HCG Blood Tests

Blood tests can be regarded as the most accurate way to detect pregnancy.

In fact, they measure the same thing that urine tests do, but they appear to be more sensitive and can detect even small levels of hCG within about 8-12 days post-ovulation.

Moreover, they not only detect the presence of the “pregnancy hormone”, but also measure the amount of hCG. It is highly important, as by taking regular tests you can see whether the pregnancy is progressing along normally.

The following table provides hCG levels during pregnancy:
(hCG levels in weeks from gestational age)

1 - 2 weeks 25 - 200 mIU/ml
2 - 3 weeks 100 - 5000 mIU/ml
4 - 5 weeks 2560 - 30000 mIU/ml
5 - 6 weeks 23000 - 151000 mIU/ml
6 - 7 weeks 27000 - 235000 mIU/ml
7 - 8 weeks 25000 - 300000 mIU/ml
8 - 9 weeks 20000 - 200000 mIU/ml
9 - 10 weeks 20000 - 150000 mIU/ml
11 - 12 weeks 15000 - 95000 mIU/ml
13 - 14 weeks 10000 - 90000 mIU/ml
15 - 25 weeks 5000 - 80000 mIU/ml
26 - 37 weeks 2500 - 70000 mIU/ml

Non-pregnant females: <5.0 mIU/ml
Postmenopausal: <9.5 mIU/ml

If you have taken the blood test you should know the following:

  • hCG is measured in milli-international units per millilitre (mIU/ml).
  • There are two common types of hCG tests - a qualitative hCG test and quantitative hCG test, which is also called beta hCG. The aim of the qualitative hCG test is to detect the presence of hCG in the blood, while quantitative hCG test measures the amount of hCG in the blood.
  • An hCG level <5mIU/ml is considered negative for pregnancy, and >25mIU/ml is definitely regarded as a positive result.
  • Most of normal pregnancies have the hCG level approximately double every two to three days during the first few weeks of pregnancy.
  • Due to the wide variation of numbers hCG tests should not be used to date a pregnancy.
  • In normal pregnancies different women may have different hCG levels, as well as hCG levels may widely vary between different pregnancies for the same woman.
  • The hCG level starts decreasing after 12 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Multiple testing of hCG is required for most diagnoses.
  • If a woman is carrying twins hCG levels are usually extremely high.
  • The hCG hormone can stay in a woman’s blood at low levels for up to 4 to 6 weeks after a miscarriage.

If you still have some questions concerning your hCG levels, consult your doctor!

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Comments

  1. michelle
    October 4th, 2006| 9:05 pm

    hi i have been to hospital had a scan but cant see a sack ny hcg levels on 2/10/06 were 279
    and again on the 4/10/06 were at 403 is this normal

  2. Elina
    October 4th, 2006| 10:06 pm

    It can be normal as hcg levels usually double every 2-3 days in early pregnancy.
    It is also possible that a scan won’t show any sac untill 5-6 week of pregnancy.
    Anyway, you should consult your health care specialist and have another hcg test and sonography to see whether the pregnancy is progressing.

  3. mary
    October 9th, 2006| 11:19 pm

    hi just had a scan small sac 3cm. approx about 6weeks but bleeding a fair bit. hgc 546 is this normallevelor should it be higher. thanks

  4. Elina
    October 10th, 2006| 3:08 pm

    In general, on 6th week of pregnancy hCG levels are usually a bit higher. However, there is too little info to make any assumption.
    You should take multiple hCG testing and see whether the levels are increasing.
    If they are, it seems to be normal.
    If they are decreasing + bleeding, there is a threat of miscarriage.

  5. Jan
    October 24th, 2006| 6:10 pm

    have had an internal scan and there was a sac; i was told that i was miscarrying and to come back in two weeks
    to see that the sac had all gone on its own accord. I have gone back and the sac it still there but they cannot see a
    yolk. They have taken a blood test and this has come back inconclusive. They do not know if it is a failed pregnancy
    or an early pregnancy!! I have got to have another blood test tomorrow. I am at my wits end worrying!!

  6. Michela
    October 26th, 2006| 7:42 pm

    Hi, Ive been bleeding for 4 days now, it feels like a normal period. They are testing me for an eptopic pregnancy. I already three children but the last was done by emergancy section, Im really upset I go again on saturday for my next bloods! Theres no baby in my womb but all the tests are saying Im pregnant.Fingers crossed and good luck to anyone who might experiance this it really is horrid! x

  7. Amy
    December 5th, 2007| 1:09 am

    hey i had one baby on february 28th 05 then got pregnant that july .. my hcg levels were low.. no bleeding though we went in at 8 weeks and the baby was not a baby it was a tumor.. the next day i had a dnc.. in may of last year 2006 i once again found out i was pregnant a week later i started bleeding..the doctor said my hcgs were low once again.. they came in to tell me that i had lost the baby and me and my husband vowed to never try again. however just 2 weeks after that i found out i was pregnant again only the baby was measuring 5 weeks.. turns out the baby i lost was a twin i had him on march 16th of 07 we are now expecting another baby i am 5 weeks 2 days my hcg levels are normal and i go to the doctors tomorrow.. so yes some of us have been there hold tight.. dont lose the faith everything happens for a reason.. god never gives u more than u can handle..

  8. Heidi
    August 8th, 2008| 6:22 pm

    I just wanted to comment on Amys story it got me tearing and wish we all heard more amazing stories like that. Very sad but ends with a miricle …. I just lost my first baby at 4 months after 3 yrs of trying on March 27th this yr and I believe this is my miricle because I am now pregnant again and due on March 27th 2009. I agree afterwards I knew my chances and didnt want to put myself through the pain again but I knew if I didnt I would regret it and I am sooo thankful everyday we tried again !

  9. michelle
    August 7th, 2009| 2:35 am

    i just had a blood test done and it come up negative but it has only been a couple days since i had unprotected sex..so im going to go back in a week or so, just to make sure im not.

  10. frankie
    August 9th, 2009| 5:59 am

    hi i am pregnant and this is my blood work b/W 11 DPO 28.9 progesterone 24.8

    2nd beta 13 dpo 93 progesterone 29

    3rd beta 15 dpo 253 progesterone 37

    4th beta 17 dpo 621 progesterone 34

    5th beta 19 dpo 1,163 progesterone 37

    Should I be worried because it didn’t double from the 4th beta to the 5? I am very nervous

  11. wendy
    April 12th, 2010| 6:31 pm

    ive just come back from having an internal scan which showed empty uterus but suspicious eptopic so had some hcg bloods taken the reults ahve just cme back inconclusive what does this mean.? has anyone got any ideas im so confused .. it hard enough being told im miscarrying when i didt even know i was pregnant let alone being told it eptopic then having bloods tha are inconclusive.
    thanks wendy

  12. Rachael
    April 17th, 2010| 4:20 am

    So I had a blood pregnancy test yesterday at 11 dpo it came out negative(Nurse said less then 2) is it still possible that I am pregnant?

  13. Andi
    July 8th, 2010| 7:46 am

    Thanks for the information above, I also have read that hCG levels are increased not only be a sign of pregnancy, but also a sign of tumor in placenta, twin pregnancy or the use of certain medications. I hope this little info useful.

  14. Rachael
    November 27th, 2010| 4:46 pm

    Hi, We have been trying for a baby for three years, after being told i was not producing eggs on wednesday i went to the doctors feeling unwell, where she completed 3 pregnancy tests all positive, i went for a scan on friday but there was no sac in my womb, but an unusual mass on my right ovary, i had another pregnancy test which was positive again and then had a hcg test my results were 462 does anyone know what this means im really confused and i have some pain in my abdomen. i have more bloods tomorrow.

  15. Sandy
    May 3rd, 2011| 9:48 pm

    My hcg levels are not showing up, had a blood test done around 15 week of pregnancy. Am pregnant but don’t know what to do. Already tried hospitals and clinics, please help!

  16. Jessica
    June 9th, 2011| 9:03 am

    I found out I was pregnant about a week ago. I’ve been to the hospital 2x the first they took my blood work told me my hcg was low. Think in the 200 -300 the second time I went to the hospital I went because when I went to use the potty I wiped & notice a tiny (smaller then pea) if not smaller & a little bleed but it was light. I wasn’t craping or havin any signs of miscarriage they put down a ectopic pregnancy & my hcg level had drop to I believe 168 I’m not sure. The next day I had to follow up with my doctor & she took blood wrk to check where my hcg level was at I had to wait til the next day to kno what they were. The nurse called me & told me my hcg didn’t drop & they didn’t rise. I got 2mrw for an ultrasound & more blood work could someone pls Giv me advice . I still hav hope. Has anyone had ths happen tho them. Yet I still hav not experienced any kinds of symptoms that I could hav a miscarriage . & I’m still feelin pregnant. Can someone pls let me kno somethng?!?

  17. Elina
    June 9th, 2011| 7:31 pm

    1. Check your hcg levels 2-3 times every 3 days to see if your pregnancy is developping. (it should double each time) If hcg is getting lower, it is almost impossible to save the baby.
    2. Have an ultrasound. It will show the location of the baby, its size and heartbeat.
    3. Check your progesterone. Progesterone supports pregnancy. Low levels usually result in miscarriage that starts with bleeding. You can save your baby with vaginal progesterone tablets if the problem is detected when it is not too late.

    In case of miscarriage, the symptoms of pregnancy may last up to 2 weeks. (until the levels of hcg and progesterone finally drop to the normal levels.

  18. Jessica
    June 9th, 2011| 7:58 pm

    Thank you! I’m extremely nervous today I praying everything goes well today. . I will keep u updated . You said I can save my baby with your baby with vaginal progesterone tablets what is That? Do I need to ask my doctor for it? Or can I get it over the counter.

  19. Jessica
    June 10th, 2011| 12:34 am

    Jus came back frm my dr Appt. My hcg levels haven’t dropped . Had an ultra sound done & the seen no baby. Not even a sac. They checked my ovaries & said it’s an ectopic pregnancy.my dr asked me if I wanted to get a shot or wait til my new blood wrk came back to see where my levels were at. I’ve been to so many websites & alot of females hav been thru the same situation & still had a healthy pregnancy. ;( idk what to do. I’m still feelin pregnant. Mornin sickness dizziness eating slot craving things peein alot. I DNT want to Giv up… I hav no pains or anythng I feel fine. Can anyone Give me advice?!? or Giv me more hope.?!? Pls.

  20. AmyS
    June 18th, 2011| 11:09 pm

    Jessica, I went to the dr on May 31st & found out I was pregnant! On the 16 of May my IVF dr transferred 2 embryo’s! Ive had
    1 healthy & natural baby 6 yrs ago but my husband got fixed 14 yrs ago after his daughter was born. My HCG levels were doin good on the 31st & 5 days later they were still good 2000 something. We went to the doc for our first u/s on June 15 to do a head count & there wasn’t nothing in there! Not for sure if there was a sac or not! I was devastated! We did a blood test to check levels that day & they were 8440- the next day we had another u/s & still nothing ( husband said there was a sac)! I was 7weeks & 3 days at this point! I’ve had no pain, cramping or bleeding or spotting & checked my levels again the next day & they had dropped to 7850 & doc says it’s probably a eptopic but no symptoms of that until yesterday- started cramping slightly, but no bleeding! Doc wants to terminate on Mon, oh & they never could see any thing in my tubes either. Idk what to do either, can u still have a baby if your levels drop?

  21. Keerthy
    August 9th, 2011| 8:19 am

    Is an HCG level of 72.6 after 45 days of last menstrual period is normal for a pregnancy. A preg card test after 60 days showed a faint pink line. Is it positive?

  22. Elina
    August 9th, 2011| 10:46 am

    Keerthy, it is definitely pregnancy and hcg level looks like normal. However, it is suggested to have another test in 2-3 days. If hcg levels double, everything should be OK! Low hcg levels may be the sign of ectopic pregnancy.
    Good luck!

  23. sarah
    August 17th, 2011| 4:53 pm

    i had a blood test done yesterday and my hcg was 6 which they considered as not being pregnant, my period is 2 weeks late and i am also getting pregnancy symptoms, is there any chance that i could be pregnant?

  24. jenny
    September 21st, 2011| 11:20 pm

    i have had 2 missed periods, 5 at home pregnancy tests and 1 blood test, all saying negitive. had a pelvic exam, doctor says i do infact feel like i am pregnant, and consistant in size of what i would be in my pregnancy, about 8 or 9 weeks. i have cause to believe i would be pregnant as well. why would my levels not show in a blood test? having an ultrasound next week to ivestigate but still confusing!

  25. annie
    October 25th, 2011| 8:33 am

    I started to miss carry on September 10 my hcg was under twenty went to the doctor three days later and there were no signs of hcg in my blood. 6 weeks later with no period sense then I’m pregnant again my hcg was 546 today. Not sure how far along I am thought doctor said inbetween 3-5 weeks so it is possible to conceive after with out a period sense u ovualte about two weeks after the first day it started kinda like a period hope this helps and good luck

  26. Krystalyn
    November 29th, 2011| 5:08 am

    So excited I found this article as it made tnhigs much quicker!

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