Are You Pregnant? Pregnancy Tests Print What Are hCG Levels in Pregnancy? Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Chart By Robin Elise Weiss, PhD | Medically reviewed by a board-certified physician | Updated May 06, 2019 John Lamb/Photodisc/Getty Images More in Are You Pregnant? Pregnancy Tests Signs & Symptoms Pregnancy tests look for hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) which is excreted in pregnancy. You can detect hCG in either blood or urine pregnancy tests. Which type of pregnancy test your doctor or midwife requests will depend on what they are looking for with your pregnancy. If it is merely to confirm that you are pregnant, a urine pregnancy tests or home pregnancy test will suffice. If your practitioner has a reason to suspect multiple pregnancies, ectopic pregnancy or a miscarriage, a blood pregnancy test is more often used. Sometimes you will have these blood tests repeated to watch for a rise in the hCG levels. The rate of rise for hCG in pregnancy is that it nearly doubles about every 48 hours in the first 30 days after implantation, about 7 weeks gestation, though this can vary. After that, the rate of rise begins to slow. Hcg levels peak at about 8-10 weeks, then slowly decrease until they level out at about 20 weeks and stay constant for the rest of pregnancy. hCG Levels in Pregnancy From Conception From LMP mIU/ML or IU/L 7 days 3 Weeks 0 - 5 14 days 28 days 3 to 426 21 days 35 days 18 to 7,340 28 days 42 days 1080 to 56,500 35 - 42 days 49 - 56 days 7,650 to 229,000 43 - 64 days 57 - 78 days 25,700 to 288,000 57 - 78 days 79 - 100 days 13,300 to 253,000 17-24 weeks 2nd Trimester 4060 to 65,400 25 weeks - birth 3rd Trimester 3640 to 117,000 Several Days After Baby - < 5 Most women will never know their hCG levels in pregnancy. Typically a urine test for the mere presence of hCG alone is sufficient for your obstetrical care in pregnancy. Looking at the specific levels is done if there is a complication or a suspected complication. Common reasons to do a blood test can include concern over the loss of the pregnancy (as in a suspected miscarriage, or ectopic pregnancy), previous pregnancy loss (pregnancy surveillance), or as a part of an effort for some other medical treatment. (It is fairly common to look for pregnancy prior to any major medical procedure or medical procedure that requires anesthesia. I was surprised at how many times the oral surgeon I once worked for got to diagnose a pregnancy.) Some women are surprised that they don't know or don't need to know the exact number for their hCG. This may be because they have hung around people before who did need to know this info. "My friends who had all been pregnant before me were asking me what my hCG numbers were. I didn't know the levels," says one mother. "That made me panic and I called my obstetrician to ask, thinking, maybe they'd told me and I'd forgotten. The nurse reassured me that I didn't need to know because my pregnancy was healthy. Later the doctor left a message saying that we could do the lab work if I really wanted to know, but why bother? It probably would have just made me crazy." The biggest thing that most people do not understand about hCG levels in pregnancy, is that rarely is it a one off thing. Typically if you are having your hCG levels checked, they will be checked repeatedly to look for a change in the numbers. For a healthy pregnancy, they should rise at a certain rate, and if you are monitoring them after a pregnancy loss, you should expect them to go down at a certain rate until they reach zero. Your doctor or midwife will be a great resource in helping you interpret the numbers. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Get diet and wellness tips to help your kids stay healthy and happy. Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. Gabbe, S, Niebyl, J, Simpson, JL. Fifth Edition.Understanding Diagnostic Tests in the Childbearing Year. Frye, A. 6th edition. Continue Reading What You Need to Know About hCG During Your Pregnancy What You Should Know About Blood Pregnancy Tests and How They Work What Levels of Pregnancy Hormone (hCG) Are Normal? How to Make Sense of hCG Levels in Early Pregnancy An Overview of Home Pregnancy Tests How Home Pregnancy Tests Detect hCG in Urine Why It Is Best to Take a Pregnancy Test First Thing in the Morning Why Should Early Pregnancy Tests Be Taken in the Morning? Are Blood Pregnancy Tests Better Than Home Tests? Is a Faint Line on the Pregnancy Test a Sign of Miscarriage? How Medications Can Effect Pregnancy Test Results Pregnancy Tests Are Costly But You Can Still Save Money Are Home Pregnancy Tests Always Accurate? Can You Spot the Early Symptoms of Pregnancy? How to Get a Free Pregnancy Test Is My Girlfriend Pregnant?