July 07, 2012,
C.W. asks from Lutherville Timonium, MD on February 14, 2011
Increased HCG Levels in Early Pregnancy
I am 7 weeks pregnant today. I had a sono on friday because of an early miscarriage a few months ago. I saw the baby and the heartbeat and was feeling some relief until I talked to the physician's assistant today. She hadn't seen the ultrasound report but paused and asked "did they see one baby or 2?" I got a little freaked out and asked why she was asking. She said my HCG levels were very high and that is a good indicator of multiples. I told her I only saw one baby in there and she said well, they may have stopped looking after they saw the first. Then I looked on line and saw that high levels could also be an indicator of chromosomal abnormalities like Down's. I guess they can't test for that until around 11 weeks, so now I am really stressed out. Did anyone have high levels and just have a normal healthy single pregnancy?
A.G. answers from Albuquerque on February 14, 2011
I have a friend that tested high in her hcg levels in all three of her pregnancy's and only had 1 healthy baby at a time. I however tested normal in my hcg levels and at a 12week ultrasound found out i was having twins. Hope all turns out well
3 moms found this helpful
M.G. answers from Chicago on February 14, 2011
I had twins the first time, but nothing came back abnormal with my HGC levels. As someone else posted, the level for twins comes back within the normal range for singletons. By 7 weeks it would've been very obvious there were two babies in there. When the ultrasound machine turned on at 7 weeks for me, I could see there were two babies before the doctor even said anything. Congrats!
R.M. answers from Cumberland on February 15, 2011
Dear-this happened to my friend Angie-she had twins! Also-I am going to try to explain something-for all these tests to be completely accurate-it would require, at the very least, that 100% of all pregnant women have the identical tests done at the exact same time in their pregnancy and that all the info gets precisely reported 100% of the time-without fail. And as this has never happened, nor will it ever-these tests will not always present accurately. The mashugina PA should have simply told you to come back in three weeks for another sonogram and blood work. How dare she be so insensitive. It's not that you are not entitled to be informed-it's that she could have explained it a little differently.
K.H. answers from Richmond on February 15, 2011
actually, test results when you are pregnant can also depend on how your doctor chooses to look at them , did he actually look at them himself, or did he leave it up to some flunky nurse who said they stopped looking after they found one, not very professional, did she get her nursing degree from a ceral box, or the doctors pants ? find another doctor, (anybody but dr. hyde with va. phys. for women at johnston willis) high hcg levels can mean a multiple pregnancy but typically not downs, the best way to know for certain is to go to a different obgyn clinic( a different doctor at the same clinic probably wont even bother to run their own test, they will just look at the fellow docs results), go to different clinic, demand that they run the test for downs, and go from there,by the way, the nurse who asked you did they check for multibles or downs, needs to be reported to her supervisor, and the american academy of nurses for un professional behavior
L.S. answers from New York on July 07, 2012
Hi I hope this is not an insensitive question, but I was wondering what happened with your pregnancy as I am currently in a similar position to you and have the same concernes about Downs. Thank you
J.B. answers from Washington DC on February 15, 2011
While I have not yet delivered (still 7.5 months pregnant), I had high HCG levels at the beginning of my pregnancy. I did undergo the quadscreen blood test and the nuchal translucency test and all tests had good results.
My Dr., who is a fertility specialist, explained that there is a very wide range of normal for HCG levels. I've had multiple miscarriages, so I was begging him to explain what this could mean (expecting the worst). He said it could be an indicator that I have a thriving placenta. He's not known to color his responses to spare my feelings, so I was pretty pleased with that answer.
I would assume you have a wonderful, healthly baby coming, but you might be a little more tired than ususal for the next couple of weeks.
J.M. answers from Minneapolis on February 14, 2011
I went through IVF and IUI and did a lot of reading about HCGs and whatnot. Let me tell you one thing for sure: Nothing is for sure. LOL
When it comes to HCG, the normal HCG rates for multiples also falls within the normal HCG range for singletons. Even if high HCG is an indicator for Down's, it is only an indicator if the baby turns out to have Down's, KWIM?
My son had a shadow on his heart. I won't even go into the WHOLE awful story about the nurse leaving a message (while I was on vacation 600 miles away) that upon second review of the anatomy scan, there was possibly something wrong with the baby's heart and I needed to make an appointment for the NEXT DAY for a followup appointment with the specialist. SERIOUSLY!?
Turns out that what they saw is also an "indicator" of Down's but it could also be totally normal. Please don't do what I did and start freaking right now. Chances are good there's not a thing wrong and the only thing that can tell you to any degree of certainty is the blood test. So, just try to relax, enjoy being pregnant--get your mind off the numbers and statistics they are not helpful.
The specialist told me that they don't even really know if any of this stuff is a good indication of a genetic issue, and honestly they rarely "flag" scans or anything else (i.e. HCG, etc.) anymore and it is seen as not a very scientific...but some doctors with high risk pregnancies will send someone to specialists for tests and whatnot because of malpractice concerns, that way you can't turn around and sue if something goes wrong saying: They didn't do x, y, or z which has been standard practice (even if it has fallen out of favor).
GOOD LUCK! Hang in there, and HAPPY BABY!
H.H. answers from Washington DC on February 15, 2011
I had high levels with my son and they ordered a sono because they were concerned that I was further along (or that's what they told me). We also had the nucal translucency test with my son and it came back as a risk for down's because of the skin fold on his neck being off. I worried for nothing because my son is healthy no down's and is a thriving 2 1/2 year old.
I'm prego again and recently had my levels checked and they were MUCH lower than they were with my son, but increasing so no worries. Looking back on it, my husband and I had tried getting pregnant the month before and I had a weird period the month before getting pregnant with my son. I think I may have been pregnant and had a miscarriage but didn't know. Since there was a few month lag between your miscarriage and your current pregnancy I'm not sure that would be the case for you, but it's something to consider.