HCG what the?

If you haven’t been pregnant or tried to get pregnant or were pregnant in the “good old days” then you probably haven’t heard of HCG.  HCG is human chorionic gonadotrophin it starts being produced by the placenta after the fertilised egg implants in the womb.  (source https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/hcg-test) Hence why in pregnancy it is what doctors use to test to see if someone is pregnant.

Officially an HCG over 5 is considered to be pregnant, but most pregnancy tests that you buy in the stores (or online) will only test positive if your HCG levels are either over 10miu/ml such as the Clearblue Digital Ultra Early Pregnancy test or 25miu/ml such as Pregnosis In-Stream Early Detection Pregnancy Test.  A pathology lab will say that an HCG between 5 and 25 is equivocal meaning it could be positive or negative as some medications can affect HCG levels.

HCG levels will vary from woman to woman, as you can see below these are the ranges of HCG levels depending on the pregnancy week.

  • 3 weeks: 6 – 70 IU/L
  • 4 weeks: 10 – 750 IU/L
  • 5 weeks: 200 – 7,100 IU/L
  • 6 weeks: 160 – 32,000 IU/L
  • 7 weeks: 3,700 – 160,000 IU/L
  • 8 weeks: 32,000 – 150,000 IU/L
  • 9 weeks: 64,000 – 150,000 IU/L
  • 10 weeks: 47,000 – 190,000 IU/L
  • 12 weeks: 28,000 – 210,000 IU/L
  • 14 weeks: 14,000 – 63,000 IU/L
  • 15 weeks: 12,000 – 71,000 IU/L
  • 16 weeks: 9,000 – 56,000 IU/L
  • 16 – 29 weeks (second trimester): 1,400 – 53,000 IUL
  • 29 – 41 weeks (third trimester): 940 – 60,000 IU/L
    Source: https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/hcg-levels

A pregnant women’s HCG levels peak in weeks nine to twelve after which they start to drop again.  The most important HCG measurement that doctors look for in pregnancy is that your HCG levels are doubling every two to three days from the first result.  Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for me, my first one was 16.9 on a Wednesday and two days later on Friday it was 20.1.  A week later mine fell to 2 – miscarriage ☹

Here are some other examples of HCG levels from friends of mine
Friend 1
4 weeks was 734
4 weeks 4 days was 3385

Friend 2
3 weeks 4days – 84
4 weeks – 350
5 weeks – 12000

Friend 3
3 weeks – 31
5 weeks – 45,700

I have read a lot of articles on HCG levels and it is stressful when you do the wee on a stick and you find out you are pregnant, take a blood test and your numbers are not that high.  It feels a bit like a competition, and those with high HCGs are the winners, however, it is a bit like everything in life it varies from person to person.  Try (and I know it is super hard) not to stress about them and chat to your doctor or fertility expert about the changes between your HCG measurements if they start off low.  If you start out with high HCG levels then go you! The most important thing is that you have a healthy baby, and hopefully this article helps explain a bit about the importance of HCG levels and why you should try not to stress too much!

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