Skip to main content

16 Days Past Ovulation (DPO) and Your hCG Levels

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

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

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 Note on My Experience

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.

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

Table 2 of ""Human chorionic gonadotropin as a predictor of outcome in assisted reproductive technology pregnancies."

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%

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.

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Youmemindbody

More About hCG Levels

Here's a great resource to help demystify hCG numbers in the first trimester.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Comments? I'd love to hear from you.

Kay (author) on November 20, 2017:

That link is to the abstract. You'll have to find the actual copy of the study in that issue of Fertility and Sterility.

MO on November 10, 2017:

Hi!

The link you provided does not contain the Table 2.

I always verify sources carefully, where do I find that table and more details about the study?

Thank you!

Morgan on May 17, 2017:

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

ToxicFreeClub on May 21, 2014:

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

WriterJanis2 on May 15, 2014:

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

anonymous on June 20, 2013:

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 on February 17, 2013:

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

Kay (author) on February 01, 2013:

@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 on February 01, 2013:

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.

anonymous on December 17, 2012:

@anonymous: hi

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

Kay (author) on December 08, 2012:

@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!

anonymous on December 05, 2012:

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..

anonymous on November 02, 2012:

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?

jennifer-cole-520 on September 30, 2012:

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.

jennifer-cole-520 on September 30, 2012:

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.

anonymous on August 31, 2012:

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...

anonymous on April 14, 2012:

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.

anonymous on March 23, 2012:

@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 :(

anonymous on March 19, 2012:

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

anonymous on February 06, 2012:

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/

anonymous on January 13, 2012:

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.

anonymous on December 02, 2011:

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.

anonymous on November 23, 2011:

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

anonymous on October 10, 2011:

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...

MiamiMusic on August 22, 2011:

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.