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hCG levels three times higher than they should be at 12 week scan

(11 Posts)
SallyMischievo Fri 06-Jun-14 19:50:08

I went for my 12 week scan and bloods yesterday and was told that, at 3.24 MoM, my hCG levels were three times higher than they should be. My other results were NT - 1.2mm and PAPP-A - 0.79 MoM. My adjusted risk is 1:183.
Can anyone kindly help with interpreting these results? I have not been able to find anything online that helpfully explains why my hCG levels could be high. I was taking Cyclogest, (progesterone pessaries), from weeks 4-12 due to low progesterone levels and wonder if this could have had any impact on my hCG levels? Foolishly I didn't think to ask this whilst we were there!
We must now wait two weeks for the results of the Harmony test, (very luckily, we are at King's College Hospital where they are currently carrying out a research study). In the meantime, any advice would be gratefully received x

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Fri 06-Jun-14 20:22:05

I was in this position six months ago. Except mine was 4 something.

The answer is that they really don't seem to know why they could be high. There is some evidence early bleeds raise the level. There is some evidence that if the pregnancy was twins very, very early on but one didn't develop, then that might be a cause. Other than that, they don't really seem to know. I don't know if progesterone pessaries might be a factor I'm afraid.

I had amnio (for various reasons Harmony wasn't the best choice for us) and got the all clear. DS is now snoring on my chest as I type. smile

SallyMischievo Fri 06-Jun-14 21:42:03

Thank you Penguins. This is reassuring to hear. I had a tiny bit of brown spotting at 10 weeks but nothing that you could really classify as a bleed. Certainly no evidence of twins on the scan we had then or the one yesterday but I imagine there wouldn't be anything to see if a twin had failed to develop very early on? Thank you for taking the trouble to reply.

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Fri 06-Jun-14 21:47:49

Do you know what your adjusted risk came out as? Mine was 1/100 as other aspects were all normal. I found that comforting during the long wait for results (well, I think it was 2-3 days, but it felt long!).

Is this your first pregnancy? It was no. 3 for me (plus 2 miscarriages, early ones). I've never had it before to my knowledge (was only offered bloods with no. 2 and no.3, my area when I had my first just did the NT measurement). I felt waaaaaay more poorly this time too. Not sick, but just exhausted and utterly wiped out. put it down to being busy with older ones, but once I got the hCG result it seems they might be linked.

SallyMischievo Fri 06-Jun-14 22:20:59

Yes, it was 1/183 and this is my first pregnancy. I'm 38 so I know that my age being factored in will have increased the risk. I have been feeling exactly as you describe - shattered and with barely enough energy to climb into my pyjamas when I get home from work and also very nauseous. The two weeks until our results will seem like a very long time! So glad to hear your DS was absolutely fine.

PenguinsHatchedAnEgg Sat 07-Jun-14 07:57:09

It is hard, but 1/183 obviously means that you have something like a 99.5% chance that everything is fine. Put like that it sounds rather less scary. Try and focus on that statistic whilst you wait smile

Also, anecdotally, my antenatal testing midwife felt that where there was only a single marker from one of the hormones - e.g. raised hCG and nothing else - it was possible that the formula over-weighted it. She said she was always more concerned if there were lots of little pointers rather than one thing far out of whack on the hormones. Now, of course, that might be complete bollocks, but it helped me.

SallyMischievo Sat 07-Jun-14 15:33:05

Thank you, that's very reassuring to hear. I will try not to worry as like you say, the chances are strong that everything is fine and none of the other markers seemed to present a cause for concern to the staff I saw. I really appreciate your advice x

blamber Sat 07-Jun-14 17:51:00

I had low papp-a from the test, but the other markers were all fine. It gave me a higher chance than average for my age, 1 in 231. I discussed it with the obstetrician and she said it was that low level that raised the chance, but they do not get concerned unless it gets higher than 1 in 150. If the other markers are fine, then most likely everything is absolutely fine.

I'm not sure what could cause the high hcg on its own though, but I think that on its own it doesn't mean anything.

LadyGoneGaga Sat 07-Jun-14 22:11:13

I was told that it was only really a concern if hcg was high AND pappA was low. Mine was doing exactly that - hcg 5x normal. Luckily all the nuchal markers were normal but still ended up coming out high risk due to the abnormal bloods. I was 35. I went to London and had the Harmony test done and all came out fine. Baby is due in a couple of weeks so hoping that all the tests were correct.

There doesn't seem to be much rhyme nor reason for it. I did feel that the first 20 weeks were the worst of my 4 pregnancies, exhausted, horrible nausea, horrendous headaches resulting in me needing to be off work for weeks. I really think it was as a result of the high hcg as didn't have that in previous pregnancies. After 18/20 weeks though things picked up and I am having the best third trimester of all my pregnancies - swings and roundabouts!

I hope your Harmony test goes well.

mewkins Sat 07-Jun-14 23:28:56

My hgc was 4x more than normal so my results came back as 1:85 , despite all else being normal. I had the harmony test which came back fine. Yes, early bleeds (Ihad a huge one) are ooften given as a reason. Also weirdly if you are a vegetarian that sometimes increases the levels (it's on one of the research papers) . I have also heard that having a girl usually increases the levels....I have yet to fins out what I'm having but due in two weeks.
I hope your tests are absolutely fine. X

SallyMischievo Sun 08-Jun-14 08:12:11

Thank you so much for the reassuring words. Not vegetarian although I haven't eaten a huge amount of meat in my first trimester due to going off it! Funnily enough, one of the Doctors did hint that she thought the baby was a girl but with me being only 12 weeks + 1, DP and I have decided not to pay too much attention for now as it must be tricky to get right so early on!
I feel so much happier! Thank you again x

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