Normal hCG levels and hCG Information
HCG is an abbreviation and the full name is: "Human Chorionic Gonadotropin", the "pregnancy hormone" which is being produced by the placenta as soon as implantation happens about one week after fertilization and ovulation. As soon as the embryo implants and the placenta attaches to the uterine lining, hCG enters the circulation and eventually is excreted into the urine.
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. Anything in between is not conclusive and most doctors will have you come back to test again in a few days.
There are two common types of hCG tests. A qualitative hCG test detects if hCG is present in the blood. A quantitative hCG test (or beta hCG) measures the amount of hCG actually present in the blood.
One single hCG value does not tell you much about the viability of the pregnancy and there is a wide range of normal hCG levels in pregnancy. A normal hCG rise over several days prior to 6 weeks of the pregnancy usually indicates a viable pregnancy. In general, the best indication of a healthy pregnancy other than a normal rise of hCG is a good fetal heartbeat after 6-7 weeks. There is a wide range of normal hCG levels and values and the values are different in blood serum or urine. Urine hCG levels are usually lower than serum (blood) hCG levels.
Days Past Average High Low
Ovulation mIU/ml mIU/ml mIU/ml
14 48 119 17
15 59 147 17
16 95 223 33
17 132 429 17
18 292 758 70
19 303 514 111
20 522 1690 135
21 1061 4130 324
22 1287 3270 185
23 2034 4660 506
24 2637 10000 540
Non-pregnant females: <5.0 mIU/ml Postmenopausal females: <9.5 mIU/ml
Remember, these numbers are just a GUIDELINE-- every woman’s level of hCG can rise differently. It is not necessarily the level that matters but rather the change in the level.
HPT, Home Pregnancy Test's
Here is my personal experience with HPT's. The egg must first implant in order for HCG to be made. It takes roughly 48 hours for there to be enough HCG in your system for a really good HPT to detect it. Lets say for instance, implantation occurs on 8 DPO, (Days Past Ovulation), then a really good HPT wouldn't even be able to pick up the HCG until at least 10 DPO. So taking a test to early would show a negative but you could just be to early into your pregnancy for a positive to show Or you test to early and all you get is what you think to be "Evaporation" lines because the HCG in your system is not high enough to give a nice dark, definite line. I do not recommend taking them before 10-12 DPO since implantation can take anywhere from 5-12 DPO, you really should wait longer if you can.
I do NOT recommend blue dye HPT's because I have heard of a lot of women getting nasty evap lines on them. I prefer FRER, (First Response Early Results) or Answer HPT's. www.SaveOnTests.com is good and cheap for those who are POASoholic's, (Pee On A Stick-oholic's). When taking a HPT I recommend peeing in a cup with FMU, (First Morning Urine) and saving the pee until after you have tested because sometimes the results on a test is not clear or is defective and you'll have to retest. If you have PIAC, (peed in a cup), you don't have to hold your pee again for several hours to retest.
Here are pictures of my HPT's progressions. One is Saveontests.com and the other is Answer brand. Click on photo to enlarge.