The levels of beta-hCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) vary widely at different stages of pregnancy. This hormone prolongs the lifespan of the corpus luteum as well as stimulates production of progesterone. This is also the hormone pregnancy tests (blood and urine) detect. Obstetrician/Gynecologist David Barrere tells us more.
David Barrere, MD

Your question
What should my hCG levels be for the different stages of early pregnancy?

The expert answers
A single measurement of hCG cannot be used to determine the gestational age or even to estimate a due date. The laboratory that processes most of the specimens from my office recently stopped giving a reference range as this was completely worthless. The following are the reference ranges previously quoted:

1 week since conception: 5-50 mIU/ML hCG
2 weeks since conception: 20-500 mIU/ML hCG
3 weeks since conception: 500-5,000 mIU/ML hCG
4 weeks since conception: 3,000-19,000 mIU/ML hCG
8 weeks since conception: 14,000-169,000 mIU/ML hCG
12 weeks since conception: 16,000-160,000 mIU/ML hCG

So, as you can see, there is a considerable amount of overlap.

Where a beta-hCG can be useful is by getting serial measurements. During the early weeks of pregnancy, over a 48-hour period, the level of beta-hCG should rise at least by 66 percent in a healthy pregnancy. Declining or less dramatic jumps may be indicative of a forthcoming miscarriage. Around 10 weeks of gestation, the beta-hCG level reaches its peak of approximately 100,000, where it then plateaus and slowly declines the remainder of the pregnancy.PregnancyAndBaby.com

Tags: hcg levels


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