HCG tests are done to check the health of a pregnant woman and the fetus. These tests may also be helpful in finding out whether there will be birth defects or a possible miscarriage and such. The level of HCG hormone produced in a pregnant woman determines the health of both herself and her baby. There is guidance to know what the normal level of HCG is. But, the standardised normal level varies from lab to lab. And it depends upon many factors like the mother’s age and such other aspects. So, it is better to hear it from your doctor whether your HCG level is normal or abnormal. The understanding of the results of an HCG test is mentioned here.
If the HCG level is higher than the normal level in a pregnant woman’s blood, it means that she may have a multiple pregnancy. In other words, she may have conceived a twins or triplets. A high amount of HCG also indicates that she may have a molar pregnancy or Down syndrome. Molar pregnancy is a growth of unwanted cells in her uterus which shows symptoms f an actual pregnancy.
If a man/non-pregnant woman has a high amount of HCG, it means that they may have tumours in the testicles/ovaries. If a pregnant woman has low levels of HCG, it means that she may have an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy happens when the fertilized egg is implanted in a place other than the uterus. This will cause extreme bleeding and can be life-threatening. In another scenario, a pregnant woman having a low level of HCG is more likely to be affected by a miscarriage.
There are certain situations when the HCG tests can be affected and so they may not show a reliable result. For example, if you undergo a urine test at the first week after implantation or if the urine sample is taken at the middle of the day, the test result may not show an early pregnancy. To avoid this, you can take the urine sample when you urinate for the first time in the morning. The urine samples taken in the morning or the samples taken when you urinate at least after a four hour interval will have high levels of HCG.
The HCG levels will continuously be high for four weeks after a miscarriage or a therapeutic abortion. These results should not be misunderstood. If you have got an HCG injection as a treatment for your infertility, your HCG levels will be high for several days after the injection.
There are so many such situations where you can be misled by the test results of an HCG test. So it is advised that you talk about your treatments, the medicines you are taking at present or in the recent past and the surgeries you underwent etc. to your doctor. It will be the wise way to understand the test results of your HCG tests.