HCG - Human Chorionic Gonada-What?


Visitors: 622

Tropin. Human chorionic gonadotropin. Sound Familiar? You may or may not have heard of hCG, but if you have, it may be because you read it on the box of your home pregnancy test. That's because hCG is the basis of home pregnancy tests. It's also the basis for the blood and urine pregnancy tests that your doctor performs. But there is much more to hCG than simply being an indicator of pregnancy.

HCG is a hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy. It begins being produced and released into the blood almost immediately after the egg attaches to the uterine wall. Since hCG is released into the blood so soon after conception, it can be detected there even before your first missed menstrual period, as early as six days after implantation. Its function is to prevent the disintegration of the corpus luteum of the ovary and thereby maintain production of one of the main pregnancy hormones, progesterone.

HCG Levels HCG levels rise steadily for the first 14 to 16 weeks after your last menstrual period, doubling every 48- 72 hours in about 85% of normal pregnancies. After this time, the levels will slowly decrease. The increases in the hCG levels in early pregnancy can provide invaluable information about your pregnancy and the health of your baby. HCG levels return to zero shortly after pregnancy.

HCG levels are often measured as part of a maternal serum triple or quadruple screening test. These tests are done by measuring three or four substances in a woman's blood and are used to estimate the baby's risk of certain problems or congenital birth defects. The triple screen measures beta human chorionic gonadotropin (beta-hCG), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), and a type of estrogen (unconjugated estriol or uE3). The quad screen measures the hormone inhibin-A in addition to the other three.

Abnormal hCG levels do not necessarily mean that there is a problem. It could simply be due to a miscalculation of pregnancy dating. Unfortunately though, abnormal hCG levels could also indicate a more serious issue. There are several things that could cause a high or low hCG level, so you should be retested within a few days to see how the levels are changing.

A high hCG level could be an indicator of a multiple pregnancy, in which there is more than one fetus present, or a molar pregnancy. A low hCG level could be an indicator of a possible miscarriage or blighted ovum, or an ectopic pregnancy, where the fertilized egg implants itself somewhere other than the uterus.

By now it should be apparent that you will be hearing quite a bit about hCG during your pregnancy, and now you will know more about what you are hearing.

Susan Tanner is a wife and mother of three. She is also the editor of pregnancy-guide.net. Pregnancy-Guide is an online community for mothers to find support and valuable information. Please visit Pregnancy-Guide for valuable pregnancy information .


Article Source:

Rate this Article: 
Homeopathic HCG – Does Homeopathic HCG Work?
Rated 4 / 5
based on 5 votes

Related Articles:

Following HCG Protocols, the Most Effective Way of Making the HCG program Work

by: Jackie Smith (June 01, 2011) 
(Health and Fitness/Weight Loss)

Why the HCG Injection is not the Most Effective Manner of Ingesting HCG Hormone

by: Jackie Smith (June 13, 2011) 
(Health and Fitness/Weight Loss)

Drastic Weight Loss with HCG-HCG Side effects

by: Apple Liu (July 20, 2011) 
(Health and Fitness/Weight Loss)

Use the HCG Drops for Safer and More Efficient HCG Program

by: Jackie Smith (June 19, 2011) 
(Health and Fitness/Weight Loss)

What to Know About Amniocentesis and Chorionic Villus Sampling

by: Susan Tanner (December 11, 2005) 
(Home and Family/Pregnancy)

The Protocols of the HCG diet reduce HCG Diet Side Effects

by: Jackie Smith (June 15, 2011) 
(Health and Fitness/Weight Loss)

How To Use HCG Drops For Weight Loss – Apply HCG Drops Right

by: Trevor Zacek (September 07, 2011) 
(Health and Fitness/Weight Loss)

HCG Drops For Weight Loss - How HCG Drops Can Benefit You

by: Trevor Zacek (September 16, 2011) 
(Health and Fitness/Weight Loss)

HCG Drops For Weight Loss – All You Need To Know About HCG Drops

by: Trevor Zacek (September 08, 2011) 
(Health and Fitness/Weight Loss)

Homeopathic HCG – Does Homeopathic HCG Work?

by: Trevor Zacek (September 16, 2011) 
(Health and Fitness/Weight Loss)