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Sunday, 28 February 2010

UNDERSTANDING YOUR BETA's

The hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (better known as hCG) is produced during pregnancy. It is made by cells that form the placenta, which nourishes the egg after it has been fertilized and becomes attached to the uterine wall. Levels can first be detected by a blood test about 11 days after conception and about 12 - 14 days after conception by a urine test. In general the hCG levels will double every 72 hours. The level will reach its peak in the first 8 - 11 weeks of pregnancy and then will decline and level off for the remainder of the pregnancy.

  • In a bout 85% of normal pregnancies, the hCG level will double every 48 - 72 hours. As you get further along in pregnancy and the hCG level gets higher, the time it takes to double can increase to about every 96 hours.
  • An hCG level of less than 5mIU/ml is considered negative for pregnancy, and anything above 25mIU/ml is considered positive for pregnancy.
  • A single hCG reading is not enough information for most diagnoses. When there is a question regarding the health of the pregnancy, multiple testings of hCG done a couple of days apart give a more accurate assessment of the situation.

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