What should my hCG levels be for the different stages of early pregnancy?
The expert answers
A single measurement of hCG cannot be used to determine the gestational age or even to estimate a due date. The laboratory that processes most of the specimens from my office recently stopped giving a reference range as this was completely worthless. The following are the reference ranges previously quoted:
1 week since conception: 5-50 mIU/ML hCG
2 weeks since conception: 20-500 mIU/ML hCG
3 weeks since conception: 500-5,000 mIU/ML hCG
4 weeks since conception: 3,000-19,000 mIU/ML hCG
8 weeks since conception: 14,000-169,000 mIU/ML hCG
12 weeks since conception: 16,000-160,000 mIU/ML hCG
So, as you can see, there is a considerable amount of overlap.
Where a beta-hCG can be useful is by getting serial measurements. During the early weeks of pregnancy, over a 48-hour period, the level of beta-hCG should rise at least by 66 percent in a healthy pregnancy. Declining or less dramatic jumps may be indicative of a forthcoming miscarriage. Around 10 weeks of gestation, the beta-hCG level reaches its peak of approximately 100,000, where it then plateaus and slowly declines the remainder of the pregnancy.