How Long After Miscarriage Does HCG Go To 0 (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 7-60 days

When the females conceive, their uterus develops a disc-shaped part called the placenta. The placenta helps in flourishing the womb of the mother and helping the embryo with oxygen and nutrition. When the baby is born, the umbilical cord is detached from the placenta to separate the baby from the mother’s body. This disc named the placenta is formed when the cells of the uterus secrete a hormone called HCG. HCG is the abbreviation of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. which is a pregnancy hormone. This hormone rises gradually during the first few months of pregnancy in women.

Since hCG is pregnancy-related secretion, it cannot be found in women after delivery of the child or miscarriage or in the non-pregnancy tenures.

How Long After Miscarriage Does HCG Go To 0?

Stages of Pregnancy/FertilizationApprox hCG Levels (MIU/mL)
12-21 Days5 to 50
5-6 Weeks20-60,000
3 Months25,000-3,00,000
Second Trimester1,50,000
Third Trimester1,50,000
Delivery/Miscarriage (few days)reduces to <5

The pregnancy in women is confirmed by taking the hCG tests. The hormone is present in the urine and bloodstream of the mother within the first 21 days of the fertilization. The hormone gradually increases during the first trimester and becomes present in a stable measure during the later two trimesters. However, if the miscarriage occurs during these 36 weeks of pregnancy, the hCG levels fall below 5 units and are deemed to be zero.

The above-mentioned ranges are not ideal, but predictive and they may vary from mother to mother due to different medical complexities and hormone-producing abilities.

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After a miscarriage, it may take 7 to 60 days for hCG levels to return to zero. Once the hCG level has reached the zero mark, it signifies that the woman has reached in pre-pregnancy state and may conceive again except in the cases of some medical complications. hCG levels may vary in women, it could be high or low depending upon the complications in pregnancy but when the pregnancy is terminated it has to zero out.

The presence and absence of this uterine hormone affect the ability to conceive in a woman. If a woman is incapable of maintaining the required level of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, ie above 5 units, it may also lead to miscarriage.

Why Does it Take That Long?

The termination of pregnancy could be due to various reasons. Either a child takes birth or the fetus in the mother’s womb is miscarried. When pregnancy is terminated, the body brings hCG levels back to zero to let the mother come in the pre-pregnancy stage. The time taken for hCG to drop down to zero depends on the medical condition of the lady and the time when a miscarriage has occurred.

If the miscarriage occurs during the first two months, hCG drops down to zero in 2-3 weeks as it has not risen heavily. It depends on the time and hCG level present in the body when a miscarriage has happened. When fertilization occurs through external aids or in fallopian tubes rather than the uterus, hCG levels may last being high for longer intervals than usual before coming down to a negligible range. Such a procedure is called ectopic fertilization and may involve surgery or drugs to treat and remove the embryo. If there was a twin fetus, it could also lead to an increased interval for the hCG to drop down to zero.

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Until hCG does not zero outs in the female body, it is an indication that some of the tissues from pregnancy are still attached to the mother’s womb making it unfit for conception again. If there is any medical complexity, it may require surgical treatments or drugs for removal of tissues from the body to make it enter into the pre-pregnancy stage again.

Conclusion

The hCG level takes around 1 week to 2 months to return to zero after miscarriage or delivery of the child. The readjustment of this hormone means that the uterine lining is back to its normal and ready to receive a newly fertilized egg. The body readjusts to its pre-pregnancy state when the level is zero and after that, there are decent chances for conception to occur again, generally. The zero levels of hCG ensure that the uterus is healthy to nourish a new embryo again in a woman’s body.

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/00016340903322743
  2. https://www.magonlinelibrary.com/doi/abs/10.12968/hmed.2008.69.7.30412
  3. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s13048-020-00732-6

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