Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Many Women with Viable Pregnancies have non-Doubling hCG Levels

On the Misdiagnosed Miscarriage site, many women are worried because their hCG levels are not doubling in 48 hours.  For the life of me, I don't know why some physicians are bound and determined to scare women when non-doubling hCG levels can be quite normal.

Taken from WebMD:

"Within the first 2-4 weeks after fertilization, HCG usually doubles every 48-72 hours. That usually corresponds to HCG levels below 1200 IU. From 1200-6000, the HCG usually takes 72-96 hours to double. Above 6000 IU, the hCG often takes over four days to double."

And as the pregnancy progresses through the first trimester, those numbers are going to slow quite a bit.  They will then plateau and begin dropping.  This is normal.  I've talked to women with numbers around 30,000 to 40,000 and their doctors are worrying them because the levels are not going up.  They've been fine.  In fact, according to Healthline, these are normal levels for women:

  • Six weeks LMP: 1,080 to 56,500 mIU /ml
  • Seven to eight weeks LMP: 7,650 to 229,000 mIU /ml
  • 9 to 12 weeks LMP: 25,700 to 288,000 mIU /ml
and according the American Pregnancy Association:

 "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."

Really, hCG levels are useful in determining that you do not have ectopic pregnancy.  After they find the gestational sac, most doctors will stop taking hCG levels because your numbers can rise and be normal.  They can plateau and be normal.  They can drop and be normal.  


  1. Hi there- this site really helped me through a tough time a couple of years ago. I was facing my 7th pregnancy (1 son 5 miscarriages and 1 ectopic) I was 5 weeks pregnant and testing betas and Sonos from my RE. The betas were not doubling and the yolk sac was 9mm...even though the gestational sac was only 5mm. I was terrified and expecting the worst. I found a few stories on this site that gave me hope. However the stories were from moms who were still pregnant or had newborns. Since a large yolk sac can result in chromosomal issues, I still felt uneasy. So I feel compelled to share my story, hopefully it will help put someone in that same position I was in a couple of years ago at ease. That pregnancy resulted in a very healthy baby girl. She is beautiful and very smart. She is 18 months old and is speaking in 5/6 world sentences; and she was walking at 9 months old. A large yolk sac and betas that don't double are NOT always an ominous sign! Please do not let Dr Google take away an ounce of joy from your pregnancy. I did and I regret that now.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your story here! Your story is important because too many women are scared unnecessarily when their doctor reports a large yolk sac. Would you consider sharing your story on The Misdiagnosed Miscarriage! Thank you!