What is Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)?

What is Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)?

hCG basics

Even if you have never heard the term “hCG”, you probably already know what hCG is. The technical term for hCG is Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, but we will refer to it as hCG, for short. hCG is “the pregnancy hormone.” When you take a home pregnancy test, that test is detecting the levels of hCG in your body. hCG is created by the cells that form the placenta.Therefore, hCG is only present in the body when there is a pregnancy taking place. No pregnancy, no hCG. Claim Your 20 Free Pregnancy Tests – Click Here

hCG levels

The first point that hCG levels can be detected through a blood test is around eleven days from conception. It is usually around two weeks from conception that hCG levels can be detected through a urine test. This is just an estimate. The time frame is sometimes sooner, and sometimes a little later. After that, hCG levels begin to double around every 72 hours. At somewhere between 8 and 11 weeks of pregnancy, the hCG levels will peak, and after that they will begin to level off and then slowly decline.

Low hCG levels

If your hCG levels are low, you should have them re-checked within 24 to 48 hours to see if they have risen. Low hCG levels can mean several different things, none of which are very good. Low hCG levels could just possibly mean that your pregnancy date or timing is off. However, it could be a bit more serious. Low hCG levels could also mean a possible miscarriage, blighted ovum or ectopic pregnancy.

High hCG levels

Just as with low hCG levels, if your hCG levels are too high, you should wait 24 to 48 hours and recheck them to see what kind of changes occur. While high hCG levels can mean something as simple as a miscalculation of dates and times, it can also mean something more serious. High hCG levels could also mean a molar pregnancy or multiple pregnancy.

What can affect hCG levels?

There are not really many things that can affect your hCG levels. The only thing that will have an affect on hCG levels are medications that contain hCG, such as fertility medications. There are not any foods, drinks, antibiotics, pain relievers, contraception aids, or natural remedies that will affect your hCG levels. It is a hormone that is only found in pregnancy and some fertility drugs, so those are the only places you will find it.

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Dr. Renee Hanton, MD
Dr. Renee Hanton, MD | ConceiveEasy
Dr. Renee Hanton is ConceiveEasy's Senior Physician with expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. Dr. Hanton specializes in the endocrine causes of infertility, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)