Hcg (human chorionic gonadotropin)

Hcg is a hormone that plays a role in pregnancy detection. Read here, when you measure it and what high values ​​mean!

Hcg (human chorionic gonadotropin)

The HCG is also called pregnancy hormone: it keeps pregnant mothers pregnant upright. Outside pregnancy, elevated HCG levels may indicate a tumor. Read more about the hormone HCG and its importance as a laboratory test!

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HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin)

  • What is HCG?

  • When is the HCG value determined?

  • HCG standard values

  • When is the HCG value too low?

  • When is the HCG value too high?

What is HCG?

HCG is a hormone that produces the placenta during pregnancy. It serves to preserve the corpus luteum. This produces the hormones progesterone and estrogens and prevents menstrual bleeding and rejects the unborn baby. The determination of HCG therefore serves as proof of pregnancy (pregnancy test).

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When is the HCG value determined?

With HCG, the doctor can prove a pregnancy, he can determine whether it has come to an early miscarriage (abortion) or whether the egg has lodged outside the uterus (extrauterine pregnancy). The determination of the HCG value is also part of the first-trimester screening (early screening), which serves to detect abnormalities in the child (such as chromosome disorders).

HCG is also determined as a tumor marker for suspected cancers in men and women.

HCG standard values

The HCG concentration is determined from the blood serum or urine.

A pregnancy test (urine test) is positive if the HCG amount is more than 10 units (units) per liter (U / L) - the woman is probably pregnant.

During pregnancy, the following standard values ​​apply:

Pregnancy week (SSW)

Time after conception

Standard value (serum)

3rd week

1 week

5 - 50 U / l

4th week

2 weeks

50 - 500 U / l

5th week

3 week

100 - 5,000 U / l

6th week

4th week

500-10,000 U / l

7th week

5th week

1,000 - 50,000 U / l

8th week

6th week

10,000 - 100,000 U / l

9th + 10th week

7th + 8th week

15,000 - 200,000 U / l

11th - 14th week

2nd - 3rd month

10,000 - 100,000 U / l

2nd trimester

8,000 - 100,000 U / l

3rd trimester

5,000 - 65,000 U / l

For HCG as a tumor marker, the following standard values ​​apply to non-pregnant women, men and children:



HCG standard value

<10 U / l

<20 U / l

When is the HCG value too low?

A deviation downwards does not occur for this value.

When is the HCG value too high?

In pregnancy, the HCG value is naturally increased. However, a too slow HCG increase may indicate miscarriage or extrauterine pregnancy. If the HCG does not decrease after the 10th week of gestation, the child may have trisomy 21 = Down syndrome.

Outside pregnancy, an increase in HCG indicates a tumor. This is especially true for germ cell tumors, ie benign or malignant growths of the testes and ovaries such as testicular cancer and ovarian cancer. HCG is also increased in choriocarcinoma (placental cancerous growth) and bladder mole (malformation of the placenta from which choriocarcinoma may develop). In addition, elevated readings are also found in part in other forms of cancer such as colon cancer or lung cancer.

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