Low hCG Levels

Definition - What does Low hCG Levels mean?

Low hCG levels refer to an abnormally low amount of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) circulating in a woman's body after conception. This can be an indication of a miscalculation in pregnancy date, an ectopic pregnancy, a blighted ovum, or miscarriage.

FertilitySmarts explains Low hCG Levels

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is the hormone measured in pregnancy tests. Blood tests can detect hCG about 11 days after conception and urine tests can detect it about 12-14 days after conception. In most healthy pregnancies, the level of hCG doubles every 48-72 hours until it reaches its peak at about 8-11 weeks of pregnancy. After the peak, hCG levels decline and remain relatively stable for the remainder of the pregnancy.

Typically, a negative pregnancy test is defined as an hCG level of less than 5 mIU/mL and a positive pregnancy test is defined as an hCG level above 25 mIU/mL. Levels between 6 and 24 mIU/mL are not definitive and should be remeasured.

Typically hCG levels are only routinely checked if there is a sign of a potential problem. Although hCG numbers may indicate issues with the developing embryo, ultrasound results are far more accurate at measuring the health of the embryo.

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