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Low or non-existent hcg levels in pregnancy / miscarriage? I am distraught!

Posted by klenmn

I have not had a period for 7 weeks.  For weeks I have had very strong early pregnancy symptoms including fatigue, persistent nausea, lightheadedness, breast enlargement and tenderness.  This would have been my 4th child, so I am familiar with how my body responds to pregnancy.  3 urine hcg tests came up negative.  Then I began cramping badly and bleeding.  I passed some large pieces of tissue as well.  Seems like a miscarriage, but the doctors won't say what they think because the hcg tests have been negative.    WHAT I would like to know is:  Could I have been pregnant even though the hcg levels were not detected by the urine tests?  Could the lack of hcg cause a miscarriage?   I am sure that I was pregnant.  Can anybody please help me understand this?  My love and thanks...K
Answers (29)
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There is no way to be pregnant without detectable hCG unless you are testing within the first week after ovulation.

hCG tests are extremely sensitive- especially these days and can pick up an hCG level as low as 5.  So if those tests all came up negative then I would most definitely go with not being pregnant. 

It sounds to me as though you've had either an annovulatory cycle- meaning there wasn't ovulation at all- or a delayed ovulation which would naturally extend your cycle. 

If I had to choose one I would go with delayed ovulation.  Re: because the symptoms you listed show a spike in progesterone- the hormone dominant at the last two weeks of a woman's cycle

Thank you so much for your reply.  I am just so confused and upset.  What do you think about the pieces of tissue (NOT blood clots)?  Some were red and had a pattern in them like a grapefruit section, others were tough, membranous, and light blue-grey.  I also had some very watery bloody discharge.  Can urine pregnancy tests detect levels as low as 5?  I only had urine tests.    I am still experiencing the lightheadedness and breast tenderness, and I am still bleeding.  I'm sorry, I'm just freaking out....

your uterine lining.


the watery somewhat red discharge sounds like your corpus lutem dissolving.

okay, dayzofrain, thank you for being so patient with me.  I am not trying to be a jerk...  I really just want to understand.  How is there no way to be pregnant without detectable levels of hcg?  What if the (whatever it is) that is responsible for the rising levels of hcg is either absent or dysfunctional?  Couldn't conception have occurred with subsequent loss because of the lack of hcg?

okay, dayzofrain, thank you for being so patient with me.  Please bear with me.  I am not trying to be a jerk...  I really just want to understand ~  How is there no way to be pregnant without detectable levels of hcg?  What if the (whatever it is) that is responsible for the rising levels of hcg is either absent or dysfunctional?  Couldn't conception have occurred with subsequent loss because of the lack of hcg?

I was ten weeks pregnant by the time it showed up positive on a pregnancy test, same with my three other pregnancies.

I am kind of in the same boat Klenmn. I was 5 days late before a HPT gave me a weak positive result. I tested the next morning to be sure, called my family and then started spotting. The next day I went to the obgyn and he saw nothing in my uterus. I was sent for a blood test and the result came back the next day (today) and my HCG levels are only 3. So I'm also confused. The test I took was sensitive to minimum of HCG=20 but I suppose it is possible that when the levels are so low and the pregnancy spontaneously aborts that a pregnancy could go undetected. Some women get pregnant and never know thinking their miscarriage is just a late period.

My first pregnancy miscarried at 7 weeks in January so I'm quite aware of what I'm going through so yes I believe that your pregnancy could have not been detectable by urine tests. 

I'm sorry you're going through this also. 


My ultrasound showed a health baby im 12 weeks pregnant with a hcg level less then 2 so i wouldnt depend on them i say get an ultrasound

I am in the same boat! I feel like I am losing my mind! My doctor said there is NO WAY that I am 3 months pregnant (nearly 4) because my urine tests and blood test results were negative. She gave me antibiotics and I am so scared to take them because, What IF I still am expecting? I haven't had an ultrasound because the doctor made me feel so stupid, I didn't even ask her for one! I am going to call another Doctor (the one who delivered both of my girls) and ask him if he will PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE do an ultrasound! The doctor I saw today, the one who thinks i'm loopy, did an exam and I have been hurting SO BAD ever since! Any advice, ya'll???
Dear Klemn,  there is a possibility you were pregnant.  Although pregnancy tests are extremely sensitive to HcG levels they are not as sensitive as blood tests and can go undetected until HcG levels increase to a level the pregnancy test will detect. This is normally quite quick as HcG levels increase rapidly each day. However, if you have spontaneously miscarried as fast as HcG levels can increase they can also decrease and by the time you have retested the levels are low again.  I hope that makes sense. I would speak to your doctor and although there is no clinical evidence to show you were pregnant, I would suggest this needs to be documented what you have experienced and I would suggest this be documented as an unconfirmed pregnancy. Also low HcG levels cannot cause miscarriages. I hope this helps.
i missed my periods for 8 week and had swallon epidotrium no nausea but bad cramping and tender breast and -ve hcg test then doctor concluded i was not pregnanat and given tablet to get periods i want to know whether i was pregnant
Has anyone had a viable pregnancy w/ a hcg level of 10? I'm 4 weeks along, and they're pretty sure this pregnancy isn't going to happen!! I've read a few sites that say not to worry - low hcg levels can still end w/ healthy babies. I know I have to wait till the next blood test, but I'm worried we're gona loose this pregnancy!!!
was it negative until 10 weeks by blood or urine?
re jturner  omg! really i tested positive by blood friday but low (dont know level) been having some bleeding since saturday but nothing like my usual period  and no pain. yesterday's (tuesday) blood test is negative with a level below 5. but i feel pregnant. woke up with morning sickness this morning. been having low blood pressure for like 4 weeks. low back ache, tired, boobs feel bigger, ... could i still b prregnant? going for another blood test next week. 
Hi i am 5 weeks pregnant and have a very low HGC level which is below 500, doc said that i will most prob has a MC , going again for my second blood test on tuesday to be sure, devastated and really sad! amazing how you start to love something so tiny!

Went to the Dr. For a yearly exam ... He ended up doing a vaginal ultrasound ... Seen a sac and said I was pregnant ... Sent me for the blood test ... I call this morning and it came back neg ... Less than 1 .... And they said probably a miscarriage just might not have passed it ... I still believe I am too early for HCG and they are wrong ! I need some insight I have 6 days to wait and it's killin me ! HELP 

Im sorry you are incorrect. I have 2 grown sons, 34 & 31 years old, they are both very healthy and I had no HCG levels show up in either urine or blood tests in both pregnancies. Doctor couldn't explain it. But then again they're learning new things all the time. They still don't know everything they need to know about the human body.

I had no HCG with my first pregnancy. I ended up having a miscarraige. Doctor told me that it was due to extremely low progesterone levels. I was two months late and home pregnancy test was negative. I figured I was just having problems maybe not pregnant just irregular. Then the spotting started. then the cramps (like a rabid animal wanted out of my abdomen) and bleeding and fainting. I went to the hospital and their test was negative too. I went to My Gynocologist, his test was negative too, but he was sure I was having a miscarraige. He tested my other hormones and found that my progesterone level was low. Maybe You have the same deficiency?


I am 9 weeks late and have been having many pregnancy syptoms. Morning sickness, fatigue, light cramping, peeing more frequantly and more. I have PCOS so have a hormone inbalance normally and can be a little irregular but i never skip and entire period like i have this time. I have had a negative HPT and not sure what to do now. I have also recently had a baby (6months ago) but i have had 2 regular and normal periods since i gave birth.  
Wanted to know whether skipping a period or two after child birth was normal? if anyone could help me it would be much appreciated.
ok so i know this sounds incredibly stupid and im probably clutching at strwas right now but i have done a lot of research and nothing i find can actually fit my situation excactly so.... i found out i was pregnant after my other half insisted i do a pregnancy test even though i had started bleeding that day, the bleeding got heavier the next day and we went to the hospital to make sure everything was ok, they confirmed i was pregnant and let me go with a scan date but told me to come back if anything changed, i took it easy that night but woke up the next day and was still bleeding only this time i was passing clots so i panicked and we went back to the hospital where an internal scan was done and they found a supposedly empty gestational sac after much searching that matched with my dates and told me that i had to come back in 2 weeks for another scan because it was too early to tell if there was a heartbeat but i was probably miscarrying, the night after i was walking back from meeting a friend with my partner and i doubled over in pain, i ended up in hospital that night where they done a pregnancy test that came back negative and took more blood which, when compared to the blood taken the day before, showed that the hgc levels in my blood were dropping, i had a scan early afternoon on the tuesday where a gestational sac could not be detected even though the woman doing the internal scan didnt even look properly, it was an in and straight out again sort of thing, i was discharged and sent home that day and i stopped bleeding completely on the wednsday, i havnt bled since, not even spotting and im due to go back for another scan on tuesday but i was wondering if there is any chance at all that my baby would have survived even though the test came back negative and the hgc levels were dropping, again i know im probably just clutching at straws but im still feeling all the symptoms of pregnancy and my stomach keeps swelling and the going down a little and then swelling again.... i really need someone to help me out with this, it is or was my first pregnancy and nobody is telling me anything... i just need to know what to expect going back in there on tuesday.... help please
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