Calculating for HCG or the Human Chorionic Gonadotropin hormone levels early in your pregnancy is helpful to keep track of your pregnancy in the first few weeks. The sooner you know your HCG levels, the easier it is to monitor the increase since this will be your baseline. Once you know your baseline and you follow through with monitoring the HCG levels, your health care provider will have a better guide to determine if you or on your way to a healthy pregnancy or a high risk pregnancy.
- Purchase a home urine pregnancy test. Home pregnancy tests base results on your HCG levels. An HCG level higher than 25 mlU/ml will yield a positive result on the test. An HCG level below 5 mlU/ml will give a negative result on the test. However, an HCG level between 5-25 mlU/ml may or may not give a positive result and would need further testing. If you missed your menstrual cycle, take the home pregnancy test. There are several brands in your local pharmacy to choose from. Some women opt to buy more than one home pregnancy test since there have been several cases of false negative results. Follow the instructions and in a few seconds you should know the results. If the result is negative and you still do not have your menstrual cycle within the next few days, take another home pregnancy test. It is possible that at the time you first took the test, your HCG level was somewhere between 5-25 mlU/ml. A positive result is usually accurate, but a negative result does not necessarily mean you are not pregnant. It could only mean your HCG levels are not high enough to yield a positive result.
- Have a blood test done and inform your health care provider you may be pregnant. Blood tests are more accurate in measuring HCG levels. A home urine pregnancy test does not actually indicate your HCG levels. It just indicates if you are pregnant or not. Your health care provider may ask you to do another blood test after a week if your HCG level is between 5-25 mlU/ml. If it continues to increase, then you are surely pregnant. HCG levels double within 48 to 72 hours in early pregnancy. It then slows down as you enter into the second and third trimester of your pregnancy.
- Ask your health care provider to monitor your HCG levels. It can vary for every pregnancy but she would know if it is a healthy increase for you. If it slows down or if it is not increasing at a comfortable rate, you may have a high risk pregnancy. A low HCG level may indicate that the fertilized egg is not properly nourished since it is not in the proper place or the uterine wall. You may have an ectopic pregnancy or worse, a miscarriage without knowing it. If this is the case, your HCG levels should be monitored through blood tests every 72 hours and you may be required to go on bed rest.
If you had a miscarriage before this pregnancy, you will most likely need to monitor your HCG levels. It may be a hassle to get frequent blood tests done, but the more information you and your health care provider have, the more guided you will be throughout your pregnancy.