slow rising HCG levels and low progesterone-worried — The Bump
1st Trimester

slow rising HCG levels and low progesterone-worried


I am a newbie to the boards, but I was hoping all of you could share some of your experiences if you have had similiar issues occur. This maybe long so bare with me...

First off, this is my first pregnancy.  Based on my LMP I am 5 weeks pregnant, but I know from charting that I ovulated around the 21st of February.  Last Saturday, March 3rd I decided to take a pregnancy test (first thing in the morning) which showed positive.  That same day (afternoon)  I noticed some spotting/bleeding that persisted for 4-5 days it wasn't as heavy as a normal flow, but definitely more then just a couple spots, enough for light tampons and panty liners (sorry TMI).  I called the doctor first thing Monday morning and they called me in for blood work, my first HCG beta level was 33 and my progesterone level was low as well.  The doctor confirmed that I am in fact pregnant and put me on prometrium and told me to be cautiously optimistic as I have a 50/50 chance of normal pregnancy or possible miscarriage or ectopic (due to the low beta levels).  48hrs later (weds) I had another blood test and my level went up to 57, the doctor was concerned still that it was overall low as well as hadn't quite doubled in 2 days.  I had another blood test on Friday but have to wait until Monday for the results.  I have not experienced any symptoms such as pain or heavy cramping, nor sore breasts or nausea but I think that could be becuase I do have low progersterone levels.  My instincts are telling me due to just how my body feels and increased hunger and tiredness that, this isn't ectopic but very much in my lower abdominal areal.   I'm sorry this is so long, but all I do is sit here and stress and worry which isn't good for me or a growing baby.

I have several thoughts and would love all of your opinions and experience if you have any,

1) I feel that I found out I was PG very early on, the doctor is saying I am 5 weeks but possible that based on my charting I am only 3 weeks.

2) Due to possible being off on timing,  Is it possible that I just experienced implantation bleeding as opposed to vaginal bleeding from complications or maybe the bleeding was due to the low progesterone levels my body was producing?

Again, sorry this is long but has anyone had low beta levels early on or bleeding (implantation or vaginal bleeding in general) that turned into a perfectly healthy pregnancy?  What are all of your instincts based on the information I provided.

 Any support would be helpful as me and my husband have decided to keep this between us until we know for sure what our situation is.

Thank you in advance!

Re: slow rising HCG levels and low progesterone-worried

  • I've read some places that it can take 48-72 hrs to double.  The good news is that the numbers are going up though!  If the bleeding had been the start of a m/c then your numbers would be going down.
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  • I would not count yourself out yet.  LMP is not the most accurate way to date a pregnancy.    

     I have low progesterone too and a symptom of that is a short luteal phase (the time between ovulation and your period).  So if you do have low progesterone but a normal cycle lenght there's a good chance you ovulate late and don't have the typical 14 days between ovulation and period.  

    I'm about six weeks pregnant (too superstitious to post a ticker) through IVF.  I know exactly when I "ovulated" and I got my first positive test 9dp"o".

    Two days later I got an early beta of 37.   Two days after that it didn't quite double (69)

    Of course I worried too.  But the next beta mored than doubled and I my first u/s showed twins!

    My daughter's first beta at 11dp"o"was a 17. 

    If you are earlier than the doctor thinks your betas could be just fine.

    As for symptoms  I never ever had sore boobs.  I never felt nauseous.  I was just tired all the time.  

    sorry this turned in to a novel you just remind me of me and I wanted to make sure you know there is HOPE.

    Good luck with your beta number on Monday. 


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  • @pooman, Thank you so much for the thorough respone and sharing your experience.   I know we are all different, but reading this has definitely made me more hopeful!  I greatly appreicate it and now all I can do is wait. 

    @wannabemomm- thank you for your support, I appreciate that

  • I am going through almost EXACTLY what you are, right now!! Starting last Saturday!  

    Here's the post I posted a few days ago...

    i got such a great reception from all of you when I posted last weekend, I hope you don't mind if I stay.... I'm not out for the count 100% yet.. 

    Last Sat. I got a positive preg. test on the day that I was expecting my period.  Later on that night, AF showed up.  I went to the dr. on Tues, got blood work done, and an ultra sound.  They didn't see any signs of ectopic preg. and nothing else... their conclusion at the time was that it was a chemical pregnancy.  

    He sent me for blood 2 days after just to compare blood levels and make sure that they were coming down.  

    Well, today, I get the call, that my levels have doubled, but my progesterone is low.  Now they are thinking either, it is a very early pregnancy, or an ectopic pregnancy that they just weren't able to see.  I think I'm only around 4 weeks...wasn't charting... just keeping track of CM, etc...

    I have to get my blood checked tomorrow, and then on Monday.  Then compare those levels to see what is really going on.  

    He put me on vaginal progesterone... which i started today.... (TMI?).

    1st blood test my hcg level was 50 and prog. was 5.2

    2nd blood test my hcg was 111 ..

    So, I'm in limbo now... would love to hear any experiences with low progesterone...anyone on progesterone? 

     The waiting part is so hard... and to add to the stress level - my husband and I are closing on our first house on Monday!  :)


    BabyFruit Ticker BabyFetus Ticker
  • thank Jenny, I'm glad I am in good company.

    your levels are higher than mine and doubling so that is terrific.  I am on oral progesterone, called Prometrium apparently that brand is a natural as opposed to synthetic progesterone which makes me happy although I heard that the vaginal shots are more effective than the oral version because they don't pass out of your body as quickly. 

     My doctor also told me that my hcg levels are too low to see anythign on an U/S, but I would love for them to just rule out ectopic. I am going to inquire about that on Monday.

    well here is to waiting and hoping :)  BTW...congrats on the home!

  • I'm sorry about all the stress.  I agree that LMP is least reliable method of dating so go with your instincts.

    With DD1 my first beta at 13 DPO was only 18.  My Re said the same thing, cautiously optimistic.  She is now a beautiful and healthy 4 year old.  I have progesterone issues, so I was on vagina gel for 14 weeks. 

    Look on the bright side, your numbers are going up.  Hopefully Monday's numbers are spectacular. 

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  • I'm sorry if I mis-read your post, but two things stood out to me.

    1. You are not 3 weeks pregnant. You do not count the day of ovulation as "Day 1" but rather the first day of your period. So if you get a positive test 2 weeks after ovulation, you'd be 4 weeks along. (LMP age) Even though it's been 3 weeks since ovulation, you are "5 weeks along."

    2. You can not get a positive test before implantation. I can go into the science of it, but the short of it is: Impossible.

    So, if you have spotting after a +hpt, it is NOT implantation.

    2/12: 100 mg Clomid + Bravelle last minute+ back to back IUI. BFN
    3/12 150mg Clomid + B2B IUI =BFP!! TWINS!
    Vanishing twin at week 6
    Tater-tot born January 3rd 2013

    2 IUI's in 2016- BFN
    3 IUI's in 2017- BFN
    8/17 IUI BFP!!!!!!!!
  • I had something very similar happen.  I was spotting a few days before my period was due and assumed it was my period.  But my RE told me to take a test 2 weeks and 2 days after my HCG shot, so I did, and it was positive.  I was still spotting (brownish red), so she had me come in immediately and did a same day rush HCG and progesterone level.  My HCG was only 58 (14 dpo) and my progesterone was around 6.  So, she put me on Crinone, and within 48 hours, my progesterone was up to 12 and my HCG had doubled exactly.  My HCG then started roughly tripling every 48 hours until 5 weeks, when my RE said she didn't need to test anymore.  The Crinone stopped the bleeding in less than 24 hours, and (knock on wood) it hasn't come back.  I've had two very normal ultrasounds and will be 10 weeks along tomorrow.  I got the same speech - it might be ectopic or leading to miscarriage, but as someone else has said, the fact that your HCG is going up at ALL means you're not in the process of miscarrying.  

    I was very panicked because I had a m/c last year, and now I think it may have been due to undiagnosed low progesterone.  I'm so glad I started the Crinone when I did this time. 

    Pregnancy Ticker
  • I've had an ectopic pregnancy and now am now 6w4d along with our second pregnancy (and this time in the right spot).  With my ectopic, my betas were rising and then they dipped, and then they went back up again but weren't rising as fast as they should have.  My progesterone was also very low (which doesn't always mean ectopic since I know many women who had healthy babies using's just a possible symptom of ectopic).  When my beta reached 2,000+, they did an ultrasound to verify the pregnancy was not in my uterus.  They couldn't see anything which is when they knew it was ectopic.


    With our second pregnancy, all of my levels are much better (HCG, progesterone).  However, I did have pretty heavy spotting/bleading the week before I took a hpt as well as the few weeks after.  I've been monitored closely and have seen the baby and a heartbeat.  The spotting and cramping are finally almost gone.  Our RE said that someone just spot and they never know why.  He said it's actually much more common than most women realize (although I would always call my doctor so you can be monitored).


    Hopefully your spotting is nothing to worry about and everything goes well.  Thoughts and prayers that your levels keep going up!!

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  • Hi All,

    I wanted to provide an update, its not good news, but I find these types of posts all the time, but never know how they turned out so I wanted to share the rest of my story for now..... 

    My doctor called this morning and my HCG level from Friday was only 11, so it dropped from 57 on weds to 11 on Friday.  Essentially the bleeding was actually a miscarriage and hence why progesterone was low as well.  Since the bleeding started at what was about 4 days before my actual period was supposed to start she said that this was common and most women may not have even know they were pregnant and just thought they were getting their AF (Aunt Flow).  She referenced something called a Chemical pregnancy which I read happens in about 50% of all first time pregnancies.  I am still sad about what could have been, but am relieved that I now know one way or the other.  The waiting was killing me and I am going to choose to look on the bright side.   Since I have only been TTC for 3 months I am confident that everything will come together again and make a beautiful baby.  I am excited to begin trying again and since I wasn't very far along my doctor said I don't need to wait at all which makes me happy.

    I wanted to thank you all for your feedback and support it was very helpful to me in a very stressful time, like I said the waiting was the worst.  I hope to be on here soon sharing some good news the next time :)


  • I'm glad you updated.  I was thinking about you all weekend.  

    I'm sorry the news was not good.  Hopefully you're back on this board soon and your next set of Betas are less stressful.

    It took us 3 years to get pregnant with my daughter.   Probably the worst three years of my life.  

    But when i'm with her I realize she was 100% worth it because she is exactly the daughter I was supposed to have.

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