HCG levels during the second trimester of pregnancy don’t change anywhere nearly as drastically as they are known to change during the first trimester of pregnancy. Still, hCG levels do change during the second trimester. To understand the changes that take place to hCG levels during the second trimester, it is important to understand exactly what hCG is and how it progresses not only during the second trimester, but throughout your entire pregnancy.
Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, or hCG for short, is a hormone that is produced by cells that make up the placenta. As such, hCG levels are only present significantly during the time that a woman is pregnant. Home pregnancy tests check your urine for the presence of hCG, and it is hCG in the blood that a health care provider will most often measure to confirm pregnancy, as well.
Levels of hCG start out, at the beginning of the second trimester, on the downward side of a long rise and fall. Early on in your pregnancy, your hCG levels will be between 5 and 50 mIU/ml. At around the 4th week of your pregnancy, hCG levels will be between 5 and 426 mIU/ml. At week 5 of the first trimester, the range jumps to 18 to 7,340 mIU/ml. By week 6, it is between 1,080 and 56,500 mIU/ml. During weeks 7 and 8 of the first trimester, hCG levels will rise to between 7, 650 to 229,000 mIU/ml. HCG levels during the first trimester will peak sometime around 9 to 12 weeks of pregnancy, at somewhere around 25,700 to 288,000 mIU/ml. By the final weeks of the first trimester week 13 and 14, hCG levels are finally on the decline, and will be at around 13,300 – 254,000 mIU/ml.
From there, hCG levels tend to continue the downward change into the second trimester. Druing the second trimester, hCG levels will drop first to between 4060 mIU/ml and 65,400 mIU/ml, and then will slowly decline until they hit about a range of 3,640 to 17,000 mIU/ml at the end of the second trimester, before the third trimester begins.
If you are concerned about your hCG levels during the second trimester, and are worried that they may seem too high or too low, you should contact your health care provider. Your health care provider can help you to properly interpret those numbers, to know for certain if your hCG levels are where they need to be during the second trimester.