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16 Days Past Ovulation (DPO) and Your hCG Levels

Updated on January 26, 2017
Cari Kay 11 profile image

My name is Kay. As a result of my two misdiagnosed miscarriages, I've done a lot of research about hCG levels and pregnancy.

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16 DPO and hCG Levels

We are learning such amazing things about our pregnancies these days. Our doctors love, love, love to check those hCG levels. However, knowing our levels may not always be such a good thing because doctors often react very negatively to lower hCG levels. They will scare women half out of their minds with predictions of miscarriage—even when their pregnancy is, in reality, perfectly viable.

Due to my own experience with two misdiagnosed miscarriages, I have done a lot of research about hCG levels and pregnancy. One study I found seems very relevant and compelling, and I have since shared the findings with many other women. In this study, researchers looked at hCG levels 16 days past ovulation (DPO). The results can help women understand if there truly is no hope—or if, on the contrary, their doctor may be just a little too hasty in dooming the pregnancy.

I wrote this article for women who are going through a miscarriage scare. The numbers that appear in the table below may give a ray of hope to women who have been told by their doctors that there is no hope. In fact, I believe the actual percentages of successful pregnancies is much higher than what is reported in this study.

A Ray of Hope

This article is not meant to worry anyone! My purpose here is to provide hope. If your doctor has told you there's no hope based on your hCG levels, this article is for you. If everything is fine in your pregnancy so far, you have no reason to worry!

The Study

The study that I want to share with you is called "Human chorionic gonadotropin as a predictor of outcome in assisted reproductive technology pregnancies." Here is the abstract (scroll down for the explanation):

Objective: To determine whether serum hCG and progesterone levels obtained 16 days after ovulation are reliable predictors of pregnancy outcome.

Design: A retrospective study.

Setting: The data were obtained from two integrated Adelaide-based clinics: the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Wakefield Clinic.

Patient(s): Women who have achieved a pregnancy through ART treatment.

Main Outcome Measure(s): Analysis of data using logistic regression (STATA v.5.0) to predict a binary outcome: ongoing pregnancy or miscarriage. Ongoing pregnancy was defined as progression to >20 weeks' gestation. Miscarriage included spontaneous abortion, biochemical and ectopic pregnancies, and blighted ovum.

Result(s): Human chorionic gonadotropin was found to be the main determinant of ongoing pregnancy. Age and progesterone had minor effects, whereas stimulation, luteal support, and treatment types were nonpredictive. Low hCG levels between 25 and 50 IU/L are associated with a low probability of ongoing pregnancy (<35%), whereas levels of >500 IU/L predict a >95% chance of ongoing pregnancy.

Conclusions(s): A single serum hCG level 16 days after ovulation provides a useful predictor of pregnancy outcome.

Reference: Homan G, Brown S, Moran J, Homan S, Kerin J. "Human chorionic gonadotropin as a predictor of outcome in assisted reproductive technology pregnancies." Fertil Steril. 2000 Feb;73(2):270-4.

Pregnancy Viability: hCG Levels at 16 DPO

hCG Levels
# Women in Study
% Viable Pregnancies
25-49
4
<25%
50-99
16
25%
100-199
27
73%
200-299
48
96%
over 300
105
100%
Table 2 of ""Human chorionic gonadotropin as a predictor of outcome in assisted reproductive technology pregnancies."

What Can We Learn From This Study?

I've emailed this table to countless women over the last few years. Let me share what I believe may be important to learn from this study.

First of all, if your hCG levels at 16dpo are over 300, do not wrongly assume you are completely safe from miscarriage. Miscarriages still happen—but they are fewer and farther between. However, your pregnancy does have a much better chance than most of continuing.

Secondly, if your levels are below 50 hCG at 16dpo, don't give up all hope. I've talked to women who have had hCGs do strange things early in pregnancy. They've temporarily slowed, plateaued, or even declined—and they still go on to have a viable pregnancy. We've had women report they were dehydrated, but that once they hydrated their numbers jumped up again. Also, it is possible the loss of a hidden twin may cause numbers to temporarily slow or decline. Many pregnancies start out as twins and end up as singletons very early on in the pregnancy. Another possibility is that women can be off on their dates and have longer cycles. You may just not be as far along as you and your doctor might believe (this happens far too frequently).

These researchers did find that age also plays a role. Women over 30 who had lower numbers were more apt to miscarry than women under 30 years of age. Again, some women under 30 with lower numbers can and do miscarry whereas women over 30 with lower numbers continue on with their pregnancies.

If your hCG numbers are on the low side and if you are in your 30s and 40s, you may want to have your progesterone checked. We've seen that a number of women with low hCG levels also seem to have low progesterone. Some studies suggest that progesterone supplements can have a positive influence in the direction these pregnancies take. Talk to your doctor.

Final Thoughts

These numbers simply give you an idea of what may happen. They are not written in stone, and they do not mean that you will or will not miscarry. The purpose of sharing these numbers is to provide more information for women who were told they may miscarry or be at greater risk of miscarriage. For some women, this information may provide a bit more reassurance, especially when their physicians give them little room for hope.

I am not a medical professional. This information is meant to supplement the information from your doctor. If you feel your doctor is not doing enough for you or not willing to listen to your concerns, I strongly encourage you to take what you've learned here and get a second opinion.

More About hCG Levels

Here are some links to help demystify hCG numbers in the first trimester.

Comments? I'd love to hear from you.

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    • profile image

      Morgan 3 months ago

      My 16dpo HCG level is 38 and I go in tomorrow to see if it's doubling. I feel very negative about it.

    • ToxicFreeClub profile image

      ToxicFreeClub 3 years ago

      Getting pregnant is frustrating enough that's for sure. Really useful information

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 3 years ago

      You have done a great job of breaking down this study and explaining everything.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I was carrying twins and very early on lost one. The doctors recommended I terminate the other for high risk of down syndrome. I went home and thought for days...something didn't feel right about it...I moved away immediately to my old town to see my doctor who had delivered my first...he confirmed my fear that I wouldve aborted a healthy baby. My daughter is a healthy 17 year old!!!

    • LouisaDembul profile image

      LouisaDembul 4 years ago

      Very good information! hCG numbers are only a guideline, and is not always reliable.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image
      Author

      Kay 4 years ago

      @davenjilli lm: I'm so sorry they are doing to her. That really had me scared about my numbers with my daughter. Please, let me know how this turns out!

    • davenjilli lm profile image

      davenjilli lm 4 years ago

      Just wanted to stop by and say a big THANK YOU for this lens. My daughter in law is recently pregnant and had the pants scared off her by reading stuff that didn't give her any hope based on some numbers a nurse randomly gave her about her Hcg levels. She stumbled on this post and has a renewed sense of hope! You are working wonders and I just thought you should be told about it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: hi

      Could you tell us how your situation is now. Is your hcg rising?

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image
      Author

      Kay 4 years ago

      @anonymous: I am so sorry you are going through all this. They need to be careful because this could be ectopic. I'm not saying it is but sometimes ectopic pregnancies have numbers like this so please stay closely monitored. Now, in normal pregnancy, yes, I've had women tell me that very early on their numbers plateaued or dropped but then started rising normally again. Usually though, the numbers start jumping up again within the week. Please, stay monitored!

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Dear Kay &amp; friends.. I am 35 years old and I have been told that my ovaries shut down this Feb 2012. The docs did a lot of tests and found that I don't have much/any chance of pregnancy. I did not get my period for most of the year. However, in Sept. 28 2012, I got a normal period. Then again in Oct. 28, 2012. And then, Nov. 7, 2012. I know the third one was close and so my primary care doc asked for a blood test. I did not take the test till two weeks because I was traveling. And when I did, they found an hCG level of 35. So.. I got so excited. It was possible I could have gotten pregnant from Nov 7 till Nov. 15.. I was so excited. Then.. a week later, they had me take another blood test, and the hCG was at 41. about 4 days later, it was at 52.9. And so the doctors are concluding that this is not a pregnancy. They think it is not even an hCG from pregnancy but something called a "pituitary hCG". Only problem with that theory is that all stuff on web shows the pituitary hCG levels are usually very low.. 5 - 14 or so. Not so high as 52.

      Could I be pregnant? What do I do. The docs are saying there is no way this is a viable pregnancy. I would only be 3.5 weeks if i was pregnant. I cannot sleep or eat I just feel so confused and these docs think a week wait is a simple amount.. my anxiety is so off the walls just waiting for another blood test..

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I just recently went to my ob for a completely unrelated visit. They decided last minute to give me a pregnancy test. The next day they called an said I was pregnant but my beta level was 100. I had my first period in 6 months (due to birth control change) and that ended oct 26. I had no idea I was pregnant I go back Monday for another blood test because they told me I either miscarried or I am very early in my pregnancy. I do not know what to do. The wait is killing me. Any one else have a similar situation?

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      jennifer-cole-520 4 years ago

      Hey guy, by what my ob doctor says, I am exactly 5 weeks pregnant today. I had a positive hpt about a week and a half ago, and a beta hcg of 38 only 6 days ago, then a hcg of 27 only 2 days ago. I know that is low and I know when it is not rising, that means miscarriage. However, my ultrasound measured 5mm larger on Friday in comparison to Tuesday's ultrasound. I have a very defined sac, that is growing quickly. My doctor said that I will miscarry. I can't help but feel that I am going to have good results at my next checkup in 10 days. If I lost this baby, it will be the 4 th in 4 years. I still feel pregnant, but I have ceased my progesterone suppositories because they mimic pregnancy symptoms. Could there be any hope for this pregnancy? I am not bleeding or cramping in the past I have bled considerably. Someone please give me some good need or hope. You can email me privately at mountainlaurel_75 St Yahoo.

    • profile image

      jennifer-cole-520 4 years ago

      Hey guy, by what my ob doctor says, I am exactly 5 weeks pregnant today. I had a positive hpt about a week and a half ago, and a beta hcg of 38 only 6 days ago, then a hcg of 27 only 2 days ago. I know that is low and I know when it is not rising, that means miscarriage. However, my ultrasound measured 5mm larger on Friday in comparison to Tuesday's ultrasound. I have a very defined sac, that is growing quickly. My doctor said that I will miscarry. I can't help but feel that I am going to have good results at my next checkup in 10 days. If I lost this baby, it will be the 4 th in 4 years. I still feel pregnant, but I have ceased my progesterone suppositories because they mimic pregnancy symptoms. Could there be any hope for this pregnancy? I am not bleeding or cramping in the past I have bled considerably. Someone please give me some good need or hope. You can email me privately at mountainlaurel_75 St Yahoo.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This page has been helpful, providing me with hope :) A stupid doctor told me yesterday to go home rest &amp; wait for miscarriage. At 15dpo (approx) my hcg level was 58. I previously had one healthy pg with a 3yo daughter, a missed miscarriage last yr at 12w. I don't even know what the hcg levels were there... Feeling okay &amp; having another blood test in 2 days. Women in the TTC group I'm in have viable pregnancies with lower levels. I keep finding conflicting information on what the levels should be...

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi, I just wanted to thank you for this site and the time you have taken to share your information and give your readers hope. I have beautiful 14 month old daughter and would love to give her a sibling. However, my very recent pregnancy is currently miscarrying at: 16 dpo with an HCG at 37 and then 56 HCG at 18 dpo. I have another test today, but I know that this is not a viable pregnancy. I am just beside myself with sadness, I am 41 and this is probably it for me.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: At 18dpo my hcg levels went from 50 to 88 then today 48hours later have only gone up to 98 I have been told I will miscarry :( having bloods taken again on monday :(

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Ny hcg at 11dpo was 5, 13dpo hcg level 32 &amp; today at 16dpo its 50. I have another blood test in 2 days I will update :( trying to stay positive

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      It is virtually impossible to find info on HCG levels! I am on my 6th pregnancy -- one healthy 18 month old. I am 40. I didn't record the HCG levels until my healthy pregnancy, which was 15 days past CONCEPTION (only did it once) at 252, then a week later, 3687. He was healthy, no probs. My last miscarriage was 17 days past CONCEPTION (again only did it once, we have no problem getting pregs) 151 hcg and a week later (exactly) 2342. The heart stopped at 7 weeks but I knew it wasn't going to be viable as it was not measuring well from the start. And when I got tested for my 6th pregnancy last week, I was 21 days past conception with a HCG level of 318. Waiting for results tonight. I understand that ovulation can happen later, but after my last experience, I am not hopeful.

      To answer the question of the woman who wanted to know if it was best to wait for a natural miscarriage or D&amp;C, definitely go with the D&amp;C. easier to get pregs afterward and not painful in the least. Naturally (I know, I have done 2 of both) is way more painful, depending on how far along you are. Great site, thanks/

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My levels were 50 at 14 DPO, and now are at 80 at 16 DPO. The doctor called today to say to expect a miscarriage.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi there my hcg was 79 on day 13 of ovulation. Is this too low? My doctor would like to test it again in a few days.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      PLease help i am going to micarry.

      At 4 weeks,2 days my HCG level was 80.52 and now after 4 weeks,5 days my HCG level has gone down to 28.60 .My Dr has advised me to wait for my next cycle .Is there any hope that i can still be pregnant with this HCG level .I m really confused please advise

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Please help. Am I going to miscarry?

      At 4 weeks, 4 days my HCG levels were 160. At 5 weeks 2 days, my HCG levels have gone to 61. Had an ultrasound yesterday and they couldn't see the sac... just some unidentified liquid in my uterus. Is there any hope at all??? Please advise...

    • profile image

      MiamiMusic 6 years ago

      Is this the same hormone as the one spoken about in the HCG Extreme diet you hear all over the radio ads claiming they help you lose weight? Seems like a scam to me.

    • profile image

      lisagr45 6 years ago

      Hi! Everyone. I just signed up for SQUIDOO because i've been looking for some imformation that would give me some kind of hope. I've read a lot of good reports, but i'm searching for the situation as close to mine as possible. Ok, from the beginning. The first day of my last period was Feb. 27th the ending was March 8th or 9th (the one before this was this long as well,if it even matters) and my husband and I were sexullay active on the night of the 14th or early morning 15th. I'm not sure! Anyway, I didn't find out until April 15th after going in to have a Mammogram. fortunately they ask you if you are pregnant, before they do the test and i told her that i wasn't sure if i was pregnant or not because i hadn't started my period that was due the week before. so she sent me across the hall to have a urine test done and i was shocked the it came back positive, because even though we don't use bith control,I wasn't expecting to get that news because I am 45 and hadn't gotten pregnant in 5 1/2 years. So that day i had a consultation with the OB doc to discuss pregnancy at my age, risk and test. She scheduled me to come back in three weeks and said i would be about ten weeks. I went back on the May 9th and she did and VU and so far there was only a yolk sac but no baby. Even though i had eaten a Mcdonald's big breakfast about an hour and half early, I had to do a 1 hour glucose test (that orange drink is so horrible!) anyway, and the hCG test at the same time. I came back in on the 11th for another hCG level. She called me the next day and told me that my sugar level was high and my hCG level went from 23,000 down to 20,000 and the I can come in early on the 13th to do another hCG test. So I went in at 9am Friday to have it done only for the OB to call me around 2pm to tell me that the hcg number dropped down to 13,000. So she said i am going to miscarry. Since I haven't had any bleeding or cramping. I asked her if i can have one more US to make sure there wasn't any signs of a baby. So I had the US then went back to see her 30 min. later. She said that she was sorry, but pregnancy stopped at 6 weeks and the gestational sac was only 1.6 cm and she calculated me to be at 10wks and 4 days. She gave me the option of waiting a week or two for the MC to happen naturally. Has anyone ever experienced this situation? I am really having a hard time letting go and it is hard having to tell the people that we shared the exciting news with that it is not happening. I feel kind of embarrassed at my age. I angry and disappointed. I am very moody and just having all kinds of mixed emotions. I feel confused and just don't want to give up hope for a miracle :(( Pleas tell me your honest thoughts. Thanks so much for listening.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Is there any research for extremely high HCG levels and success of a pregancy? Mine were 1237 at 16 dpo with a confirmed singleton and a healthy HB that passed away at 9 weeks. Waiting for Pathology.

    • profile image

      aunthopiey 6 years ago

      Reading this page had a calming effect over me cause I had an hcg test ran on my 16dpo and then on the 18dpo. My doctors office called today with the results for me and I was told that my levels didn't double. They were 235 then 48hrs later 437. I have had 2 miscarriages within the last yr and am currently 6wks (5wks 2day) pregnant. I could tell by the nurse voice over the phone that they were not optimistic about this one either. I am to go back tomorrow for another test, which will put all 3 test 48hrs apart from each other. I now have the hope back the nurse took away over the phone. Thanks for the infomation. I will post new numbers when I receive them on Monday.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This page makes me feel better. My HCG at 14 dpo was 290 and at 17 dpo was 789. I have had a m/c in the past year and I'm really hoping I'll keep to keep this one. I'm 38 years old and this will be our first baby.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Hi, may i know what's the reason cause your HCG goes up and down??? because i am currently experience the simliar situation with you, i have my hcg 11 on 14 DOP intercourse, and Dr. want me to repeat the Blood test again 72 hours, and i get hcg 14 after 72 hours, but my dr. told me i may not preganat since the hcg goes up very slow, but i don't have any bleeding... so i am not sure if any reason can cause the hcg goes up and down beside the pregnant? pls. give me your advice since i am very worry now... thanks

    • profile image

      outsource123 6 years ago

      Great lense guys!

    • profile image

      outsource123 6 years ago

      Great lense guys!

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      anonymous 7 years ago

      hi, I'm new to this blog, I'm sorry if i seem all over the place but, I'm very nervous...I had a m/c about 2 years ago ...things where very weird because I didn't bleed, I was 8 wks and they didn't find a heart beat, I suggested other u/s but they told me not, so they scheduled me for dnc, then they diagnosed me with ITP (low platelet count) Now I'm prego again but very nervous, I had 3 hpts and all positive,called the doc's office and they won"t take me until 8 weeks...they told me I was 6 wks..(1st day of last cycle was june 4), my first app is june 30th, why won't they take me sooner? if they know i had a m/c? should i change OB? what should my HCG and porgesterone leves be at the time of the visit to the doc? I wanna go prepared with facts and questions, can u help me? thank you

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      [in reply to zee]

      Did you end up being pregnant? I had one positive digital and 3 regular test negative. I went and got a blood test and my hcg level was a 4? I am going monday for a second test to see if it went up I guess?

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      i felt prego! and i got a blood test it said i was 11 hcg the dr. said i was prego. i had another test a wk later and it was down to 3 hcg and they said non prego (MC). i went back again after a month becasue i felt prego still. i got my period and didnt call in for the test results asuming i was not prego. i felt prego again so i called for the test results and it said 4 hcg, so that means it went up 1 level after 1 month!?? what does this mean?????

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Ive had several positive hpts within the last few days. My doc appt test yesterday was neg. I came home and had another positive hpt. They called and told me my HCG level was 4. (negitive according to them) Im confused as to why i would have over 5 positive hpts. I would be 4wks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      [in reply to Cari_Kay

      5.2 weeks fetal age not gestation :O)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      [in reply to Cari_Kay]

      thank u- ive been so confused they told me that i was 2-31/2 weeks according to my levels ( taken 9-10-08 ).....I wanted an outsiders opinion because when they did a intervaginal ultrasound 12 days ( done 9-22-08 ) after my levels were taken - they measured my baby to 5.2weeks- but they said its not impossible but not likely.... However both the levels and ultrasound are one in the same,,,, Am i going crazy,, or does how im figuring it sound wrong....

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image
      Author

      Kay 8 years ago

      hCG levels vary so much between women and their pregnancies. One level does not tell you much but it is probably about a five week level. But, I have talked to women farther and earlier along with that type of number. You should ask for a level check two days out to see if it is rising appropriately.

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      hi i wanted to see- if u would b able to tell me how far would u be if your hcg level is 650!!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Very useful information. I was curious to know what the hcg levels mean. Thanks for this article.