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Gonadotropic Chorionic Hormone (HCG)

Gonadotropic chorionic hormone (HCG), also known as beta-hCG, is produced in early pregnancy as soon as the egg is implanted in the uterine lining. Its rate increases gradually in early pregnancy and then decline until the end. Update on this blood test and interpretation of your results.

What is gonadotropic chorionic hormone?

The beta-hCG hormone is produced by tissues of the placenta from the implantation of the egg in the uterine lining, to the 10th day of pregnancy. It is detectable from the 9th day after the ovulation and for the duration of pregnancy. Its rate rises rapidly, doubling every 48 hours. Its peak occurs between the 2nd and the 3rd month. The rates drop to the 4th month of pregnancy. This hormone disappears from the woman’s body a week after childbirth.

Outside of pregnancy, Genuine hCG can be secreted by tumor tissues (chorioepitheliomas).

Why prescribe a dosage of gonadotropic chorionic hormone?

This test is prescribed to confirm and follow a pregnancy. The rates allow to have an estimate of the age of the pregnancy, to suspect a molar or ectopic pregnancy. It can also be dosed between the 15th and 17th week of pregnancy, in combination with other parameters, in order to evaluate an over-risk of trisomy (can lead to the realization of amniocentesis to confirm or refute a trisomy).

How is the gonadotropic chorionic hormone measured?

The beta-hCG hormone is dosed through a blood test, performed at the bend of the elbow . The dosage can also be carried out in the concentrated urine of the morning.

How to prepare:

  • It is not essential to be fasting;
  • Bring prescription, Vital Card and mutual card.

The blood test of gonadotropic chorionic hormone


The beta-hCG level is said to be negative if it is less than 5 IU / L (or 5 mIU / mL).

HCG rate in case of ectopic pregnancy

In the case of an ectopic pregnancy (EGU), the egg is fixed in an unsuitable place. It does not settle in the uterus but most often in the trunk (tubal pregnancy, which accounts for 2/3 of the USG). More rarely, an ectopic pregnancy can develop on an ovary, in the cervix or in the abdominal cavity.

In cases of ectopic pregnancy , beta-hCG levels in the blood are below normal levels for the corresponding week of amenorrhea.

Very rare encysted ectopic pregnancies can result in HCG levels not significantly increased.

HCG rate in case of molar pregnancy

The mole is a tumor, generally benign, formed by the degeneration of the villi of the placenta into cystic villi at the beginning of pregnancy. No embryo is visible and the uterus is filled with these little balls.

In the case of molar pregnancy, the HCG level increases exponentially reaching values of 200,000 mIU / mL and above. After elimination of the mole, the monitoring of the HCG is carried out until rates are negatively converted. The absence of a decrease or the increase in the rates should make fear a recurrence or a transition to choriocarcinoma.

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