HCG Levels By Week During Pregnancy

HCG Levels By Week During Pregnancy

While pregnancy is often associated with two lines on a pregnancy test or that magical word, pregnant, it’s really the measure of hCG levels. Before ultrasounds detect a fetus, hCG levels can confirm that a woman is pregnant. Human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG, is a hormone that women and men carry small amounts of in their bloodstream. During pregnancy, hCG levels rise for women. In the first three months of a healthy pregnancy, hCG levels increase significantly. hCG levels can indicate that a woman is pregnant. 


From getting pregnant to enduring pregnancy and giving birth, there’s much to learn about your body. Read on as we explore hCG and how they can fluctuate during pregnancy.

What should hCG levels be each week of pregnancy?

As we mentioned, pregnancy tests look to test hCG levels to confirm a woman is pregnant. Once a female has conceived (otherwise known as when the sperm and egg meet), hCG is produced and released by your developing placenta. Within about two weeks, hCG levels should be high enough to be detected by a home pregnancy test. Toward the end of your first trimester (1-12 weeks) hCG levels are the highest, and should gradually decline over the pregnancy. 


Here are average hCG levels in blood during pregnancy by week:

  • 4 weeks: 0-750 µ/L
  • 5 weeks: 200 - 7,000 µ/L
  • 6 weeks 200 - 32,000 µ/L
  • 7 weeks: 3,000 - 160,000
  • 8 - 12 weeks: 32,000 - 210,000 µ/L
  • 13 - 16 weeks: 9,000 - 210,000 µ/L
  • 16 - 29 weeks: 1,400 - 53,000 µ/L
  • 29 - 41 weeks: 950 - 60,000 µ/L

When is hCG highest in the first trimester?

hCG levels are the highest toward the end of the first trimester. Around 8 -12 weeks, on average, women measure 32,000 - 210,000 µ/L. If hCG levels are higher than normal,  this can signify multiples (i.e. twins or triplets).

Alternatively, if hCG levels start to fall drastically, this can be a sign of a miscarriage. For a proper diagnosis, you should consult your doctor, as hCG levels are only a suggestion of what might be going on. 

At what hCG level can you see a fetus?

When you conceive, you start with an egg released during ovulation. The egg then meets sperm and fertilizes, also known as conception. When the egg fertilizes, it can then turn into an embryo. Around 8 weeks of pregnancy, the embryo is mature enough to become a fetus.

The embryo can be detected on an ultrasound as early as 6 weeks. To ensure you’re timing is correct, you will want to know the exact date of your last menstrual cycle start. Showing up to your first ultrasound appointment is an exciting feeling, but you don’t want to show up too soon. While sometimes pregnancy comes by surprise, oftentimes it’s planned. Regardless, doctors often ask when the first day of your last menstrual cycle was, so it’s helpful to keep track regularly. 

When does hCG start to rise?

When an egg and sperm meet, the egg can be fertilized and attach to the lining. Just like that, you’re pregnant. Your body will then start to make hCG, typically about 10 days after conception. hCG levels need to be high enough to be detected by a take-home pregnancy test. hCG levels above 25 mIU/mL are considered a positive result for pregnancy. hCG levels between 6 and 25 mIU/mL are a gray area where you might be pregnant, but a retest will likely be needed to confirm pregnancy. 

What are the symptoms of hCG rising?

There might be a few signs of rising hCG levels, including:

  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Breast tenderness
  • Emotionally sensitive
  • Dizzy or light-headed

Sounds familiar, right? These can double as early pregnancy symptoms, too. 

Why is my hCG so high at 5 weeks?

If you discover your hCG levels are high at 5 weeks, you will likely find out from your doctor. It’s best to receive an official diagnosis from your doctor, but some explanations can include a molar pregnancy or gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD). 

What happens if hCG is not doubling?

hCG levels should rise the most during the first trimester of pregnancy. If they are not rising at a proper rate, this can signify a miscarriage occurring. 

How can I check my hCG level at home?

While you might find some methods to check your hCG at home, it’s best to visit your doctor for a professional examination and explanation of results. If you have concerns, your doctor will likely be able to accommodate seeing you more frequently or finding ways to provide you peace of mind. 

Conclusion

Finding out you’re pregnant can forever change your life. As you learn about your body, and then about your baby’s body, you start to realize just how amazing humans are. Some may even gain a new appreciation for the importance of the little things like sleep, a proper diet, and overall good health.

Once baby arrives, the sleep department might suffer, but rest assured that Dreamland can help. When your baby enters the world, it emerges from a dark, fluid-filled sac with irreplicable noises and feelings. Just like that, they are exposed to a great big world. As they adjust, they will need just the right sleeping environment to promote better sleep.

Swaddles are often used to help babies sleep as they wrap them snugly to help calm them down and mimic the feeling of the womb. However, swaddles can be difficult to get on just right, and if they are not worn properly, they can be ineffective. 


At Dreamland, we offer weighted and non-weighted sleep solutions that are user-friendly and proven to help babies sleep better. In turn, that means parents (and maybe the whole family) sleep better, too.

Our Weighted Dream Swaddle features CoverCalm® technology that evenly distributes baby’s weight from their shoulders to toes. Instantly this works to reduce anxiety and help your baby fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. To dress your baby in our Weighted Dream Swaddle, put them in their coziest pajamas, and lay them on their back with the swaddle back below them.

Tuck their legs into the swaddle and wrap the swaddle band around their upper body, with arms tucked in or out. Zip up the swaddle and let your baby drift off to Dreamland. Designed in collaboration with pediatricians, NICU nurses, and sleep consultants, our weighted sleep solutions are proven to work while keeping your baby safe.

Sources: 

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=167&contentid=hcg_serum#:~:text=Both%20men%20and%20women%20have,throughout%20the%20first%203%20months.

https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/hcg-levels

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/hcg-levels

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/9704-ultrasound-in-pregnancy

https://www.pampers.com/en-us/pregnancy/prenatal-health-and-wellness/article/hcg-levels

https://americanpregnancy.org/getting-pregnant/hcg-levels/#:~:text=An%20hCG%20level%20of%20less,rise%20to%20confirm%20a%20pregnancy.

https://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-life/emotions/a-cheat-sheet-to-pregnancy-hormones/

https://www.todaysparent.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/hcg-levels/

https://www.healthline.com/health/hcg-levels-miscarriage#:~:text=Likewise%2C%20levels%20that%20aren't,miscarriage%20may%20take%20place%20soon.

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