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Thread: Positive Pregnancy + Low HCG levels

  1. #1

    Default Positive Pregnancy + Low HCG levels

    Where do I start?? I am an emotional wreck... HELP! I need advice to help me and hubby understand what is going on.

    Here are the facts:

    26th May : Day 1 of period cycle (I have aprox a 35 day cycle)

    16th June : Ovulation Surge (confirmed via blood test)

    21st June : Frozen Embryo Transfer (Day 5 Blastocyst)

    30th June : Period due (missed)

    2nd July : Day 14 blood test (positive but hcg level measured at 24)

    8th July : Blood test to confirm if hcg level has risen - measured at 179



    Now... I am waiting again for 14th July for another blood test to monitor levels. But I am going insane! Hubby and I were so excited to get a positive result, only to be told by IVF coordinator that the pregnancy may not be viable and will not progress. I was told to remain hopeful, but realistic. I feel so good, I have little tugging feelings in my tummy, very sore/tender breasts, nauseous in the morning until I eat brekkie and have short breath. So I felt so confident, until my whole world came crashing down.

    From the above facts, the coordinator has deemed me to be 5 weeks and 1 day pregnant in pregnancy terms, which is why they are concerned about the levels. However, this seems odd, can anyone help explain? Could implantation have occurred later, hence the lower hcg?

    Has anyone else experienced anything similar? Is there still hope? Is there anything I should be doing while I wait? Are my hcg levels ok, they look to be increasing at a good rate?

  2. #2

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    Hi Miracle

    I don't have much info to offer, but am so sorry to hear you're in limbo at the moment! My nurses have always said to focus on the doubling time rather than the actual number. You must be very concerned, I have read some stories on belly belly where ladies have had low hcg levels to start with that have picked up. Normally my clinic does BT every two days and its horrible waiting that long, how awful for you to have to wait another whole week!

    Sending hugs and wishing you all the best for your next BT!

  3. #3

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    Based on HCG levels doubling every 48 hours, I think the numbers are looking pretty close

    2nd July ~ 24
    4th July ~ 48 (double 2nd July in about 48 hours)
    6th July ~ 96 (double 4th July in about 48 hours)
    8th July ~ 179 (is pretty close to doubling in about 48 hours)

    So while the numbers aren't high they seem to be going up at a consistent rate, good luck!

  4. #4

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    if they are about doubling every day then thats a GREAT sign.... They are just preparing you because sometimes it takes several attempts. Dont be stressed. All the positive signs are there are Morning sickness is a sign the baby is healthy ..... Best of Luck

  5. #5

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    They tend to play things down to prepare you for the worst. Your initial number was a bit low, which is probably why.
    However, it is rising - it should double every 2-3 days, so it looks like it's on track. The other signs are also positive.
    All the best~~

  6. #6

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    I had really low HCG levels after my first bloodtest at just over 4 weeks. It was around the 60 mark for memory. I had to return for another blood test to make sure they were rising (roughly doubling every couple of days) and they were so all was good. I have a very healthy 10 month old DD now so the low levels meant nothing in my case

    Try not to stress. Low levels are very common and while it's good to prepare for the worst in some cases, I'd say enjoy the moment and stay positive. Good luck!

  7. #7

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    Hi All

    Thank you so much for your feedback and advice.. It has been very difficult for me. I wanted to provide an update after my next blood test this morning. I am still as lost as ever. And very disappointed with the service I am being given at my IVF clinic.

    Results indicated that hcg levels increased to 1621 (which based on my calculation is more than double every 2nd day since last weeks result of 179).

    My nurse basically told me that "it is highly unlikely that this pregnancy will become a viable one". I asked her to explain why. She said that the number is not at the rate that they would like and that unfortunately it will not progress, but they will monitor for one more week. I broke down in tears and stated that isn't it at least a good sign that it has increased at a steady rate, and she said no, that the rate was well below doubling every second day. I told her to recalculate as I disagreed and then she apologised and said I was correct, however that it was still not good enough despite the increase.

    I asked for a scan next week as promised by my previous nurse (apparently this lady that called me today is my replacement nurse because my original one left). She said no, that it is still too early and that my previous nurse was inexperienced and thats why she had to go. How can I have faith in these people if they now tell me this?? Inexperienced, yet dealing with such a highly sensitive issue?? I am appalled.

    Anyway - I wanted her to back up her claim on this not being a viable pregnancy, and she only kept repeating that based on the stats I am 6 weeks pregnant and that my level is too low. I asked her if it is possible that the implantation occurred a little later, therefore, hcg levels were detected later than their "textbook" pregnancy week calcs. She said yes, but there is no way to know.

    So, I am sitting here... feeling confused. Basically, if i were to go by my nurse, I should lose any hope that there is a possibility that this pregnancy will continue - but something inside does not add up - I feel like this entire process in IVF has been completely impersonal and that everything is strictly textbook. I have lost faith in the entire system. Purely due to my experiences with the nurses, who in my mind should be more professional when dealing with such an emotional and sensitive issue.

    Am I wrong to hold an ounce of hope? I am realistic, i will accept the fact if this were not to continue, but all things so far point to an ok outcome....

    I needed to vent...... thanks for listening!

  8. #8

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    Im sure my level was 28 at 8dpo with a blastie TF and although they considered this low as they increased things looked better, im now waiting to birth my first bubba from that cycle in 5 weeks.

    Your HCG is going up wich is great, and remember once your level gets to 1000 the rate in which it doubles slows to about every 92 hours.

    the next step is waiting for a scan, until then with your numbers increaseing its unfair that they are not being more positive for you . If you get a scan too early you may ot see a HB and this will only be more distressing.

    I know how hard it is to wait, but even at 6 weeks some women dont see the HB so just try to hold out hun xx

  9. #9

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    I don't know much about IVF but I do know that your nurse's attitude sucks!! What a heartless cow! What's wrong with just saying they're low but to stay positive and to wait and see?! I can't see any point in her telling you all the stuff she said. It's not like you can just remove it and hand it back to her! What a crazy, nasty woman!!

    I found this info for you. I hope it makes you feel better:

    When you're pregnant, it's normal to want to swap notes about every twitch and test result with other moms and moms-to-be. But when it comes to hCG, the hormone detected in pee-on-a-stick home-pregnancy tests and more precisely in blood tests, trading tales may just make you spin your wheels with worry. That's because the levels can vary enormously from day to day, person to person, and even pregnancy to pregnancy.
    *
    A brand-new placenta starts pumping out hCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, a few days after the budding embryo implants in the uterine wall. Although the level of hCG will initially be quite low (it's just starting to show up in your system, after all) — it'll soon begin to soar, doubling every 30 hours (give or take). The rapid increase peaks somewhere between seven and 12 weeks after the last menstrual period (LMP), and then starts to decline.
    *
    While it might sound like a predictable increase, when it comes to producing predictable levels, it's not even close. Experts have found a huge variation in hCG levels on even the first missed day of a woman's period. Some women have no measurable hCG (in other words, a level of 0 mIU/ml), while others have readings over 400. Either way, this is perfectly normal and has to do, in part, with exactly how long it took your egg to get fertilized, make the trip down to the uterus, and get snuggled in; some embryos are simply zippier than others. It's also perfectly normal for that wide range in levels to persist throughout pregnancy.
    *
    So, what should you expect? Experts have found the following ranges of hCG levels to be normal:
    *

    Weeks from LMP (Last Missed Period
    Amount of hCG in mIU/ml or IU/l

    3 weeks
    0 to 5

    4 weeks
    5 to 426

    5 weeks
    18 to 7,340

    6 weeks
    1,080 to 56,500

    7 to 8 weeks
    7,650 to 229,000

    9 to 12 weeks
    25,700 to 288,000

    13 to 16 weeks
    3,300 to 253,000

    17 to 24 weeks (second trimester)
    4,060 to 165,400

    25 weeks to term (third trimester)
    3,640 to 117,000

    After several days postpartum
    nonpregnant levels (<5)

    *
    If your readings fall outside these ranges, don't worry: It's still quite likely that everything's fine. (Your due date might just be off.) As long as your pregnancy is progressing normally, you don't have to obsess about these numbers (especially once you've past the first trimester), but if you are concerned, talk with your practitioner about your results.
    Last edited by Taurean; July 14th, 2010 at 10:48 PM.

  10. #10

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    I agree that your nurse has no idea how to talk to people or how sensitive we are when doing ivf. Is there anyone else you can talk to there so you don't have to deal with her?

    Thought it might be useful to share how my FS explained the funny hcg level thing to me. When the blasty implants, the cells on the outside, which eventually become the placenta, start to produce hcg pretty much as soon as they've implanted. Then, the amount of hcg produced depends on what's inside the sack, like one embryo or two or, sadly, sometimes nothing. But there are soooooo many women who've had slow rising hcg then healthy pregnancies. And, the range of what's normal is so big, so don't lose hope!

    Best of luck during your seemingly endless wait!

  11. #11

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    Oh I'm sorry that nurse was so insensitive!
    I'd be inisisting on a scan at this point - next week for sure. Is there another nurse you can speak to?

  12. #12

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    I would be DEMANDING to speak to my FS if i were you!
    Your nurse sounds disgusting

    Dont give up!

    x

  13. #13

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    Hi All

    I have not provided an update in awhile... but need to get it all out.

    The roller coaster ride is still going on. Can you believe it? I was so naive, thinking that IVF was a waiting game with the two week wait.. never expected that after receiving that long awaited positive that so many more doubts arise.

    So in Summary, this is my journey so far.

    June 16th Ovulation
    June 21st Embryo Transfer (Day 5 Blast)
    July 2nd Blood Test HCG = 24 (elated that my period did not come but devastated to be told by nurses that it is most likely not viable)
    July 8th Blood Test HCG = 179
    July 14th Blood Test HCG = 1627
    July 21st Blood Test HCG = 7809
    July 23rd Ultrasound Scan showed that the SAC was evident in the uterus ruling out an ectopic pregnancy but that nothing could be seen in the SAC. Devastated. Although, I was theoretically 7 weeks pregnant at this stage based on ovulation, the nurse advised that the size of the sac was 6 weeks so that it was on the cusp of seeing something or not. Blood Test on same day showed HCG = 11459
    July 29th Blood Test HCG = 18964

    August 3rd - tomorrow!!! I go in for my next scan - hoping that something is in the sac. If not, it could be a blighted ovum. I have not had any pain or bleeding...

    It just feels that after so long, after so much waiting, and after so many hurdles we have jumped, that if the SAC is there, and nothing is inside, that this is one big cruel joke.

    Would rather a yes or no many weeks ago, then have to go through this only to be told it is not viable.

    Anyway, I better drag myself to bed, big day tomorrow.... will keep you posted.

  14. #14

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    Hi Miracle,

    Sorry I can't offer any advice. I was recently in a similar situation as you. Thankfully I was not in limbo for as long. I lost all hope after one week of being told it would not be viable and now I am just waiting for my BT tomorrow to make sure my levels have returned to normal.
    Any way rambling aside. I hope you get the answer your looking for tomorrow. I will be thinking of you and have everything crossed

  15. #15

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    wishing you the very best for todays scan, i have also suffered from several BO, my HCG did not rise as yours has though so i am hopping that this is just a slow started for you (and that is very possible)

    Thinking of you today

  16. #16

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    Good luck hon. I hope everything is just perfect

  17. #17

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    Good luck tomoz. Please let us know. We will all be praying those climbing number are a bubby.
    xoxo

  18. #18

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    all the best hun, will be thinking of you and hope your scan shows a gorgeous little bubba
    please let us know how you go xxx

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