HCG Levels Haven't Doubled

Cynthia Flynn's picture
Experts: 

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
I am very concerned that my hormone levels only rose slightly when I took a second test. I am concerned that if we are able to see a heartbeat with the next ultrasound that it is possible that something may be wrong with the baby.

Is it safe to say that if there is a strong heartbeat then the hormone levels could be misleading in determining the health of the baby or is it possible that the levels are correct and the heartbeat is there that there is a chance that the baby will have problems later on in the pregnancy and possible life problems?

ANSWER

I certainly understand your concern. The fact that the levels rose at all is of course preferable to the alternative.

My own experience is that although the books say a healthy fetus should double the hcg every 48 hours in early pregnancy, that is not what I often see happening. And as long as the levels don't fall, the babies seem to be fine.

I hate to say that time will tell, but it's the truth. And this sort of thing has nothing to do with how the baby will do later, either in the pregnancy or later in life. Either the baby will prove to be viable or it won't. Good luck, and I hope all goes well.

-- Cynthia, CNM