HCG Level After Miscarriage: When Does It Come Back To Zero?

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The placenta produces the pregnancy hormone hCG (human chorionic gonadotrophin) to assist the growth of the fetus. During the first few weeks of a healthy pregnancy, it multiplies every 48 to 72 hours and can be determined through urine and blood testing (1). However, during a miscarriage, the hCG levels drop (medically referred to as a non-viable pregnancy) and may soon reach zero HCG level after a miscarriage.

Read this post to learn how long hCG levels last after a miscarriage, when they return to pre-pregnancy levels and if you can ovulate with hCG in your system after a miscarriage.

How Long Does It Take For The hCG Levels To Fall To Zero After A Miscarriage?

The duration varies from woman to woman. It is likely to depend on how high your hCG levels were during the miscarriage. Usually, test results of fewer than five mIU/mL are considered negative or zero (1).

If you had a miscarriage early in your pregnancy, your levels are usually low, and hCG levels return to zero in less time. On the other hand, if the levels are high at the time of the miscarriage or if you had a miscarriage late in your pregnancy, it might take several days or weeks to return to zero (2).

According to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), urine hCG and serum hCG levels may take anywhere between nine and 35 days to disappear from your system (3).

Why Do hCG Levels Keep Increasing After A Miscarriage?

The hCG level can increase after a miscarriage in the case of:

  1. Heterotropic pregnancy: Simultaneous occurence of extra-uterine (ectopic pregnancy) and intrauterine pregnancy)
  2. Persistent trophoblastic disease: Molar tissue starts growing again after the removal of molar pregnancy

How Soon Can You Get Pregnant After A Miscarriage?

While some doctors may recommend waiting for three months several experts opine that there is no need to delay pregnancy after an early pregnancy loss (4).

Can You Get A Pregnancy False-Positive Reading After Miscarriage?

Yes, you might get a false-positive test reading after a miscarriage because hCG may still remain in your bloodstream for weeks following a pregnancy loss. Thus, the test readings might show that you are pregnant even when you are not (5).

Can You Ovulate With hCG In Your System After A Miscarriage?

hCG hormone is likely to suppress your normal ovulation process. Your next cycle may start only when the hCG levels drop below 5mIU/mL (6).

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why won’t my HCG levels go down even after a miscarriage?

It may take about four to six weeks for HCG levels to return to normal after a miscarriage, so you get a positive hCG report if tested. Moreover, some women may conceive immediately after a miscarriage, and the new pregnancy may be responsible for the presence of hCG in the blood (7).

2. How can I check my hCG levels at home?

Home pregnancy test kits detect the presence or absence of hCG levels. However, they cannot detect hCG quantitatively. Therefore, blood tests are the only way of detecting hCG levels.

3. Does hCG have to be zero to get a period?

hCG levels need to be near zero for ovulation to occur. Once ovulation occurs, you get a period after about two weeks (8).

HCG levels after miscarriage may decline in most women. However, it may give positive results for a few weeks. When the pregnancy is lost, the HCG production ceases from the placenta. Heterotopic pregnancy, which is two pregnancies with different implantation sites and gestational trophoblastic diseases, can cause increasing HCG levels in the blood after miscarriage. Lower HCG hormones are less likely to impact ovulation, so it is possible to start the next cycle when the HCG levels fall below certain levels. You may seek medical care and do HCG blood tests during follow-ups after miscarriage.

References:

MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
1. HCG (Urine); University of Rochester Medical Center
2. Danielle Betz and Kathleen Fane; Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG); : StatPearls Publishing; (2020)
3. Pregnancy Test (hCG); American Association for Clinical Chemistry
4. Karen C. Schliep, et al.; Trying to Conceive After an Early Pregnancy Loss: An Assessment on How Long Couples Should Wait; Obstet Gynecol (2017).
5. 1st Trimester Bleeding and Pregnancy Loss; OB-GYN 101: Introductory Obstetrics & Gynecology
6. Beata E. Seeber; What serial hCG can tell you, and cannot tell you, about an early pregnancy; Fertility and Sterility; American Society for Reproductive Medicine – Elsevier Inc (2012).
7. What is HCG?; American Pregnancy Association.
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Dr. Sangeeta Agrawal

(FRCOG, MD, DNB, DGO)
Dr. Sangeeta Agrawal worked in Royal London, St. Bartholomew’s, North Middlesex and Barnet General hospitals in London. Currently, she runs her own clinic in Mumbai. She is also attached to Bhatia Hospital, Breach Candy Hospital, Wockhardt Hospital, and Global Hospital. Her areas of expertise include obstetrics and gynecology, involving teenage care, antenatal, intrapartum, post-natal care, painless labor, fertility control, menopause... more

Rebecca Malachi

Rebecca is a pregnancy writer and editor with a passion for delivering research-based and engaging content in areas of fertility, pregnancy, birth, and post-pregnancy. She has been into health and wellness writing since 2010. She received her graduate degree in Biotechnology and Genetics from Loyola Academy, Osmania University and obtained a certification in ‘Nutrition and Lifestyle in Pregnancy’ from Ludwig... more

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