The hormone human Chorionic Gonadotropin, better known as hCG hormone or pregnancy hormone hCG, is created during pregnancy. The hCG values can be observed with a blood test approximately 11 days after fertilization. With a urine test the hCG values can only be measured 12 to 14 days after fertilization.
In general, the amount of hCG hormone doubles every 72 hours. The amount hCG hormone reaches its peak during the first 8 to 11 weeks of pregnancy and then slowly decreases during the remainder of the pregnancy.
In this article we provide answers to frequently asked questions, we try to give you more insight into what exactly the mysterious pregnancy hormone hCG is.
Facts about hCG values, the pregnancy hormone:
- In about 85% of normal pregnancies the hCG values double every 48 to 72 hours. Later in pregnancy when the hCG values are much higher, it takes longer for the values to have doubled. Then it takes about 96 hours.
- It is important to know that hCG values do not say everything. A normal pregnancy can have low hCG values and still result in a perfectly healthy baby. The results of a term ultrasound say much more about the pregnancy than hCG values.
- An hCG value of less than 5mIU / ml is seen as a negative outcome for pregnancy. Everything above 25mIU / ml is seen as a positive result for the pregnancy test. The best pregnancy tests therefore show positive test results from 25mIU / ml.
A pregnancy test that is said to be more sensitive, for example 10mIU / ml is therefore not decisive. These types of tests will always have to be repeated with a normal pregnancy test to determine if you are really pregnant.
Good reviews, and even indicates how many weeks you are pregnant.
- A single hCG value measurement does not provide sufficient information for a proper diagnosis. At least two measurements are needed to see if the pregnancy is progressing well.
- The hCG values should not be used to determine the term of pregnancy. The values differ too much from woman to woman and from pregnancy to pregnancy.
- There are two different hCG tests. A qualitative hCG test that only looks if hCG is present in the blood. And the quantitative hCG test that measures the values of the amount of hCG in the blood.
hCG values table during pregnancy
Below is an hCG hormone table with the hCG value in weeks from fertilization (*). The amount of hCG hormone is expressed in International Units per milliliter:
|Pregnancy duration||Quantity of hCG Hormone|
|3 weeks after fertilization||5 - 50 mIU / ml|
|4 weeks after fertilization||5 - 426 mIU / ml|
|5 weeks after fertilization||18 - 7,340 mIU / ml|
|6 weeks after fertilization||1,080 - 56,500 mIU / ml|
|7 to 8 weeks after fertilization||7,650 - 229,000 mIU / ml|
|9 to 12 weeks after fertilization||25,700 - 288,000 mIU / ml|
|13 to 16 weeks after fertilization||13,300 - 254,000 mIU / ml|
|17 to 24 weeks after fertilization||4,060 - 165,400 mIU / ml|
|25 to 40 weeks after fertilization||3,640 - 117,000 mIU / ml|
|Non-pregnant women||5.0 mIU / ml|
|Women in the transition||9.5 mIU / ml|
* These values are only intended as a guide. The values differ per woman and the hCG values change differently for everyone. A low hCG value does not necessarily mean that something would be wrong. A second test can provide clarity about this.
Too little hCG hormone, what does that mean?
A low hCG value can have multiple meanings. A new test 2 to 3 days later can demonstrate how the values change. A low hCG value can mean the following:
- Wrong calculation of the pregnancy due to a late ovulation or implantation
- A miscarriage
- An ectopic pregnancy.
Too much hCG hormone, what does that mean?
High hCG values can also have multiple meanings. Re-testing 2 to 3 days after the first test can show how the values change. A high hCG value can mean the following:
- Wrong calculation of the pregnancy due to an early ovulation or implantation
- A mola pregnancy
- A pregnancy of twins or multiple births.
Do I have to have my hCG value checked regularly?
It is not customary to have your hCG values checked, unless your doctor suspects a problem. The hCG values are likely to be checked if you have blood loss, severe cramps or a history of miscarriages. Even though an ultrasound is recommended earlier than an hCG blood test.
hCG values in case of miscarriage?
Most women will be at a non-pregnant level with the pregnancy hormone 4 to 6 weeks after the miscarriage. It depends on the way the miscarriage occurred (spontaneous miscarriage, abortion, natural birth, curretage) and how high the hCG values were around the time of the loss.
Also read the blog about pregnancy hormones after a miscarriage!
Can anything affect my hCG values?
Nothing could affect your hCG values except medications containing hCG. This medication is usually used in fertility treatments. Your gynecologist can give you information about how the medication affects your test result.
Other medications such as antibiotics, painkillers, contraception or other hormone preparations will never affect the amount of hCG hormone or pregnancy hormone.