hCG Levels in Pregnancy

Pregnancy Hormone

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) is the "pregnancy hormone" that is secreted by the placenta which starts to develop after fertilization. It also keeps the corpus luteum producing progesterone after conception. A woman who is not pregnant has an hCG of less than 5 mIU/ml (this is a measure of milli international units per millitliter). Once a woman conceives, this measurement will double every two days. After 11 days of pregnancy, hCG can be detected with a blood test and some 12 to 14 days after being pregnant, it shows up in a urine test.  This is why most at home pregnancy tests recommend waiting to take the test until you are two weeks overdue for your period.

HCG Numbers and Pregnancy

Here is a look at some hCG numbers:

3 weeks LMP (Last menstrual period) 5-50 mIU/ml

4 weeks LMP 5-426 mIU/ml

9-12 weeks LMP 25,700 - 288,000

The hCG level is at its highest between eight to 11 weeks of pregnancy. However, if you are pregnant with twins or multiples, the level will be at the high range. Higher levels could also indicate a molar pregnancy.  If your hCG levels are higher than normal your doctor will probably choose to do an ultrasound to find out what is going on.  He or she will then be able to confirm if you are indeed pregnant with multiples or if you have a molar pregnancy.  Sometimes a women can be pregnant and have hCG levels that are not high enough.  Your doctor may then recommend progesterone supplements in order to help keep your pregnancy.

hCG Levels and Fertility Treatments

However, some women are given hGG injections to trigger ovulation or to lengthen the luteal phase of their cycle, in which case trace amounts can remain in the system for as long as ten days and give a false positive on a pregnancy test. Pregnant women normally attain serum concentrations of 10 to 50 mIU/ml in the week following conception. A maximum level is reached by the second to third month, followed by a decrease in the third trimester. The most sensitive home pregnancy tests measure approximately 20 mIU/ml of hCG.

Morning Sickness Connection

The increase in hCG contributes significantly to all of your pregnancy symptoms especially morning sickness. Checking the hCG levels in blood as performed by your doctor is a much more sensitive test than a home pregnancy test and can detect pregnancy as early as 11 days after fertilization. Women are advised not to use their hCG levels to date a pregnancy. As seen above,  these levels can vary.  Instead try out our pregnancy due date calculator to figure out how far along in your pregnancy you are and to estimate your baby's approximate due date.  Also read more about how medical professionals can figure out when your baby is due.


Get the scoop on pregnancy symptoms from other women in the forum

Login to comment

Post a comment

my 1st beta test showed HCG levels of 14.73. doctor told me to continue medicines and take another test after 5 days. should i be hopeful? the only uncommon symptom ive had in the last 3 weeks is occasional indigestion issues. other than that nothing. Is anyone on board who had these HCG levels and ended up with a healthy baby?
8 years ago
Hiya, im so glad someone else feels the same as me. i thiught i was going crazy. ive missed three periods and have several symptoms like lotiony cm, tiredness, very sore nipples and heavier boobs, metalicy taste in my mouth, backache and bloating before bed. and still not bfp. my doctors think im crazy but i just have a feeling. my mum didnt find out till she was 6 months with me. and my friend went into hospital with bad backache and she gave birth to twins (she was a size 8 and didnt look the tiniest bit pregnant SCARY!!!!) stories like that pop up all the time for me so its probably more common than yiu think.
11 years ago
Has anyone ever heard of or been in a situation where there is an extremely late detection of HCG, or none at all?? I believe I am pregnant. I have never ever, in 10 years had a period that was more than 2 days late. I've been like clock work my whole life.... Now I am 6 weeks late!! I don't really have any morning sickness... but my boobs hurt, and I'm extremely tired all the time, which is definitely out of the norm for me.. I also noticed that my hair is oilier than usual.. and yes I have been showering as always :) I don't know how else to explain this, but I simply "feel" pregnant. I've taken at least HPTs, all BFN. I had a quantitative HCG blood test, also negative only 2 mIU/ml. But I've read a few stories about women who will show negatives on all tests (including blood) until 8-20 weeks, and one case where a woman was currently 8 months pregnant, and showed absolutely no HCG what-so-ever. I'm wondering if this is more common than people think it is.. and what are the chances that I am pregnant?? I have started taking prenatals, and cut my cigarette intake by more than half... I just have a feeling, that I can't shake. Got My appt made, but it's not until April 29th... I will be 16 weeks pregnant by then, If I'm right, and I am pregnant at all. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.. '
11 years ago