HCG Increasing But Not Doubling, Worried!


#1

Hi all,

My wife received a positive blood test last week with a 236 HCG, followed by a 618 HCG two days later, and then a 986 HCG two days after that.

The nurse was fairly concerned, basically saying it’s a 50/50 proposition at this point. But from what I’ve read online, it seems other doctors feel a 60% increase (which is exactly what my wife had for the third test) was within a healthy range. And it seems like those were pretty strong numbers, even though I’ve read of people getting to 900/1000 and having a sudden loss.

On the positive side, her mild pregnancy symptoms have been fluctuating the past week through today, and there’s no blood or significant cramps or pain.

The fourth blood test is tomorrow. This is so stressful, on the heels of two failed IVF attempts and two long-lingering miscarriages that may or may not have been ectopic.

Thanks in advance for any information or thoughts, and I wish all of you the best throughout this process.


#2

[quote=jeff217]Hi all,

My wife received a positive blood test last week with a 236 HCG, followed by a 618 HCG two days later, and then a 986 HCG two days after that.

The nurse was fairly concerned, basically saying it’s a 50/50 proposition at this point. But from what I’ve read online, it seems other doctors feel a 60% increase (which is exactly what my wife had for the third test) was within a healthy range. And it seems like those were pretty strong numbers, even though I’ve read of people getting to 900/1000 and having a sudden loss.

On the positive side, her mild pregnancy symptoms have been fluctuating the past week through today, and there’s no blood or significant cramps or pain.

The fourth blood test is tomorrow. This is so stressful, on the heels of two failed IVF attempts and two long-lingering miscarriages that may or may not have been ectopic.

Thanks in advance for any information or thoughts, and I wish all of you the best throughout this process.[/quote]

It is suppose to double every 24-72 hours so you could just be testing too soon also. I would wait 3 days to go in and do the next one. Just a suggestion.


#3

Thanks for the response!

I’m holding out hope that the third number would have doubled by today (72 hours), or will have jumped by tomorrow.

Our fertility center suggested the every 48 hours testing, though, and didn’t say anything about it possibly being too early. I’m hoping they were just being overly cautious with her on the phone yesterday.

The one good thing they said is that her number did go up 4 X in four days as hoped, just that it was a big jump from day 0-2 and less of a jump 2-4.

She just got a really bad vibe from the nurse’s tone of voice, and her saying “the doctor even said it could still be OK,” that made it sound unlikely. Of course, they know our bad history with fertility and IVF, which could be factoring into it.


#4

May I ask how many embies you put back in?


#5

Jeff:

The higher the numbers get the longer the doubling time, so the doubling time should be slowing down at this point.


#6

We put two embryos in.

Thanks for the response, kst. Nurse just made us nervous with the “it could still be OK” talk and overall tone. Based on what I’ve read elsewhere, seems like we still have a good shot, but I may be deluding myself…


#7

Don’t worry to much [quote=jeff217]Hi all,

My wife received a positive blood test last week with a 236 HCG, followed by a 618 HCG two days later, and then a 986 HCG two days after that.

The nurse was fairly concerned, basically saying it’s a 50/50 proposition at this point. But from what I’ve read online, it seems other doctors feel a 60% increase (which is exactly what my wife had for the third test) was within a healthy range. And it seems like those were pretty strong numbers, even though I’ve read of people getting to 900/1000 and having a sudden loss.

On the positive side, her mild pregnancy symptoms have been fluctuating the past week through today, and there’s no blood or significant cramps or pain.

The fourth blood test is tomorrow. This is so stressful, on the heels of two failed IVF attempts and two long-lingering miscarriages that may or may not have been ectopic.

Thanks in advance for any information or thoughts, and I wish all of you the best throughout this process.[/quote]
Don’t worry to much about the beta as long as it is increasing she should be fine really this is to see how long it takes for the beta to jump up some peoples may start off slow but it doesn’t mean anything bad best of luck.


#8

The doubling time should be 48-72 hours and your wife’s is 71.22 hours. That may be a little slower but it is still within the normal range. :flower:

Good luck on beta #4!! :cross:


#9

Did she have her blood drawn around the same time every other day?

Don’t worry. You are still within the doubling time range 48-72 hours. Your nurse is obligated to tell you the worst thing that could happen right now even though I know it’s not helping to keep you calm and relax but that doesn’t mean it will happen. So try not to worry and just take one step at a time.


#10

Thanks, all. Greatly appreciate the feedback.

Yes, the blood has been drawn at 8:30 a.m. each time, and will be again today. Gonna be a long day until that phone rings…

She had really bad night sweats two nights ago and a few other symptoms like fluctuating breast soreness and nose bleeds and stomach bloating and minor pain on her right side. We’re keeping our hopes up.


#11

Update:

The HCG rose to 1707 in 48 hours, which is a 58% increase – similar to the last increase. But this time, the nurse called the number “great” and scheduled our ultrasound for next week.

She said the “gold standard” for growth is doubling every 24-48 hours but that we’re in a safe/healthy zone of growth. My wife is still having the fluctuating symptoms and no blood or significant pain.

Keeping fingers crossed! Thanks again for the responses.


#12

[quote=jeff217]Update:

The HCG rose to 1707 in 48 hours, which is a 58% increase – similar to the last increase. But this time, the nurse called the number “great” and scheduled our ultrasound for next week.

She said the “gold standard” for growth is doubling every 24-48 hours but that we’re in a safe/healthy zone of growth. My wife is still having the fluctuating symptoms and no blood or significant pain.

Keeping fingers crossed! Thanks again for the responses.[/quote]

You are good to go! So happy for you :slight_smile: cant wait to know how the ultra sound goes!


#13

Thanks so much! I can’t describe the relief I felt in hearing my wife’s joy on the phone.

I was wrong, it was a 73% jump this time. The number still seems a lot lower than many others I’ve read for women at week five, but I guess everyone is different and that steady (nearly double every 48 hours) growth is the key.

Still gonna be a long week till that ultrasound…


#14

Just FYI, it doesn’t matter when you go in for blood work. It doesn’t matter which day or what time of day. They will take whatever your two numbers are and how many hours apart and they will use that to calculate what your doubling time is, and that’s how they figure out whether it’s in the right range or not. If JenPritch’s calculations are correct, then that 71-and-some hour doubling time is at the long range of “good”, but still in range. It is, like you said, possible to have a good doubling time and still have a nonviable pregnancy, but in that case, it’s unrelated to the beta. And most of all, I’d say that as much as you can, try to focus on the fact that it’s going up. Don’t forget that, as the pregnancy progresses, the doubling rate will slow down, so now that you’re over 1000, it might be even as long as 96 hours or so and still be a good sign. And just so you know, I’m in beta hell right now too, with the nurse giving me good results in a voice that says, “But don’t get too comfortable,” so I’m finding it just as hard to take my own advice!

Edited to add: Here’s a site you can use to calculate your doubling rate for yourself, which is sometimes helpful. Beta Doubling Calculator


#15

Hi, Jeff!
My numbers didn’t double properly either (I don’t recall the exact amounts - sorry), and I remember sobbing into my couch cushions cuz they were not good… but those crappy numbers eventually turned into a happy, healthy little 3 month old!

Good luck to you two!!! :babydust:


#16

Could you explain this part a bit? Would that be an embryo abnormality unrelated to HCG levels?

Thanks again for your help, all, and congrats to Finch!!

Any symptoms we should be looking for in these six days before the first ultrasound? So far she’s just had a continuing fluctuation of breast soreness, stomach stretching, side pain, and slight nose bleeds, etc.


#17

I’m happy to say a little more, but I really just didn’t want to go into things that would be unnecessarily worrisome. So, HCG and progesterone levels are the indicators that your body fully, for sure, thinks it’s pregnant. It means that the corpus luteum (the collapsed follicle that released the egg), the embryo, and the developing placenta are all producing the pregnancy hormones the body needs to sustain a pregnancy. If that’s not happening, it means that one of those things is failing (for instance, many women’s bodies have a hard time producing enough progesterone, or the gestational sac isn’t developing at a good rate), then you can see HCG and progesterone levels either fall or rise but only anemically. If they’re rising correctly, that means that the body is doing its very best to support the embryo that, by all indications, is there. However, as you mention, there are some chromosomal abnormalities that still allow the embryo to implant and grow for a while but do eventually make it nonviable.

That’s a super oversimplified version of what all goes on in the first few weeks, and the way I see it is this. There are a bunch of things that can go wrong, because when you look at it, step by step, pregnancy really is one of the most astonishing things you can find in nature. But no one ever felt better for worrying about them ahead of time, and we get so many indications about what’s going on in pregnancy, it’s honestly more than we’re adept at dealing with. It’s just too much. My mom always told me to think like Scarlett O’Hara, and say, “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”


#18

Thanks very much for that clarification, and the entirely appropriate quote!

I should probably stop researching, but I came across this poll with 80 respondents who saw a strong (100-160) heartbeat on the six-week ultrasound. More than half of them went on to miscarry.

Miscarriage after heartbeat @ 6wk scan? - IVF Ages 35+ - IVF.ca Forums

Does that sound right based on what you guys have heard or read, or is it possibly mis-representitive?


#19

Put me down for “NO WAY!” on that poll. Once you get a heartbeat your odds of miscarriage go waaay down. It’s probably a case of folks who have had that experience answering the poll and looking at the thread. Definitely take that stuff with a grain of salt.

Thanks for the congrats… and again - GOOD LUCK!


#20

[quote=Finch12]Put me down for “NO WAY!” on that poll. Once you get a heartbeat your odds of miscarriage go waaay down. It’s probably a case of folks who have had that experience answering the poll and looking at the thread. Definitely take that stuff with a grain of salt.

Thanks for the congrats… and again - GOOD LUCK![/quote]
That’s what I thought, but I worried I was deluding myself. And maybe some of the people who answered the poll misread the question and meant they [I]didn’t[/I] see anything or detect a heartbeat

Thanks again!