Human chorionic gonadotropin which is well known as HCG is a human hormone which mostly produced in females. It is mostly known as pregnancy hormone. At first it is produced by the cells that form placenta and later by placenta itself during pregnancy. It functions primarily to support the pregnancy by helping in the production of progesterone which helps in promoting the development of placenta in the early periods of pregnancy. Levels of HCG can be detected in the first 11 days of the pregnancy. The HCG levels start doubling every 48-72 hours of the eighth to eleventh week. Once the HCG level in the body becomes high, it will start doubling every 96 hours. This gradually occurs in 85% of the pregnancies.
Women who have experienced fertility issues place a lot of importance on the level of HCG in their body. Due to various conditions of being normal and not being normal experts advice them not to take it critically. Some women even deliver normal baby with low HCG levels. The level of HCG is measured as mille-international units per millimeter. If the HCG level is below 5mlU/ml, the pregnancy test will show negative. The pregnancy tests show positive only if the HCG level is more than 25mlU/ml. There are two types of HCG level test:- 1)Qualitative test 2) Quantitative test. The qualitative tests show the HCG level in the blood or urine and qualitative tests show the amount of HCG level in the bloodstream.
Now as a general rule the level of HCG should rise as the embryo grows and the HCG beta number should also double in a time interval of 36 to 48 hours. A tremendous decrease in the HCG level can lead to a possible occurrence of miscarriage. If the level stays constant or falls slowly below the normal range, it can indicate towards an ectopic pregnancy. The beta HCG levels are extremely helpful in the identification of a multiple pregnancy like twins or multiples.