What causes low HCG levels?
HCG, BBT, ABC, pregnancy comes with tons of abbreviations and confusing acronyms.
Combine that with pregnancy hormone swings, and it’s enough to drive you crazy!
When I was pregnant, I thought I needed to have a pre med degree to figure it all out!
I know how confused you’re feeling right now, so keep on reading for some information.
Table Of Contents
What The Heck Is HCG?
I’m going to be honest with you.
The day I held that pregnancy test in my hands was the first I had ever heard of HCG. [Read more on my Intrauterine Pregnancy]
HCG stands for; Human Chronic Gonadotropin.
Now, for those of us who did not attend medical school, simply put HCG is a hormone that is made due to your pregnancy.
(See, not only does pregnancy come with its own set of hormones, stretch marks, and cravings, there are hormones made especially for pregnancy. We really do have all the fun.)
If you’re like me, the first time you probably read about HCG was most likely the day you read the directions on the box of the pregnancy test, and read that the hormone was stronger in the morning when you first pee.
(Whoever said motherhood is full of flowers and rainbows is crazy!)
What level should my HCG be?
HCG levels do vary.
At the beginning or your early pregnancy, HCG levels will double approximately within 72 hours.
However, once you hit near the end of your first trimester, the levels start to level off, and decline.
Time of Day?
And when you are testing to see if you’re pregnant, yes day of time matters!
Your HCG levels are stronger in the morning with your first pee of the day.
So if you are wondering if you’re pregnant or if you are tracking your ovulation, it really is best to test in the morning.
And let’s pause here to talk about ovulation.
Yes, there are quite a few pregnancy tests on the market that say you can test early.
Your HCG levels may still be too low for an accurate test, in fact this is made 6-10 days after ovulation.
If you want to try to calculate when exactly you should test, try this online pregnancy calculator.
After all, pregnancy tests aren’t cheap!
Be informed before spending too much money, you’ll need to save money- you’ll be a mom soon! No joke.
Along with time of day, there are additional reasons your HCG levels may be low.
Although most of these reasons are pretty serious, I do need to acknowledge that, there are pregnancies that are perfectly healthy with lower HCG levels.
This is something of course that your doctor will discuss with you.
However, here are some additional reasons HCG levels may be low:
#1. Miscalculation: Low HCG levels can mean you’re not as far along in your pregnancy, and there was a miscalculation somewhere.
This happens, especially if your cycle isn’t regular to begin with, or if you guessed on the last date of your period.
Yes, it can mean you will miscarry.
According to the Livestrong website, if the pregnancy doesn’t develop, the placenta won’t excrete HCG.
#2. Ectopic Pregnancy: This is when a fertilized egg stays in one of the fallopian tubes and begins to develop.
Generally the symptoms for this is one of the following; abdominal pain, absence of menstrual periods, and vaginal bleeding.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact your doctor.
For more details about the symptoms visit: Medicinenet.com
And please realize, as scary as this is, there are treatments, and conception after ectopic pregnancies. WebMD has a thorough article on this that is really helpful.
So How Do I Get Those hCG Levels Up?
Now that you know what it is, I know what you’re thinking, how can you increase your HCG levels?
Unfortunately there is nothing you can do to increase your HCG levels, so stressing about it will do nothing but, well, stress you out for no reason!
In fact, many doctors do not test for HCG levels, unless you have a history of having issues with your pregnancies.
Pregnancy is stressful enough, so just throw your feet up, open that pint of ice cream you’ve been saving in the freezer and dig in.
By the way, BBT stands for Basal Body Temperature, which changes during ovulation, and ABC stands for the alphabet… come on now-they aren’t all that difficult to figure out!
You can’t control your HCG levels.
It’s a hormone produced by your pregnancy, and as hard as this is to hear, it is out of your hands.
When testing to see if you are pregnant, it is best to listen to the directions on the box, and test in the morning when you HCG levels are at their highest.
If you miscarry, or have an ectopic pregnancy, consult your physician for your next steps.
As heartbreaking, and scary as that can be, with proper medical attention you will be able to plan out your new family.
As always, if you have any questions, please comment below!
To read more, or to watch a video about HCG levels, point and click!