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Forum Name: Obstetrics

Question: HCG levels not doubling, but high progesterone levels


 krodgers - Sat Apr 23, 2005 7:29 am

:?: I am 5 weeks pregnant. My doctor did a sonogram at 4 weeks and she saw signs of a very early pregnancy. She ordered an HCG test and a second test 48 hours later and said if the levels double things look good. Unfortunately the levels only increased about 25% (6,092 to 7,559), but she said that my progesterone level is "well within the normal range" so she is confused as to what is going on. She is having me come back for additional sonos but I am now a nervous wreck.

Any idea what this means? I have no bleeding, or other symptoms of miscarriage, and I have swollen breasts, fatigue and mild nausea so I feel pregnant. Please help.
 Rhonda P, CEP - Sun Apr 24, 2005 3:08 pm

User avatar Hello krodgers,

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Not all women show the same levels of HCG at the same time during the beginning weeks of pregnancy. Some women show HCG within days of conception but most women will show a positive blood level by the 11 to 12th day after conception. Also, if a woman has taken fertility injections they will have HCG in their system when they aren’t really pregnant yet. HCG starts to be released when the baby implants into the lining of your uterus, usually within the first 2 weeks after conception. The hormone level will double about every two days starting off at 5 IU/L and will peak around 8-11 weeks.

Progesterone is the hormone that helps build your uterine lining so the fertile egg has a nice, thick place to implant. Pregnant woman have about 10 times more progesterone in their blood than woman who aren’t pregnant. Low levels of progesterone may indicate the onset of a miscarriage during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, unusually high levels during the first 12 weeks may indicate multiple births.

The normal levels of PROGESTERONE for a single birth from conception to 12 weeks is 9-47 ng/ml, the normal levels of HCG for a single birth at the 5th week is between 18-7340 IU/L or mIU/ml, and the 6th week would be around 1080 to 56,500 IU/L.
 krodgers - Wed May 18, 2005 4:23 pm

Thanks for your response. After a change of doctors and 2 very positive sonograms I had a missed miscarriage at 9 weeks (discovered at 10). My doctor thinks that since my hcg level failed to double early on, it was an indication that the pregnancy would not progress very far. On the sono it looks like the amniotic sac did not fill with fluid.

Is it likely this will be a recurrent problem with my next pregnancy?
 Rhonda P, CEP - Sun Jul 10, 2005 12:38 am

User avatar Hello,

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. It is such a miracle how the egg and sperm turn into a little human, sometimes it just doesn’t work out right. Most of the time our bodies know when the pregnancy isn’t progressing like it is suppose to and it will cause the uterus to get rid of the egg. The loss of a pregnancy doesn’t mean you will lose the next one, the egg just didn’t grow all the cells it needed and there was no way it could continue on its progressive journey. I hope you the best for your next pregnancy and building your family.

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