Screening Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG)

AKA pregnancy hormone

The human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) serum blood test is used to measure the level of hCG hormone present in blood.

It is performed in a laboratory
It Can measure beta-hCG as low as 1 to 2 mIU/mL
Can be measured within 1 to 2 days of implantation (8 or 9 days after ovulation)

There are 2 types

  1. Qualitative
    Is a yes/no answer about whether the woman has hCG in her blood.
  2. Quantitative
    Is a measurement of the precise amount of hCG in the blood.


Normal pregnancy

Serum hCG levels that are doubling about every 24 hours during the first 8 weeks.

Nonviable pregnancy

(whether intra-uterine or extra-uterine)
hCG levels that plateau prior to 8 weeks or that fail to double.
Dropping hCG levels
In the first trimester, is probably a sign of impending miscarriage/abortion.

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