Chorionic gonadotropin: what is it?
Most of the future mothers are familiar with the situation when they receive the results of analyzes, in which the incomprehensible abbreviation HCG appears. We propose to understand what this indicator is and what it is for.
Human chorionic gonadotropin: what is it?
Chorionic gonadotropin (or hCG) is a special hormone that the female body begins to produce when pregnancy occurs. It contributes to the normal development of the embryo, and subsequently the fetus in the womb. Thanks to him, the woman's body blocks the processes that cause menstruation, and stimulates the production of hormones that help preserve and develop pregnancy. By the way, it is human chorionic gonadotropin, or rather the increase in its concentration in the blood and urine, allows early detection of pregnancy.
How does hCG level change during pregnancy?
Chorionic gonadotropin, the rate of which in non-pregnant women before menopause is five units, after conception begins to increase rapidly.So, starting from the third week of pregnancy, its concentration doubles every two to three days. This continues until the end of the first trimester, after which the level of this hormone begins to decline slightly. From the 22nd week of pregnancy, the concentration of hCG begins to grow again, but not at such a rapid pace as at the beginning of pregnancy.
What is the analysis for hCG?
First of all, it allows you to determine the fact of the occurrence of pregnancy in a woman. In addition, tracing the rate of increase in the concentration of this hormone, it is possible to identify some abnormalities during pregnancy. For example, with a frozen or ectopic pregnancy, the level of hCG will not grow as fast as during normal development of the embryo.
If the rate of increase in the concentration of human chorionic gonadotropin is accelerated, then this situation may be due to multiple pregnancies, vesicles (or chorion adenomas) or chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus (in particular, Down syndrome). Taking into account the above, if your gynecologist recommends that you take the test for hCG during pregnancy, you should not refuse, because this information is very informative and useful.
How and where to make an analysis of human chorionic gonadotropin?
Since today this analysis is quite common, it can be done in almost any laboratory in the direction of your gynecologist. For analysis, blood is taken from the patient's vein. If you suspect you are having a pregnancy, you can pass this test yourself, which is able to detect a pregnancy already in one or two weeks.
In the course of pregnancy, this study, as a rule, is carried out in dynamics, in order to follow the trend of changes in the hCG concentration.
How to prepare for the analysis?
Research on hCG does not require special preparation, but it is desirable to take it in the morning, on an empty stomach. Also be sure to tell your doctor about which medications you are currently taking, as some of them may distort the results of the analysis.