The hCG is also known as the pregnancy hormone. Find out how the hCG level is measured, what it means and what it’s even needed for here!
Table of contents
What Is The hCG Hormone?
hCG is a hormone that is produced by the placenta during pregnancy. The abbreviation hCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin. The hormone serves namely to maintain the money body.
This in turn produces the hormones progesterone and estrogen and also prevents menstrual bleeding and rejection of the unborn baby.
Pregnancy can be detected by measuring the hCG level.
What Are The Functions Of The HCG Hormone?
Beta-hCG is a hormone that is essential for maintaining your pregnancy. This is due to its different functions: About five days after fertilization, a special form of the hormone prepares the implantation of the egg.
During implantation, the fertilized egg comes into contact with the lining of the uterus. This then triggers the production of the biologically active hCG.
The corpus luteum in the ovary is now stimulated by this to stimulate the production of the hormone progesterone.
The ovaries now receive a signal from the hormone progesterone that no more eggs will mature and ovulation will not occur. Menstruation is also prevented.
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When Is The HCG Value Determined?
The doctor can use the hCG level not only to detect a pregnancy, but also to determine whether an early miscarriage has occurred.
In addition, the determination of the hCG value is mainly used in first trimester screening. This is used to detect abnormalities in the child (such as chromosomal defects).
Outside of pregnancy, the determination of hCG can also indicate a tumor.
How Can I Measure The HCG Level?
The hCG level can be measured in the blood or urine. Pregnancy tests react to the hormone and show you a positive result. Of course, only if you are really pregnant.
Your gynecologist can also determine the value in your blood. In fertility clinics, the level of the hCG hormone is determined daily.
However, if you have tried to get pregnant naturally, it may happen that the hCG measurement in your blood is negative. But this should not unsettle you.
Because as soon as your gynecologist can detect an amniotic sac in the ultrasound, he will know that you are pregnant even without an hCG value.
What HCG Values Are Normal?
If you are not pregnant, the concentration of hCG in your blood serum is below 4 U/I (units per liter). The level will increase rapidly once you are pregnant and can also be detected in the blood.
During pregnancy, the following guideline values apply for the concentration in the blood serum:
|Weeks of pregnancy (SSW)||Normal values in serum (blood) U/l*|
|3. SSW||5 to 50|
|4. SSW||50 to 500|
|5. SSW||100 till 5.000|
|6. SSW||500 till 10.000|
|7. SSW||1.000 to 50.000|
|8. SSW||10.000 to 100.000|
|9. SSW – 10TH SSW||15.000 to 200.000|
|11. SSW – 14TH SSW||10.000 to 100.000|
|remaining 2nd trimester (15. SSW – 28. SSW)||8.000 to 100.000|
|3. 2ndtrimester (29th SSW – 40th SSW)||5.000 to 65.000|
Your HCG Value Is Too Low
You have measured a too low hCG value? First of all, you do not need to worry. A too low value does not necessarily mean that there is something wrong with your baby.
The level may be too low because you ovulated later than expected. In addition, it is completely normal for some women to have values that are generally somewhat below average.
However, you should also be careful here: a very low value can also indicate that the fertilized egg has nested outside the uterus and thus an ectopic pregnancy is present.
Your HCG Level Is Too High
If your measured value is higher than the average in the table, this can have various reasons. On the one hand, your ovulation may simply have taken place earlier than expected.
On the other hand, a high value can also indicate twins or even triplets. You may even be expecting a multiple pregnancy!
At worst, an elevated hCG level can indicate a bladder mole, i.e. a chromosomal abnormality that leads to a change in the placenta.
As part of your preventive checkups with your gynecologist, the hCG levels are determined regularly. If there are any abnormalities, your doctor will discuss them with you and advise you accordingly.
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Why Is The HCG Value Determined?
You may be wondering why the hCG level in the blood is measured at all. As already mentioned, this is done almost every day in fertility practices.
In addition, the gynecologist measures the value in the blood, for example, if you are newly pregnant and he can not yet see an amniotic sac in the ultrasound.
Even if the urine test is negative, your doctor can use a blood test to see whether you are already pregnant.
By the way: From a value of about 1000 U/I, the hCG value no longer needs to be determined. Your gynecologist can now use an ultrasound to see whether you are pregnant and whether everything is okay with your baby.
The Most Important Things At A Glance
The hCG hormone is usually associated with a pregnancy test. The hormone determines whether you can read a positive or negative result on your test. If you are pregnant, the test detects the hormone and shows a positive result. Whether your values are in the normal range, you can read in the table in the article.
It is completely normal that some women generally tend to have lower values. So you should not worry. Small deviations are therefore not a problem. However, if you notice drastic deviations, whether extremely high or extremely low, you should discuss this with your gynecologist.
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