HCG is a hormone that appears in a woman’s body during pregnancy, since its source is the chorion (one of the membranes surrounding the fetus). Pregnancy is the main cause of the emergence and accumulation of hCG.
There are cases when a high level of hCG is detected outside of pregnancy; in such situations, hormone-producing tumors that can release a "pregnancy hormone" (hCG) become the source of this hormone. It is worth noting that there are such tumors not only in women, but also in the stronger sex.
What is its importance?
HCG in the body of a pregnant woman, together with other hormones, performs a number of functions that make possible the full development of pregnancy.
- It inhibits the onset of the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. In simple terms, hCG prevents the maturation of the follicles in the egg, and therefore the onset of menstruation.
- Supports the functioning of the corpus luteum. The corpus luteum is an endocrine organ that produces progesterone (a hormone that prepares the uterus for pregnancy). If pregnancy does not occur, the corpus luteum atrophies and disintegrates. In the event of pregnancy, the corpus luteum continues to function until about the 12th week of pregnancy, that is, until the placenta becomes capable of producing the required amount of hormones. HCG not only prolongs the functional activity of the corpus luteum to the required period, but also repeatedly increases the secretory activity of this temporary gland. The amount of progesterone produced by her is ten times higher than the usual level of this hormone in the body of a non-pregnant woman.
Reduces the tone and contractile activity of the muscle layer of the uterus. Thanks to this function of hCG, it becomes possible to preserve and further develop pregnancy.
- Supports the production of ovarian estrogens and androgen weak activity.
- It creates moderate immunosuppression by stimulating the adrenal cortex to produce steroid hormones in order to prevent the body from rejecting a half-foreign baby's organism.
What is the time frame to detect it?
After ovulation has occurred (the release of a mature egg from their follicle), the egg becomes available for fertilization. At this stage, hCG is not detected in the body of a healthy woman. If during this period unprotected sexual intercourse occurs, the male germ cells (spermatozoa) rush to a “date” with the egg cell.
After completion of the fertilization process, the resulting zygote must pass through the fallopian tube to enter the uterine cavity. This way takes from several hours to 3 days. Moving through the fallopian tube (fallopian tube), the fertilized egg (zygote) is divided many times.
After movement through the fallopian tube, and the embryo formed will fall into the uterine cavity, it is attached to the inner wall of the uterus (implantation). From the moment of successful completion of the implantation, pregnancy begins.
When the embryo is inserted into the uterine wall, the membranes of the fetus, including the chorionic villi, simultaneously begin to form. After the chorionic villi begin to form, chorionic gonadotropin (“pregnancy hormone”) begins to flow into the blood of the expectant mother, the source of which is the vorsin formed.
The onset of implantation coincides with the 6th day after ovulation, therefore, the detection of hCG in the minimum amount becomes possible from this date.
Further, as pregnancy develops, only the accumulation of chorionic gonadotropin occurs.
What is it like?
From a chemical point of view, hCG is a glycoprotein structure consisting of alpha and beta subunits. The beta subunit is of the greatest importance in medical practice, since it is it that is unique to this hormone and allows its identification.
The alpha component of hCG is not particularly significant due to its similarity with similar structures of other hormones (thyrotropic, luteinizing, follicle-stimulating).
According to its biological properties, hCG has the ability to bind to receptors intended for luteinizing (LH) and follicle-stimulating (FSH) hormones, but significantly exceeds their activity.
Value for medicine
HCG is excreted from the body of a pregnant woman with urine. It is in the urine that beta-subunits characteristic of chorionic gonadotropin can be found.
Due to this, it became possible to create a pregnancy test.
The determination of possible pregnancy can be carried out not earlier than 2 weeks after ovulation. Usually, this information is owned by women seeking to become pregnant, since, by measuring the basal temperature, they can very likely call the day of the onset of ovulation.
In everyday life, more important is the delay of menstruation. If the delay occurred for 3-5 days, then the definition of hCG in the morning urine is recommended, since it contains the highest concentration of the "pregnancy hormone" (hCG).
If the arrival of menstruation is delayed for a period of more than 7 days, then it is possible to determine hCG in daily urine, since by this time its level is already quite high.
In pregnant women, the analysis of hCG is used to diagnose possible pathologies of the fetus. To do this, the expectant mother must donate blood for hCG from 16 to 20 weeks of pregnancy. In a complex with hCG, such hormones as alphafetoprotein (AFP), estriol (E3) are determined. The definition of such a hormone set makes it possible to determine the risk of giving birth to a child with genetic diseases (Down syndrome, Shershevsky-Turner), intrauterine growth retardation, developmental abnormalities of some parts of the systems and organs.
Low levels of human chorionic gonadotropin may indicate disturbances in the normal course of pregnancy, for example, ectopic or frozen pregnancy. In either case, immediate medical attention is required.
High levels of hCG may indicate the development of multiple pregnancies, for example, twins or triplets. It should be remembered that the number of "pregnancy hormone" is directly dependent on the number of fruits, how many fruits the woman bears, so many times the level of hCG will be increased.
It should be noted that such a diagnostic method allows a woman to be at risk for further detailed examination, but does not make it possible to make an accurate diagnosis.
With the help of hCG, not only pregnancy is diagnosed, but also the presence of a hormone-producing tumor in the body in men and non-pregnant women. In these categories of people it is possible to determine in the blood of a large number of "pregnancy hormone" (hCG), the source of which is a tumor.
How does the level of pregnancy hormone change after ovulation?
In the blood of a non-pregnant woman, the level of hCG can be equal to 0 or be no more than 5 mU / ml.
Where does the hormone of pregnancy come from in the blood of a non-pregnant woman?
The fact is that a small amount of human chorionic gonadotropin can be produced by the pituitary gland even in a healthy body.
The process of ovulation does not affect changes in the level of hCG, if the pregnancy has not happened.
The increase in the number of hCG in a healthy woman can be observed only with the onset of pregnancy, and more precisely, starting from the 7th day after ovulation.
On the 14th day after conception, the level of hCG reaches 156 mU / ml.
After another 7 days, the amount of "pregnancy hormone" can reach 4870 mU / ml. Then, every 3-2 days there is a doubling of the amount of hCG.
The peak level of hCG is noted at 12-11 weeks of gestation and can reach a level of 291000 mU / ml.
Further, there is a slight decrease in the level of the hormone, since at week 11 the placenta assumes the function of providing the future mom's body with chorionic gonadotropin, and the corpus luteum no longer needs doses of hCG that stimulate its activity.
At the 16th week of pregnancy, the level of hCG decreases to 103,000 mU / ml.
Reducing the amount of hCG continues up to 22 weeks of pregnancy. At this period, its level can reach 80100 mU / ml.
Before birth, the maximum amount of hCG can reach 78100 mU / ml, and the minimum 2700 mU / ml.
It should be remembered that with different women on the same term, the indicators of "pregnancy hormone" can significantly differ. This may contribute to errors in determining the duration of pregnancy, as well as the individual characteristics of the organism of a pregnant woman.
Of greater importance is the determination of an adequate increase in hCG in the blood of a pregnant woman, which confirms the normal course of pregnancy.
When determining chorionic gonadotropin in the urine, its level will be almost 2 times lower than when determining its amount in the blood.
Another use of "pregnancy hormone"
Scientists have long developed methods for producing hCG, which has been successfully used to treat infertility in combination with luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormones.
Chorionic gonadotropin is found in drugs such as Horagon, Pregnil, Gonacor and others.
After preliminary preparation of the woman's body with drugs containing luteinizing and follicle-stimulating hormone, one of the hCG preparations is injected to stimulate the onset of ovulation.
One injection of hCG is enough for ovulation to occur in a day. But, for the onset of a long-awaited pregnancy, ovulation alone is not enough. 24 hours before and within 24 hours after the administration of hCG, unprotected sexual intercourse should occur. Only in this case, the onset of pregnancy.
This treatment regimen is mainly used to treat infertility, which is based on hormonal imbalances that prevent pregnancy.
Where the second lane on the test
Absolutely all tests designed to recognize pregnancy, work on a single principle. It does not matter the manufacturer of this product or its value. A reagent is applied to the stripes, which is stained if a certain level of hCG in the urine is reached and the woman is pregnant. This hormone is considered the most faithful companion when carrying a fetus. Doctors designate it not only as hCG, but also by other abbreviations: GPHA, HCG, FSHA, and others.
Chorionic gonadotropin is usually found in non-pregnant women, as well as in some men, but only in isolated cases. After fertilization, the hormone recites more actively produced, aided by the cells of the chorion. It is important to note that without gonadotropin, pregnancy will not develop.
The hormone has an effect on the corpus luteum, which appears after ovulation, and does not allow it to disappear, but “delays” for several months. Thus, it becomes the main endocrine organ and contributes to the development of the embryo. HCG weakens the female immune system and gives the fetus a better chance of survival. Without it, a strong immunity would simply reject the embryo, which is explained by the presence in it of the genetic material of a man (biological father).
Speaking about the growth of hCG in the days after ovulation, it is necessary to understand how it generally falls on the strip that determines pregnancy. In this matter, in fact, everything is simple: gonadotropin, formed after the attachment of the ovum, enters the bloodstream, and then, after a while, a certain part of it is excreted along with the urine.
Therefore, to determine pregnancy even before the delay of menstruation is possible only with the help of biochemical analysis of blood.
Using a pharmacy test, it is important to know about its sensitivity and the ability to recognize traces of hCG in the urine after ovulation. The maximum is 10 units, the minimum is 30. Typically, pharmacies offer tests with an average sensitivity of 2025 mU / ml. With their help, it is possible to detect the desired hormone only two weeks after conception.
There are cases when the second bar appears before the specified time. This occurs in women whose chorionic gonadotropin is produced at a level above the average norm. Based on the foregoing, it can be concluded that when determining conception at an early stage, it is worth going to the hospital and donating blood, thereby recognizing the level of hCG.
The growth of hCG on days after ovulation
At first, after conception, gonadotropin grows rather quickly, but the rate of increase can change with time. At first, it doubles every two days, and after reaching a level of 1200 mU / ml, growth slows down and increases every three days. And in case of exceeding the concentration of 6000 mU / ml, the quantitative indicator of the hormone will change only once every four days.
The maximum level of gonadotropin is reached closer to 10 weeks of gestation. Then it slowly decreases. If the expectant mother bears two or three children at the same time, then the hCG will be twice or three times as high as the norm, since each baby must have its own “hormonal accompaniment”.
A more detailed analysis of this issue will help the table of hCG for the days after ovulation:
How to do the analysis
When determining hCG after ovulation, women are interested in a simple question - how should this analysis be done? Doctors strongly recommend not to take fatty foods (for 12 hours) before visiting the treatment room. This is explained by the fact that the biochemical method is used here, so an excessive amount of fat can affect the final result. In addition, it is forbidden to have breakfast on the day of blood donation, since this procedure is performed only on an empty stomach. The result is given depending on the capabilities of the laboratory - in a few hours or a day later.
If the test is carried out at home, it is necessary to prepare in advance a dry and clean container where the urine will be placed. In this case, you do not need to limit your diet. The only thing called for by the doctor is to do a test on the morning urine, because it was she who was recognized as the most concentrated. Also before carrying out the procedure it is worth making sure that the last visit to the toilet was not less than 5 hours ago.
The reading does not fit the table
Quite often, women have such a problem when the result obtained from the level of hCG in the period after ovulation does not coincide with the figures in the tables. Worry about this is not worth it. This phenomenon is explained by the fact that each laboratory uses its own reagents and technologies for research.
Therefore, when obtaining the results, you just need to ask the specialists of the hCG rate for their particular research center. And even more profitable and the right decision would be to seek help from an obstetrician-gynecologist, who will correctly explain the result of the analysis.
Chorionic gonadotropin is sometimes present in the urine in a reduced amount during late ovulation. For example, a woman tries to determine hCG on day 14 after ovulation, expecting an indicator of more than 105 mU / ml, but in fact it turns out only 64 or 80 mU / ml. Because of this, the patient is confused and begins to look for, which contributed to this outcome. But in reality, few people realize that the reason lies only in the “delay” of ovulation for only a couple of days.
The second cause of reduced CG levels is the threat of spontaneous abortion. Here the situation is ambiguous, since on the one hand, this leads to a decrease in the level of gonadotropin production, and on the other, the real threat is only exacerbated by the lack of an important hormone. The problem can be solved by a doctor who prescribes hormonal therapy for the patient, helping to restore the balance of the necessary elements and increasing the chances of survival of the fetus.
Level above normal
Completely the opposite situation occurs if ovulation occurs before the desired period - then the level of hCG exceeds normal levels. Here, a woman also makes mistakes with calculations, unaware of the late onset of ovulation. Therefore, inflated rates are fully justified by early implantation.
Another reason for the increased amount of gonadotropin is multiple pregnancy. Accurately answering the question of whether it contributed to the excess of the norm is possible only with the help of an ultrasound scan, carried out at 7 weeks of gestation or later. Before the onset of this period, the expectant mother should only perform a blood test a few times, making up a scheme for increasing the concentration of chorionic gonadotropin - in the case of carrying doubles or triples, it will exceed the norm, but the indicators will grow evenly.
The test is negative and the blood test is positive.
Women who are trying to detect hCG in the urine in the days after ovulation, often face a paradoxical situation - there is no second bar on the test, but a blood test gives a positive result. Как правило, в этом случае беременность все же имеется, но срок пока мал, из-за чего содержание гормона в моче попросту не улавливается аптечными тестами. Поэтому единственным разумным решением здесь будет повторное использование полоски спустя одну-две недели.
Положительный результат домашнего теста при отрицательном анализе крови
The same situation is the opposite of the previous one. In this case, the pregnancy is absent. And this phenomenon is explained by the banal marriage of the test strip. And even if there is a barely noticeable gray line in it, it should not be perceived as a full-fledged second strip, since it only acts as a place where the reagent is applied. Such a “ghost” is certainly not able to signal any pregnancy.
Why send for analysis
The final question - why is it even sent to this analysis? This direction, as a rule, is given by the personally treating doctor in order to detect the concentration of human chorionic gonadotropin.
The analysis makes it possible to detect the presence of pregnancy 10 days after the start of the delay.
There are no other ways to do this, so the patient has only two choices - to go home and return to the hospital in a week or to take an analysis in the laboratory. Extreme need for this study arises with IVF. Women who agree to it, really look forward to the baby, so they want as soon as possible to know whether they managed to get pregnant.
What it is
HCG is a hormone produced by the cells of the chorion - the embryological structure. This process begins with the implantation of an already fertilized egg. It is important to note that at first (up to 8 days) after conception, the egg moves to the uterus through the tube, so gonadotropin is not produced.
When the fertilized cell is implanted, chorionic tissues begin to produce certain doses of hCG necessary for the full development of the embryo. This hormone, the level of which is usually calculated after ovulation, is also intended to suppress the processes that occur when the phases of menstruation change, since during the gestation of the fetus the body simply does not need them.
Why do you need such an analysis
A study conducted in the laboratory and aimed at determining the concentration of hormone in the body of the expectant mother, provides an opportunity to learn about the presence of pregnancy, as well as the number of fetuses it carries. Also, due to the analysis, it is possible to preliminarily find out the risks of the presence of severe chromosomal malformations in the future children.
The analysis was positive, then became negative.
In the fair sex, not measuring the level of hCG in the second phase of the cycle, in some cases there are delays. After this period come, but the selection will be more abundant. Few people pay attention to such changes, but if you monitor your own state even before a delay occurs, you can get a very unexpected result - the development of pregnancy. Although a week later the test results will be already negative.
On the 11th day after ovulation, it is possible to obtain a positive result after a blood test, but at the same time, menstruation still begins, albeit somewhat later. The main reason for this doctor called the rejection of the ovum from the uterine wall. Here genetic defects or errors of nature in the fertilization process can play a role. As a result, such an embryo is simply not able to grow normally, therefore it is rejected.
When can I take
An increase in the level of hormone concentration occurs regularly - every two days. It should not be forgotten that the embryo needs about 7 days to reach the uterus and attach itself to the wall.
Patients constantly ask a question about how many days after ovulation you can donate blood for hCG. There is nothing difficult - doctors advise to go for analysis after 10 days from the moment of conception. This is the main difference between laboratory tests and pharmacy tests, which it makes sense to use only two weeks after fertilization.
After finding out on which day after ovulation you can do a test for the level of hCG, it is worth going to the laboratory for an analysis as soon as possible. This is especially true of those women who are waiting for the baby for a long time and carefully monitor the changes in their own body during ovulation, as well as in the period after it.
How to pass
The correctness of the result of the analysis depends on various factors. Here infections, catarrhal diseases, food, stress and so on matter. Therefore, before you go to the procedure, you will need to undergo a diagnosis. It is also carried out after ovulation. Thanks to a brief survey, it will be clear whether it will be possible to get a reliable result or whether it is worth changing something in your lifestyle or waiting for recovery.
On the day before the analysis, it is prohibited to eat fatty foods, sweets and spices. If the patient has taken hormones for two weeks before the “cherished day,” she should definitely inform her doctor about this, as this can also affect the hCG level.
How to understand the result
Obtaining a laboratory result, a woman does not even have to hope for an explanation of the indicators from the employees of the research center, since only the attending doctor is able to do this. If you were able to make an appointment for him immediately after receiving the analysis, there is no point in worrying, but if there was no such possibility, but you want to know if you have a pregnancy as soon as possible, you should turn to approximate standards. They provide the same doctors. On the basis of such data it is possible to determine not only the successful conception, but also the term of gestation:
- up to 5 mU / ml - no pregnancy,
- from 25 to 156 IU / ml - 1-2 weeks after fertilization,
- from 101 to 4870 mU / ml - pregnancy at 2-3 weeks,
- from 1110 to 31500 IU / ml - 3-4 weeks after conception,
- from 2560 to 82300 mU / ml - about 4-5 weeks from the moment of fertilization.
These data are allowed to use only in the case of carrying one fetus. If the pregnancy is multiple, the level of hCG will exceed the norm by two or three times, depending on the number of embryos.
The analysis for hCG, conducted in the period after the end of ovulation, is highly accurate. This is what contributed to its widespread use in medicine. But when referring to it, one should not forget that mistakes are possible in any business. Therefore, it is necessary to consider several "problem situations" that often occur in patients.
False positive result - HCG is, and there is no pregnancy
Sometimes the level of concentration of hCG in the urine during ovulation days, obtained as a result of the analysis, only confuses women. For example, it is elevated, although there is no pregnancy. The reason for this phenomenon is the adoption of hormonal medicines. In addition, this result is often facilitated by the passage of infertility treatment or the progression of tumors in the patient's body. When there are doubts about the correctness of the obtained indicators, it is best to conduct a study again after a week, and not to start panicking.
With a slight increase in the level of gonadotropin or preservation of the previous result, you can be sure that there is no developing fetus - in this case it’s time to start looking for the cause of changes in hormonal levels.
False negative result - no hCG, but there is a pregnancy
As for the negative result, obtained regardless of ovulation, any woman can get it. It does not matter the presence of pregnancy. This phenomenon is explained by an early study, that is, there was no implantation yet, which means that gonadotropin did not begin to be produced. Therefore, contact the laboratory earlier than 10 days after the end of ovulation does not make sense.
How long does hCG indicate
Since each research center uses its own tables with hCG indicators and terms, many women fall into a stupor due to the inability to quickly recognize pregnancy.
In fact, nothing terrible in this, since all these tables are made in accordance with the embryonic period, and not obstetric.
It is very important to know, because the first one changes from the same day on which conception took place, and the second one - since the end of the menstrual period. Consider an example: a laboratory analysis revealed 2-3 weeks of gestation, according to obstetric standards, the same results are 4-5 weeks, and no more than a week has passed since the delay.
Negative hCG after positive
It also happens that one analysis gives positive results, and the second, conducted after a week, is negative. It happens quite often. These changes indicate successful conception, implantation in the uterine cavity, but stopping the development of the ovum and, as a result, reducing the level of hCG.
Without conducting a study in the laboratory, this situation would have looked much simpler - a woman would have started menstruating, but late, and it would pass more painfully, with blood clots. This situation seems quite normal to many people, so they do not even realize that there is a “failed” pregnancy.
Is this analysis required?
In the process of carrying a fetus, future mothers are required to donate blood for analysis only twice - at the first (11-13 weeks) and second (16-19 weeks) screening. At other times, the study of hCG is not mandatory, with the exception of patients whom the doctor recommends taking an analysis to obtain a dynamic picture of the results.
As the hormone grows in the blood after fertilization
As a rule, during pregnancy, hCG in ovulation days is measured already in DPO (days after ovulation). Here basal temperature is determined, charts are created, pharmacy test strips are used, and other actions are taken to find signs of successful conception.
But you should not fuss in advance. It is important to know that the level of the hormone rises only from 7 days after the end of ovulation. At this stage, it reaches only 4 IU / ml, it is not able to catch any test from the pharmacy. Approximately on day 9, the index increases to 11 mU / ml. Then every two days, the result will increase by about 2.5 times.
Should I do a blood test after stimulating ovulation
In modern times, ovulation is stimulated with the help of a single drug having a simple name - Chorionic gonadotropin. Having taken an injection and having sexual intercourse, women immediately seek to get to the laboratory and donate blood for analysis, which is a major mistake. Do not forget that the body takes at least 10 days to remove the introduced hormone. Otherwise, a false positive result will be provided, which is unlikely to please a woman who wants to get pregnant.
Features of the growth of hCG - when the analysis will show
HCG is a human hormonic gonadotropin, it is a hormone responsible for conception and a safe course of pregnancy. It affects the corpus luteum until the embryo attaches to the uterus, and then is produced by the chorion, the outer shell of the ovum. Therefore, the growth of hCG content during the development of the embryo goes exponentially. It is this property that allows assessing the level of hCG to detect pregnancy as early as possible.
The analysis of hCG can be carried out in the urine using a test or blood in the laboratory.
With a standard cycle, the release of the egg happens on days 13-16. During this period, fertilization occurs during a productive act. The attachment of the fetus to the uterus occurs only after 7 days. Since that time, the level of choreonic gonadotropin in the blood begins to increase. Therefore, it can be determined after 15 days from the moment of appearance in the cell paths.
HCG for late ovulation
If the cell appears on the 18th-19th day of the cycle, then hCG with late ovulation reaches its diagnostic parameters with a delay. The blood content of the hormone on the day of the implantation of the embryo is 2 mIU / ml and this value is doubled every 2 days. It enters the urine several days later, so its level in the fluid is lower than in the blood.
When late ovulation, hCG should be determined at 18-20 day
When to take an analysis
The level of hCG during late ovulation, suitable for analytics, is reached 18-20 days after the effective act, when it becomes 32mEU / ml. It’s not worthwhile to try to find out about your position before the voiced dates, because it starts to show the answer when the hormone value is 25 mIU / ml. This also applies to blood donation.
With late ovulation, when the hCG shows a false-negative result (the pregnancy has come, and the analysis does not confirm it), the test is repeated after 3-5 days. A dubious response is possible on a strip strip in such cases:
- if you analyze your urine ahead of time,
- bad quality tests
- violation of the rules and instructions
- a woman has a disease, elevated hCG for which is normal (diabetes, oncology, etc.).
With late ovulation, hCG analysis can give a false negative result.
Low hCG - as told
If a woman has late ovulation and low hCG shows the first analysis, there is no need to be particularly upset. This can happen if the deadline is irrelevant. To eliminate doubts prescribed ultrasound.
But in some cases low hCG can characterize serious problems:
- ectopic pregnancy,
- fetal death or missed abortion
- threat of interruption.
Sometimes a low level of hCG is due to its low chorion production. At the same time, to maintain the development of processes and prevent miscarriage, a chooreonic gonadotropin injection is prescribed by a doctor.
Thus, hCG for late ovulation makes sense to analyze for 18-20 days after effective sexual intercourse. A false negative test result is possible, then the test should be repeated after 3-5 days.
Invisible Embryo Protector
After repeated unsuccessful attempts to conceive a child, the woman awaits the “visit of the stork” with great excitement and hope. In the early stages of gestation, tests may show an incorrect result. In order not to torture yourself with guesses, the patient should visit the gynecologist. The doctor will refer you to the study of hCG.
If the hormone levels exceed ten international units per liter, the doctor will understand that the probability of pregnancy is high. The level of human chorionic gonadotropin, equal to 20 - 26 IU / l, "signals" about the conception occurred.
People who do not have medical knowledge will have a question: “Why is the high content of human chorionic gonadotropin a“ fat hint ”to a particular state of a woman?” It's simple: hCG is a substance that helps the embryo develop.
Shortly after fertilization of the female cell, a small sphere with liquid contents, the blastocyst, forms in the patient's body. This "planet" is the basis for the formation of the placenta and baby. The life of the blastocyst is short. After entering the patient's uterus, the round formation is modified.
Already on the tenth day after conception, chorionic hormone can be detected in the blood of a woman. HCG affects the corpus luteum, causing it to produce progesterone.
The level of this substance in the blood of a lady steadily "climbs" up. This process is terminated only when the complete formation of the placenta occurs.
How to understand that the "stork visit" took place?
Twenty - thirty years ago, gynecologists could not diagnose defects in the embryo. The lack of qualified and timely support for the “problem” embryo was one of the main causes of fetal loss. Modern methods of research allow doctors to learn all the nuances of the development of the crumbs. In the early stages of carrying ultrasound "silent."
The patient can learn about her special condition using two reliable methods:
Blood for hCG can be donated ten to twelve days after ovulation. Apply the pharmacy test can be two weeks after ovulation. As soon as the fetus is fixed in the uterus, gonadotropin begins to rise in the woman’s blood. Every day the amount of this substance in the body of the future mom is growing.
If a girl wants to "quickly" make sure that conception has happened, she can use the test. After contact with the woman's urine, a miniature fixture will show whether there is a pregnancy.
Gynecologists advise: women who suspect the "presence of a stork" in their lives, should donate blood for hCG. A blood test is a more detailed test than a test with a test.
Such an important and inconstant - hormone hCG
A blood test will not only confirm that the woman is in position, but will also inform the doctor how many days have passed after conception. There are norms of hCG relevant for each "segment" of pregnancy. Of course, the amount of hormone can not be the same in different patients. However, making a conclusion about the well-being of your pregnancy, the doctor will rely on the results of research.
The values of hCG should be indicated at different times after ovulation. If the female cell was fertilized, the composition of your blood will change.
We remind you in what numbers the "pregnant metamorphoses" will be reflected:
- On the eleventh day of gestation, you will be found from 29 to 45 IU / l.
- The twelfth day of pregnancy will give results 43 - 65 IU / l.
- On the thirteenth day of a special condition in most pregnant women, the level of hCG will be 100 IU / l.
- By the fourteenth day, the level of chorionic gonadotropic hormone will vary between 130 and 170 IU / l.
По мере развития эмбриона уровень ХГЧ будет возрастать.
Напоминаем, какие показатели гонадотропного гормона будут у дамы, «встретившей аиста»:
- Восемнадцатые сутки особого состояния «знаменуются» цифрой 700 МЕ/л. In some pregnant women, the indicators will be equal to 830 IU / l.
- By the twentieth day after ovulation, the study will show 200 IU / l.
- On the twenty first day of gestation 300 IU / l will be found in your blood.
Further, the hormonal “picture” becomes truly majestic:
Thirty third day of pregnancy will please you with a value of 55,000 IU / l. Day after the level of the chorionic gonadotropic hormone will be equal to 67000 IU / l.
Nature will give a solid level of chorionic gonadotropic hormone to pregnant women later. In the period between 40-55 days after fertilization of the female cell, the hCG content in your blood will become record high. By the fortieth day of gestation, the content of hCG in the patient's blood will be 100,000 IU / l. At 43-50 days, for some patients, analyzes show 120,000, 150,000 international units per liter.
Hormonal "storm" will slowly subside when the placenta is formed and will be ready to independently produce progesterone. The decrease in hCG is usually recorded at the seventeenth week of pregnancy.
Should I panic if the levels of hCG are far from ideal?
Knowing how your hCG level changes in the days after ovulation, the gynecologist will make a conclusion about the development of the embryo.
During the gestation period, a woman should be given two to three times to donate blood for research. In order to form a more complete picture of your health, the doctor will advise you an ultrasound. A blood test can tell more about "little things." If the results of previous tests have alerted the specialist, you need to visit the antenatal clinic again.
Examination with the use of ultrasound will show serious flaws that are present in the crumbs, or their existence is denied. Sudden changes in hCG counts are sometimes a precursor to problems.
An excessive increase in the level of chorionic hormone may be due to the following circumstances:
- Multiple pregnancy
- Malformations in the development of the placenta.
In some cases, record high levels of chorionic hormone “shout” about the presence of a malignant tumor.
The decrease in the concentration of the aforementioned substance “speaks” of an ectopic pregnancy. If the embryo develops inside the reproductive organ, and the hCG values are far from the norm, the doctor will suspect you have placental insufficiency. Also, a low level of chorionic substance warns of a threatened miscarriage.
How does the second bar appear?
All tests for determining pregnancy, regardless of manufacturer and cost, work the same. The special reagent applied to the strip is stained only when a sufficient amount of a hormone is found in the woman’s urine, which is a faithful companion of the child’s chorionic gonadotropin, which is abbreviated FSHA, GPHA, LHA, TSHA, HCG or HCG.
This substance is often present in the analyzes of non-pregnant women, and even men, but in very small quantities. If the cherished event took place and the child is conceived, HCG begins to be produced more actively. It is produced by the cells of the chorion. Gonadotropin is necessary for the female body in order for the pregnancy to develop.
Under its influence, the corpus luteum, formed after ovulation, does not disappear, as it happens in the absence of pregnancy before menstruation, but persists for the first few months. It assumes the function of the main endocrine organ for the developing embryo.
Under the influence of chorionic gonadotropic hormone the woman’s immunity is somewhat weakened, which increases the chances of the embryo to survive. Otherwise, the strong and well-trained immunity of the mother would simply reject the baby, because it is half alien, because it contains the father’s genetic material.
The production of hCG in the body of a woman gives the command "to start" for the active production of progesterone, without which the preservation and carrying of the child would be impossible, as well as the female hormone estrogen, which is also extremely important during pregnancy.
Hormone level growing at a rapid pace starting from the moment of implantation. Fertilized egg within a few hours after meeting with the sperm begins its way into the uterine cavity. She has to go through the fallopian tube, sink into the uterine space and gain a foothold in the wall of the main reproductive female organ.
This moment is called implantation. Sometimes a woman herself can guess about him - by insignificant pulling sensations in the lower abdomen, by a drop of smearing on the daily lining. Implantation is usually performed. 6-10 days after fertilization. Most often - on the eighth day.
From this point on, the chorion starts the production of gonadotopin, and the amount of the hormone gradually increases, increasing almost 2 times every 48 hours. This does not mean that the substance can immediately be found in the blood or urine of a woman.
It should take some time for the amount of HCG to exceed the sensitivity thresholds of tests from the pharmacy and laboratory reagents.
How does hormone level increase?
In women before pregnancy, the level of the hormone in the body does not exceed values in the range from 0 to 5 mU / ml. And in the urine the substance is not detected at all. If conception took place, then for the first time the hormone level will exceed the “non-pregnant” threshold only on the second or third day after implantation. I must say that all women produce hormone with different intensity, and therefore You should not demand from lab technicians mathematical accuracy.
By the way, these morally difficult days of mothers dreaming of motherhood are called the abbreviation DPO, which means “the day after ovulation”. Ovulation, of course, is also not fixed for everyone, but in the overwhelming majority of cases it falls on the 14–15 day of the cycle - the very middle of it, with the duration of the menstrual cycle of 28 days. Thus, 2 DPO is two days after ovulation or the 17th day of the cycle, and 5 DPO is 20 days after the onset of the menstrual cycle and the entire fifth day after the intended ovulation.
If the fate that the second phase of the female cycle lasts 14 days, The first day of delay is 14 DPO or the 29th day of the cycle. Many women, in anticipation of good news, start testing too early and are very worried about the lack of the coveted second strip. After what number of days after conception it is already possible to safely make a test for hCG, it becomes clear if you know how the quantitative indicator of the hormone substance in the blood changes.
Table of averaged quantitative values of HCG in the blood at the onset of pregnancy:
What is hCG
HCG is a glycoprotein that consists of two parts: alpha and beta subunits. The diagnostic value in obstetric and gynecological practice is the definition of beta particles of hCG, since the alpha particle is part of other hormones, such as luteinizing hormone, follicle-stimulating and others. The beta particle of hCG is specific only for this hormone, therefore the probability of a diagnostic error is practically excluded.
This biological compound is produced by trophoblast tissue, and its synthesis begins as early as the first day after the introduction of the fertilized egg into the endometrial tissue. Its function is to stimulate the corpus luteum, that is, to increase the concentration of progesterone, which is necessary to maintain pregnancy and its physiological course.
Some experts believe that hCG has a stimulating effect on the synthesis of testosterone (male sex hormone) by the corresponding glands of the fetus, and also affects the functional abilities of the adrenal cortex.
How is the HCG study conducted?
It is possible to determine this biological compound in the blood of a woman and in the urine. It is the content of hCG in the urine is used as a quick test confirming the fact of pregnancy. The principle of the quick test is simple and clear: in the morning a portion of urine is collected in a clean dish, the test strip is immersed in biological fluid. The appearance of two strips on it confirms the presence of an increased concentration of hCG, that is, a possible pregnancy.
The most informative rapid test is some time after the expected time of pregnancy, for example, the concentration of hCG on day 7 after ovulation will be quite high. In the future (to assess the course of pregnancy), the content of hCG in the urine has no diagnostic benefit.
The level of hCG on days after ovulation is determined in the venous blood, and only it can be used as one of the indicators for examining a woman to identify various pathologies of pregnancy.
Chorionic gonadotropin is produced in fairly large quantities - its concentration is doubled daily.
Almost any modern laboratory can conduct a study of this indicator almost on the first day after the expected pregnancy. However, it is advisable to measure hCG on day 10 after ovulation and later so that the concentration of this compound is sufficiently high.
Each laboratory equipment has an error; therefore, a single determination of HCG is not very informative, and a decrease or increase in its concentration (in one of the analyzes) is not a cause for panic. This study should be conducted in the dynamics, that is, several times at a certain period of gestation, after consulting the doctor.
If in one of the studies the value of the indicator in the patient's blood differs from the norm of hCG by 20% or more, then the study should be repeated in a week. If the result is still different from normal (at the same level or within 50%) - this is reason to suspect a certain obstetric-gynecological pathology.
Table of normal values of hCG in accordance with the period of gestation
This indicator is usually measured in IU per milliliter, the form of any modern certified laboratory usually indicates its normal value, so that a specialist can correctly evaluate the information received.
In the normal course of pregnancy, there is an increase in hCG by day: every 2-3 days, its concentration doubles. The maximum level of the indicator noted at 8-10 weeks of gestation. After this point, there is a decrease (17-18 weeks of gestation), this level persists until delivery.
The relationship between the concentration of hCG and the changes occurring in a woman’s body is most clearly indicated by its level table.
Causes of low and high hCG
It should be emphasized that only the level of hCG is not 100% confirmation of a specific obstetric-gynecological pathology. Evaluate the full range of information can only be a doctor.
An increase in the concentration of hCG in the venous blood, which does not correspond to the gestation period, may be observed in such cases.
- Multiple pregnancy (each fetus synthesizes its part of hCG, since the placenta is several).
- Malformations of the unborn child (in particular, Down syndrome).
- Occurrence of tumor processes of the trophoblast (invasive processes of the placenta, chorionic carcinoma, cystic skid) or embryonic anlage (teratoma).
- Malignant, rarely benign neoplasms of other localization (intestine, lungs, liver, pancreas).
A decrease in the concentration of hCG may indicate the following pathology.
- The threat of miscarriage due to insufficient function of the corpus luteum or placental insufficiency (low progesterone levels).
- Frozen pregnancy (gestation does not match the formation of the fetus).
- Ectopic pregnancy (eg, tubal).
- Malformations of the unborn child (Edwards syndrome).
If this or that situation arises during the dynamic examination, a more detailed laboratory and instrumental examination is required.
HCG injection for ovulation
Chorionic gonadotropin stimulation is used to treat certain types of female infertility. This procedure is advisable if ovulation does not occur naturally. For its substantiation and application, a detailed examination is necessary: it is imperative to establish the reason as a result of which ovulation does not occur.
If the follicles in the female ovaries mature to the required size (a dominant follicle is formed), but it does not break, an injection of hCG is used to stimulate ovulation (the dosage is adjusted individually). After that, the long-awaited ovulation occurs - the release of the egg from the ovary. Sexual partners are recommended daily sexual intercourse for pregnancy.
There are other options for infertility, when you need to stimulate not the rupture of the follicle, but its maturation. To do this, use a combination of drugs: tablets (Klostilbegit and others) and hCG injection. Tablets are prescribed for 5 or 7 days after ovulation.
If there is a rupture of the dominant follicle, on the 11th day after ovulation, an hCG injection is performed. The latter is necessary after ovulation has occurred, it contributes to maintaining the function of the corpus luteum and the preservation of pregnancy.
Contraindications for hCG injection
HCG during ovulation stimulation is contraindicated in those situations when ovulation occurs, and fertilization of the egg, its introduction into the endometrium and the subsequent development of pregnancy is impossible. Among the contraindications of such stimulation are known:
- inflammatory, tumor and infectious processes of the reproductive organs,
- other diseases of the endocrine sphere,
- obstruction of the fallopian tubes,
- menopausal women
- tendency to increased thrombosis,
- poor performance spermogram sexual partner.
In all these cases, other methods of treating infertility are required, and the level of hCG in the blood should be checked, as in the management of the patient with a physiological pregnancy.
Normal hCG level after ovulation
HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin. This hormone in the body in its normal state is absent. It appears in women only after the onset of pregnancy, but not immediately after conception, but after embryo attachment, that is, several days after the direct fusion of the female and male sex cells occurred.
If conception has happened, then this hormone soon begins to be produced. One can speak about the onset of pregnancy itself only after the embryo has consolidated on the wall of the uterus. From this point on, when measuring the content of the hormone, when deciphering, those norms that are characteristic of pregnant women are used.
There comes such an attachment for about 6-8 days after fertilization, that is, after ovulation. For this reason, in the table of norms for the content of hCG, indicators are given only starting from the seventh day after ovulation and, accordingly, conception. The level of its rapidly increases during the first month after attachment. The minimum, maximum and average normal values for this period by day are shown in the table below.
HCG levels per day after ovulation and conception
It is very important to distinguish obstetric gestational age from embryonic. This table includes normal indicators exactly when calculating the embryonic period. An embryonic period is a specific period that has passed from the actual moment of fertilization of an egg to the present moment. An obstetric term is one that is calculated from the date of the start of the last menstruation. Thus, the difference in these indicators can be up to two weeks, and for long cycles - up to three weeks.
It is important to understand that these indicators are indicative and may differ slightly from those of the hCG standard, which are used in other laboratories. It depends on what method is used in this laboratory to study the material, since different methods have different degrees of error. Therefore, the interpretation of the results of the analysis should be carried out according to the norms of the laboratory in which the study was conducted.
Normal levels of hCG during pregnancy
In the course of pregnancy, the growth rate of the content of this hormone is slightly reduced. It does not change so much, there are no jumps up or down. Therefore, it is possible to use the averaged normal values for the weeks of pregnancy and trimesters to assess the state of the expectant mother and the course of pregnancy. However, in this table, it is the obstetric terms of pregnancy (that is, not the actual physiological), but those that are determined, taken from the date of the last menstruation, are given.
As can be seen from the tables, the range of normal values of the content of this hormone in the blood at one or another period of pregnancy is quite wide, because it takes into account all the possible individual characteristics of the patient’s body and the characteristics of gestation. Таким образом, к любому отклонению от этих нормальных значений следует относиться очень внимательно, так как они всегда свидетельствую о некоторых отклонениях в развитии беременности и могут быть достаточно опасными. Потому уровень в крови этого гормона нуждается в корректировке в случае, если сильно отклоняется от нормы. Очень важно своевременно обратиться к врачу для назначения соответствующей терапии.
What can a reduced level of hCG say, and how is it dangerous?
- Such a state may indicate placental insufficiency - a condition where the placenta develops incorrectly and cannot protect the fetus normally, maintain the hormonal level necessary for carrying the body in the body,
- Ectopic pregnancy also gives such indicators, regardless of the form in which it proceeds,
- Reduced levels of hCG lead to the fact that there is a threat of miscarriage in the early period or premature birth at a later date.
However, immediately after receiving the results of the study, you should not panic. It is important to find out for what period the calculation was performed - embryonic or obstetric. Also, an error in establishing any of these terms of pregnancy is not excluded, because it is better to additionally consult with a specialist and recalculate the terms, use other diagnostic methods.
If the level of this hormone in the blood turned out to be higher than the norm for this period of pregnancy, or there are signs of too rapid growth of hCG, then this can also be evidence of a number of pathologies that are quite dangerous, therefore such indicators cannot be ignored. Elevated levels of hCG can talk about:
- Placental disorders, when it is too active,
- Bubble trail,
- The presence of malignant neoplasms developing from blastula cells - choriocarcinoma,
- Gestosis in the presence of other related symptoms,
- Diabetes of the first or second type in the expectant mother, also in the presence of other associated symptoms,
- Genetic pathology in the emborion (especially when the growth of hCG by day is uneven).
Again, there is always the possibility of an erroneous determination of the duration of pregnancy, so you should not panic when diagnosing an elevated level of this hormone. However, it is also impossible to ignore this state. Immediate medical attention is required.