Your hCG level is the true measure of how far your pregnancy is progressing and how healthy it is. While in the case of a healthy pregnancy hCG levels are known to rise, the traumatic event of a miscarriage sees pregnancy hormone levels plummet abruptly. What does this sudden drop indicate? How do your declining hCG levels affect you?
Read our post below and get the answer. Because here, we have put together some information about hCG and when your hCG levels normalize after a miscarriage.
What Is HCG?
hCG is a hormone which your body produces when you are pregnant. The full form of the same is human chorionic gonadotropin. hCG is produced by the cells that form in your placenta. The hormone nourishes the egg once it is fertilized and is attached to the uterine wall.
Few Facts About HCG Levels:
Here are a few facts you should know about the levels of hCG in your body and how it works:
- If the levels of hCG in your body are less than 5mIU/ml, it means it is negative for pregnancy and cannot result in a pregnancy. If the levels of hCG are higher than 25mlU/ml, it means it is positive for pregnancy and can result in a pregnancy.
- The unit used to measure the levels of hCG is mili-international units per milliliter (mIU/ml).
- hCG tests are usually done in two common types. The first one is the qualitative hCG test that helps to see if there is any level of the hCG hormone present in your blood. The second is the quantitative hCG test that helps to measure the amount of hCG that is present in your blood.
- When you are pregnant, hCG hormone levels in your body will increase rapidly through the weeks of pregnancy until the time of birth. In case the pregnancy is not healthy, and there are chances of miscarriage or a miscarriage does occur, the increase is not this marked. Once the miscarriage is through, the levels of the hormone will start coming back to normal, which means that it will reach the same level as it was before you got pregnant. The time it takes for the hCG levels to normalizes varies for every woman. So, it is important that you speak to your doctor and get a proper health checkup done to assess your particular situation. Your doctor will be able to prescribe the right tests and see if there is any sudden fluctuation in your hCG levels or any increase in the count of hCG. In case it is so, it could be a sign of an underlying health issue which will require further tests as suggested by your doctor.
How Long Will It Take For Your HCG Levels To Normalize After A Miscarriage?
Just as each pregnancy is different, in a similar way, your body’s capacity to return to its normal health after a miscarriage will also be different from that of others. Some key factors that will come into play here include the duration of your pregnancy while it was there as well as the initial amount of hCG that your body produces. In some cases, the hCG levels can return to the normal level within just a few days after a miscarriage. In some other cases, the hCG levels may take a few weeks to return to the normal level after a miscarriage. Here are a few things that will help you understand the changes better:
1. The Level Of HCG At The Time Of Miscarriage:
The levels of hCG in your body will be affected by the amount of time that you were pregnant. For example, when you miss your first monthly period, the levels of the hCG hormone within the first two weeks of the missed date are around 1080 and 56,500 mIU/ml. In case the level of hCG found in your body is higher, it means that it will take longer for the levels to normalize after a miscarriage.
2. The Time It Takes To Normalize:
Once a miscarriage takes place, your doctor will try to remove the tissue of the placenta. Alternatively, your doctor will wait and see if the placental tissue will detach from your body. When the placenta has been removed, hCG levels plummet to sub-zero. In most cases, the levels will drop below 5mIU/ml. The levels continue to drop for around four to six weeks after the miscarriage. If the miscarriage takes place around the eighth to the tenth week of pregnancy, the level of the hCG hormone is at its highest. It means that it will take the longest amount of time for your body to help the hCG levels to return to normal, as compared to a miscarriage that happens during other weeks.
3. The Reason Of The Miscarriage:
The reason for your miscarriage can also have an impact on the time it will take for the levels of hCG to return to normal after your miscarriage. How the miscarriage took place, such as, whether it was a spontaneous miscarriage or if it was done through a medical procedure, will also determine how long it will take for the hCG levels to come down.
What HCG Levels Keep Increasing Even After A Miscarriage?
Sometimes, it is possible that even though you went through a miscarriage, your hCG levels continue increasing. In case that happens, here are some possible reasons and what it could mean:
- If your doctor finds that the levels of your hCG hormone are rising even after you have been through a miscarriage, it is important to find out the cause behind the same.
- When you reach the end term of your pregnancy, the root cells that are present in your placenta can grow after a normal delivery, or even when you have a miscarriage. As a result, it can lead to a condition which is known as choriocarcinoma. It is a type of cancer that grows very fast and takes place in your uterus, which is the womb. The abnormal cells start to grow in the tissue that would have otherwise formed into the placenta. It is a type of gestational trophoblastic disease , which refers to a group of conditions where the tumor grows inside your uterus .
- Some of the most common symptoms of choriocarcinoma include irregular bleeding from the vagina and severe pain.
- Around 9 out of 10 women who develop choriocarcinoma after a miscarriage, early treatment with chemotherapy can help treat the condition.
- A molar pregnancy  can also lead to gestational trophoblastic disease. It is a type of pregnancy in which egg that gets fertilized will not be able to reach the full form of pregnancy, but still implants itself in the uterus. Once the molar is removed, the levels of hCG can also start to increase in some women.
2. Ectopic Pregnancy:
- The levels of your hCG hormone will also rise if you go through a normal pregnancy and an ectopic pregnancy at the same time, even though you may experience a miscarriage in the end. An ectopic pregnancy  is a type of pregnancy in which the fetus will start to develop outside your womb. In most cases, it will develop in the fallopian tube.
- Your doctor will suggest a surgical procedure or some medication that will help to end the ectopic pregnancy.
- An ectopic pregnancy will never be able to reach the full term of pregnancy and result in a live birth. As a result, your doctor will always try to use a surgical method or use medications, whatever is most suited to your case, and terminate the pregnancy as fast as possible.
How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After Miscarriage – HCG Levels?
You may feel that it will take a long time for your body to be ready for another pregnancy after miscarriage. In reality, you can get pregnant way sooner than you might expect. Once you go through your miscarriage, you are likely to have your first monthly period within four to six weeks of the same. In rare cases, you may also start to ovulate sooner, as early as within two weeks after a miscarriage. If you do get pregnant, the hCG levels begin to rise significantly. Your doctor will refer you to regular hCG tests after you have experienced the miscarriage. It will help him check for when the levels of your hCG hormone rise to more than 5mIU/ml.
Can You Get A False Positive On An HCG Test?
Once your hCG test comes out as positive, it is highly likely that you are pregnant. However, there are some cases in which the positive hCG result is a false positive, even though it is a very rare occurrence. Here are a few cases in which you may experience a false positive on your hCG test:
- If you have any form of cancer, especially gestational trophoblastic disease
- If your miscarriage took place in the initial weeks of the pregnancy
- In some cases, antibodies can also come in the way of your hCG levels in a test
- If you are on any medication that contains hCG, it will show an increase in the levels of your hCG hormone
A miscarriage can be a difficult situation for your body to cope with, but it will soon do the healing and get back to its normal state. Make sure you eat right and take proper rest to help your body heal faster and properly. Speak to your doctor about all the tests you should do to make sure you hCG levels are fine.
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