Abnormal HCG Levels

hcg rendering
Rendering of hCG polypeptide

Defining 'normal' numbers is difficult, but let's look at some examples of what abnormal numbers have the potential to (but don't necessarily) mean:

Ectopic pregnancies are suspected when HCG levels increase from test to test but do not double. If you've had an ectopic pregnancy before, you're at greater risk for another and your HCG numbers will be given more attention.

Singleton and vanishing twin pregnancies have a wide range of acceptable HCG levels on a given day.

Unfortunately, the prognosis is poor for pregnancies that show low HCG levels and are slow to rise.

High levels may be indicative of a number of conflicting situations, including everything from a normal pregnancy to ovarian cancer to choriocarcinoma of the uterus or hydatidiform mole of the uterus.

Low levels may be indicative of dead fetus, incomplete miscarriage, or threatened spontaneous abortion.

Sometimes, a normal pregnancy can begin with very low levels of HCG and yet still lead to a successful delivery. The point? Please be careful about drawing any conclusions from your own HCG levels without first discussing them with your doctor.


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