bhCG Blood Testing

The beta subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin, abbreviated as bhCG, is the hormone that urine and blood pregnancy tests detect. Generally, lab values above 5ng/ml are considered positive. Some facilities may have different standards for what is considered a positive test, though. It is important to know, however, that just because a test is positive, it doesn't mean that the pregnancy will be good. For example, a bhCG level of 6.0 is considered to be a positive pregnancy test. But the level is so low that a good pregnancy is not likely.

Repeating the bhCG Testing

The doctor will likely ask you to repeat the testing every two to three days. This way the doctor can see how the bhCG level is moving. The number should double in two to three days to reassure the doctor that the pregnancy is progressing normally. If the level is not rising robustly, the prognosis for the pregnancy isn't great. Additionally, the bhCG testing can give the doctor an early indication of a possible ectopic pregnancy or even multiples.


The doctor will also likely check your progesterone level. Progesterone is the primary hormone of pregnancy, so it is important that you have enough in your body to support the pregnancy. If your progesterone level is a little low, the doctor may prescribe or change your progesterone supplementation to make sure that you have support.

Repeated progesterone in oil injections can be painful. Try applying an ice pack onto the muscle right before you take the injection. Afterwards, have your partner massage the area vigorously and apply a heating pad. The heat and massage can help break up the oil and make you more comfortable.

Progesterone supplementation can come in the form of intramuscular injections and vaginal suppositories. The doctor will choose the one that is more appropriate for you, based on your progesterone levels and medical diagnosis. You may even need to take both injections and suppositories to give you a sufficient progesterone level.

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