What is hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)?

Human Chorionic Gonadotropin or hCG is the pregnancy hormone produced by the placenta as soon as implantation happens, about one week after fertilization and ovulation. As soon as the embryo implants and the placenta attaches to the uterine lining, hCG enters the circulation and eventually is excreted into the urine. Many women wonder what the hCG level in early pregnancy is. In most normal pregnancies with hCG levels below 1,200 mIU/ml, the hCG usually doubles every 48-72 hours and increases by at least 60% every two days. Once it reaches about 6,000 mIU it takes longer to double and after 11-12 weeks the hCG normally decreases.

At an hCG level greater than 12,000 mIU/ml there should be a visible embryo with a heartbeat, though it could take up to an hCG level of 22,000 mIU/ml to first see the fetal heartbeat. A low hCG count in pregnancy may indicate a miscalculated date of conception, an ectopic pregnancy, or a possible miscarriage. However, a perfectly healthy pregnancy may have low hCG counts and levels. A high hCG count in pregnancy may indicate a miscalculated date of conception, a molar pregnancy, or a multiple pregnancy. Some fertility drugs usually hCG injections containing hCG may affect your hCG levels. Other than that, other medications including antibiotics and oral contraceptives will not affect your hCG level. If you are taking a fertility medication that would affect your hCG count then your healthcare provider should discuss with you how this would affect your tests.

What Is a False Negative Pregnancy Test?

Can you get a false negative pregnancy test and still be pregnant? Find out all about false positives, false positives and what those results really mean! ... read more »

hCG Levels and Sex of the Fetus

Could hCG levels signify whether you may be having a boy or a girl? A recent study says there is some evidence to support this idea. ... read more »

Other HCG Sources For a Positive Pregnancy Test

Besides a normal pregnancy there are other medical conditions that can give you a positive pregnancy test. ... read more »

First Trimester of Pregnancy Guide

Many changes taking place and some may not be quite what you expected! ... read more »

Pregnancy Test: When Is it Usually Positive?

No matter how hard you try and try interpreting body changes as signs of pregnancy, you will need a positive pregnancy test to confirm that you are pregnant. But when is the best time to take a pregnancy test? ... read more »

Normal hCG Levels in Early Pregnancy

During pregnancy, hCG levels have clear patterns. Find out more about hCG and use our free hCG calculator. ... read more »

hCG Levels Chart and Calculator

This hCG calculator and hCG levels chart assess whether your hCG levels are rising normally and doubling normally. ... read more »

How Soon Will a Pregnancy Test Be Positive?

You want to take that test as soon as possible, but should you? ... read more »

Pregnancy Tests - FAQs

What is a pregnancy test, how does it work, when is it positive, are there false positive or false negatives? Frequently asked questions about pregnancy tests ... read more »

At What hCG Level Can You See Pregnancy on Ultrasound?

Up to one in three women experience vaginal bleeding during the firest few months of the pregnancy, and many wonder how they can make sure the pregnancy is viable. ... read more »

Slow Rising hCG Levels

Slow rising hCG levels in early pregnancy hCG usually doubles every 48-72 hours very early in pregnancy, when the hCG is below 6,000 mIU/ml. A rise above 35% in 48 hours is still considered normal and a rise below 35% in 48 hours is generally considered abnormal.  ... read more »

Down Syndrome Screening

You can screen for Down syndrome by ultrasound as early as 11-12 weeks. Screening is done with an ultrasound examination and two blood tests, and it can detect up to 90% of Down syndrome fetuses. ... read more »

Beta hCG Blood levels and Ectopic Pregnancy

hCG (the hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) levels increase rapidly early in pregnancy. Measurements can help identify a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. ... read more »

How Often Does Miscarriage Happen?

How often does miscarriage happen? The New England Journal of Medicine studied the rate of miscarriage in 198 pregnancies. ... read more »

Pregnancy Landmarks: When Can We Identify Them?

As pregnancy progresses you can make the pregnancy diagnoses seeing several landmarks where you would normally expect to see the pregnancy development. ... read more »

What Is a Phantom hCG?

A positive blood pregnancy test without a pregnancy is also known as a 'false positive' test. There are many conditions which can give a phantom false positive hcg blood or urine pregnancy test. ... read more »

Early Signs Of Pregnancy

Early pregnancy signs are felt by many women even before they miss their menstrual period. However most of the typical pregnancy signs and symptoms are directly related to the pregnancy hormone hCG. ... read more »

First Pregnancy Symptoms

What are the very first pregnancy symptoms I can expect? Nausea and tiredness are among the first typical pregnancy symptoms. ... read more »

When To Take A Pregnancy Test To Get Best Results

Despite the claim that home pregnancy tests are effective as little as two to three days before the first day of your next menstrual cycle, the human body does not always live up to this expectation. ... read more »

hCG injection before ovulation

The hCG shot contains a hormone call hCG or Human Chorionic Gonadotropin ... read more »

Leading Follicle - What size?

The largest follicle ("leading follicle") is usually the follicle from where ovulation will occur. There is no uniform opinion as to the required size of the leading follicle. ... read more »

Progesterone Elevated

What does it mean to have an elevated progesterone level? ... read more »

Positive Pregnancy Test After Ovulation

When does the HPT become positive? ... read more »

BBT During Pregnancy

Should I continue to take my BBT during pregnancy? ... read more »

BBT up 18 Days negative Pregnancy test

My BBT is up for 18 days but my pregnancy test was negative today ... read more »

Pregnancy Tests - Introduction

How does a pregnancy test work? Pregnancy tests work by detecting human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone found only in pregnant women. There are both urine and blood pregnancy tests (HPTs) ... read more »

When Does the Urine Home Pregnancy Test Become Positive

A urine home pregnancy test HPT usually becomes positive within a week or so after implantation, or around the time of your expected menstrual period. ... read more »

Home Pregnancy Test - When Positive

When does the home pregnancy test become positive? ... read more »

How Do Early Pregnancy Tests Work?

Pregnancy tests detect the pregnancy hormone hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin. Early urine pregnancy tests are usually positive about 12-14 days after ovulation. ... read more »

What Does the Blood Pregnancy Test Reveal?

A pregnancy test is run by the obstetrician during the first office visit to confirm the presence of the hCG hormone and confirm the pregnancy. ... read more »

Pregnancy Test After Miscarriage

When is my urine pregnancy test negative? ... read more »

Positive Pregnancy Tests And Medications

Is it true that fertility medications such as Humegon, Pergonal, Repronex or Fertinex, Clomid, Serophene, Gonal-F, and Follistim can cause false-positive or false-negative results on HPTs (home pregnancy tests)? ... read more »

How Home Pregnancy Tests Work

How home pregnancy tests (HPTs) work. ... read more »

HPT - How To

How do I do a home pregnancy test (HPT)? ... read more »

Doctor's Office vs. HPT

Which urine test is more accurate? ... read more »

Darker Line More hCG

Does it mean the hCG is increasing? ... read more »

Facts About Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a time in life when women feel closer to their spouse and body more than ever before. Here are a few facts about pregnancy for expecting moms. ... read more »

Life and Pregnancy After Miscarriage

After miscarriage, many women have a long list of questions about physical health, mental health and parenthood. Understanding changes after miscarriage is often enough to put your mind at ease. ... read more »

Top 5 Questions About Pregnancy Tests

Before jumping into a home pregnancy test or other form of pregnancy test, it is best to understand how they work and the best way to use them. ... read more »

Why Do I Have Pelvic Pain During Pregnancy?

One of the most concerning for many pregnant women is pelvic pain. Pelvic pain can be attributed to more than just the weight of the uterus and fetus and it is not always associated with labor. ... read more »

How Pregnant Am I When…?

There are milestones throughout a pregnancy. Some are physically noticeable and others happen and pregnant women have no idea they occurred. How pregnant am I? ... read more »

First Trimester of Pregnancy: When to Tell Others

It is commonly known that miscarriage and other complications tend to occur during the pregnancy first trimester so many couples choose to wait before telling family and friends. ... read more »

Why Does a Miscarriage Occur?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists estimate up to 25% of pregnancies will end in pregnant miscarriage, but why does pregnant miscarriage occur? ... read more »

6 Stages During Pregnancy: The Changing Female Body

Stages during pregnancy are often divided up into weeks or trimesters. Within these common stages in pregnancy are six major times of change. ... read more »

Morning Sickness

Morning sickness, nausea and vomiting can be among the first pregnancy symptoms and signs beginning around 4 weeks to 6 weeks gestation. ... read more »

Restorative Medicine, Endometriosis and Restored Fertility

Growth of endometrial tissue on external reproductive genetalia can result in extreme pain and infertility. Surgical removal of the endometrial tissue can reduce pain, but post-surgical therapy is needed for optimal recovery and outcome. ... read more »

Gonal-F During Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

All about Gonal-F during pregnancy, breastfeeding and trying to conceive (TTC). Is it safe for use? ... read more »

Molar Pregnancy Minus the Chemotherapy

Molar pregnancy, hydatidiform mole or H mole refers to an abnormal uterine growth where the product of the union of the egg and sperm does not become a fetus but instead, grape like sacs are formed. ... read more »

Pages