Beta Human chorionic gonadotropin: The Pregnancy Hormone!

DoroWalz By DoroWalz, 5th Nov 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Pregnancy

Thorough information about the Beta human chorionic gonadotropin and its applications

What is beta chorionic gonadotropin?

The beta chorionic gonadotropin (HCG-b), is a hormone produced by the placenta after the fertilized egg has been implanted, and it can be traced about one week after fertilization. During the early weeks of pregnancy, the levels of HCG-b grow exponentially. The maximum concentration is observed during the first quarter, and generally levels remain significantly elevated during the whole pregnancy.


There are various methods to detect the hormone. The most popular and cost effective method is a urine pregnancy tests However, there is also the option of having a blood test in a specialized laboratory. Blood tests are more expensive but can detect the hormone with great precision after just 11 days whereas a urine test can give reliable results after 12-14 days.

Normal Levels during pregnancy

interestingly, there is not an average or “normal” value for beta chorionic gonadotropin just a steady increase as the pregnancy progresses. This is why pregnant women should never compare the results of their chorionic with other mothers, because every woman produces different levels of the hormone at different rates. As you can see from the numbers down below, hcg levels may vary greatly from woman to woman!

3 week: 5 - 50 mIU / ml
4 week: 5 - 426 mIU / ml
5 week: 18 - 7.340 mIU / ml
6 week: 1.080 - 56,500 mIU / ml
7-8 week: 7, 650 - 229.000 mIU / ml
9-12 week: 25.700 - 288.000 mIU / ml
13-16 week: 13.300 - 254.000 mIU / ml
17 - 24 week: 4.060 - 165.400 mIU / ml
25-40 week: 3.640 - 117.000 mIU / ml

A gynecologist essentially monitors the levels of the hormone in the blood during the first days to determine if the pregnancy is progressing normally and might require repeated blood tests depending on the results. Levels tend to double every 48-72 hours during the first 6 weeks of gestation. As the pregnancy progresses, the growth rate decreases substantially. In cases of recurrent pregnancy levels of beta human chorionic fall or are not corresponding to the age of pregnancy.

Blood Vs Urine Screening

The main advantage of blood screening is that it gives a precise estimation of the hormone’s levels unlike to the urine test. Modern pregnancy tests (urine) are relatively sensitive and detect pregnancy even 2-3 days before delay, however they often give false results if the urine is very dilute, or if the test was not done properly. The examination of beta human chorionic gonadotropin in the blood is the only 100 % way to identify a possible pregnancy.

Other hCG applications

Today, hCG is primarily used to detect and monitor a pregnancy. However, there are some other applications that are worth to mention.

It can be used as a tumor marker, as the β subunit is secreted by some cancers with the most common one being testicular cancer. So, if you are a man and get a false positive from a pregnancy test it possibly means that you have testicular cancer!

On a clinical stage, hCG has been used to treat micropenis in men with Idiopathic Hypogonadotrophic Hypogonadism.

Finally, there is the hCG diet which supposedly can help you to lose up to half a kilo per day. It involves the injection of hCG along with a low (500 kcal or less) diet. According to the American Society of Bariatric Physicians “there is no scientific evidence that HCG is effective in the treatment of obesity.. .. insufficient evidence supporting the claims that HCG is effective in altering fat-distribution.”


Beta Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, Hcg, Pregnancy

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author avatar DoroWalz
I will be writting for medical-related thingies ! :)

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author avatar brendamarie
6th Nov 2015 (#)

very interesting article

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
6th Nov 2015 (#)

Thanks for this post. Though we tend to leave it to the judgement of the gynecologist, better to be aware of what is going on - siva

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