, hCG levels rise and the doubling time increases.
- In a study of 20 patients, hCG levels increased by at least 66% every 48 hours in 85% of viable IUPs during the first 40 days of pregnancy; however, 15% of viable pregnancies had hCG growth rates below this threshold. (Kadar 1981)
- An increase of >=35% in 48 hours can still be considered normal (Seeber 2006; Morse 2012)
After 6-7 weeks of pregnancy, the best indicator of a healthy pregnancy is a good fetal heartbeat on ultrasound. Blood hCG levels are not very useful for testing pregnancy viability if the hCG level is well above 6,000 and / or after 6-7 weeks of pregnancy. Instead, an ultrasound should be done to confirm the presence of a fetal heartbeat. Once the fetal heartbeat has been observed, it is no longer advisable to check the feasibility of pregnancy with hCG levels.
How does hCG change during pregnancy?
After two to three months, growth will slow even more and eventually hCG levels may even decline before it reaches a plateau for the duration of the pregnancy. Doctors often use a quantitative blood test if they monitor pregnancy development closely, but above a level of around 6,000 mIU / ml, which makes no sense as ultrasound provides better information about the pregnancy at this point.
A single hCG value doesn’t say much about the feasibility of pregnancy, and there is a wide range of normal hCG levels in pregnancy. In fact, one of the problems with running urine pregnancy tests is that many women who have irregular periods aren’t sure exactly when they ovulate / fertilize. Therefore, adjusting hCG levels to ovulation rather than past periods provides more accurate standardized hCG tables. Overall, the best indicator of a healthy pregnancy, other than a normal hCG increase, is a good fetal heart rate at 6-7 weeks.
- Barnhart KT, Sammel MD, Rinaudo PF et al. Symptomatic patients with early vital intrauterine pregnancy: redefinition of HCG curves. Obstet Gynecol 2004; 104: 50.
- Silva C, Sammel MD, Zhou L, et al. Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Profile for Ectopic Pregnant Women. Obstet Gynecol 2006; 107: 605.
- Kadar N, Caldwell BV, Romero R. The screening method for ectopic pregnancy and its indications. Obstet Gynecol 1981; 58: 162.
- Seeber BE, Sammel MD, Guo We et al. The use of redefined curves of human chorionic gonadotropin for the diagnosis of women at risk of ectopic pregnancy. Sterile fetal 2006; 86: 454.
- Morse CB, Sammel MD, Shaunik A, et al. Execution of human chorionic gonadotropin curves in women at risk of ectopic pregnancy: exceptions to the rules. Steryl fetal 2012; 97: 101.
- Kadar N, DeVore G, Romero R. The hCG discriminatory zone: its application in the ultrasound evaluation of an ectopic pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol 1981; 58: 156.