Thursday, March 22, 2007

An Unusual Place

I'm in an unusual place with this pregnancy: things are going very well.

Yes, I do know that it's very early and we haven't seen the heartbeat. But those betas are really high and the doubling rate was perfectly normal. But, apart the doubling rate, absolute hcgs aren't supposed to mean anything, right?

Wrong.

The general Internets are wrong about this one. After spending a day cyberloafing, umm, googling for what I could find out about hcgs at 14 and 16 dpo, it suddenly hit me that I could googlescholar this info and access the medical journals for what they had to say. (I must admit the idea came from a comment I read on Hippogriffs from a couple of years ago)

Besides newly pregnant women who are obsessed with their HCGs, apparently doctors are quite interested, too. And yay for me, most of the tests that they've done are on 14 and 16 dpo.

The good news? According to Horman et al from a 2000 study in Fertility and Sterility, when an hCG comes back over 500 on 16 dpo, the miscarriage rate by 20 weeks drops to less than 5%. That's right. Instead of the usual, 20-25% miscarriage rate they give you, with hCG over 500, you are in a whole new range of goodness. Although age plays a minor factor (the older you are, the higher the hCG needs to be to in the good place), they still aruge that absolute beta values are related to viability of the pregnancy. Since our score was 876, I thinking we are in a good place. And selfishly back to me, even if I miscalculated our dpos, and we were 15 and 17 instead of 14 and 16, by guesstimating , we still would be well over 600 on 16 dpo.

I like them there odds!!!

As for twins, ummmm, yes, actually, you CAN make a prediction about twins based on hCG. According to the another study that I forgot to save, if a woman's hCG is over 600 at 14 dpo, there is a very high chance that it's twins, ummm, like approaching 100%. Since ours was only 348, we are not there.

However, according to another research study by Zayed et al in the 2001 Archives of Gynecology and Obstetrics (I'm not sure that's the right name of the journal!), when either the 14 or 16 dpo HCG is over 500, the odds of having twins are about 50-50. Over 700 and you're approaching 100% chance of twins. However, I criticize this study for having a low number of participants. Nonethelss, according to what I can see in Betabase.info, we're probably around 50-50 chance for twins based on our scores.

So there. The news looks pretty good. We have not seen a heartbeat and won't for two more weeks. But I have to say that things are looking positive for this pregnancy. And even if I messed up counting our dpos, (since one really doesn't know when one has ovulated with the docs looking in), we're still looking good on our numbers.

It's really, really hard to stay positive based on our experience. But I'm giving it my best shot. And if there are two beans in there, we've got more than enough hearts to love them forerver.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The scientist in me bows to the scientist in you. Keep sharing the good news!

Karyn

Carroll said...

Just hearing you sound so excited and optimistic (which you have surely guarded yourself from becoming prematurely) is wildly encouraging this time, Anita. I'm so very happy for you!!!

Beth said...

Accidentally found you through searching google for this and that - miscarriage, etc... anyway, it led me to your July post about being pg and then losing it, and well then I had to dig deeper and read more...

GOOD LUCK TO YOU IN THIS PG! Give girls like me searching google for answers and "Will I ever get pg again" feelings hope...

Thanks again... and gl!

Ellie said...

Hi Anita, been reading you since before Conor was born! Haven't commented before but just wanted to let you know how very happy I am for you and Dave! I'm sending all my good wishes from New South Wales, Australia! Hope this pg continues to go well. All the best xx

Anita said...

Beth and Ellie--

Those are some of the sweetest comments I've ever had.

Thank you!

Piratewench said...

Wahoo!!!! This is the second best news I could hear (you know what the first would be...lol)!!!! I am soooooo excited for you!!! Everything sounds so solid. Yipee!!!

Anonymous said...

You have no idea how much this blog has helped me this week. I'm 16DPO after a blighted ovum two and a half months ago. My levels are on the higher end as well and I LOVED reading about the chance of miscarriage dropping to 5%. That truly is a "whole new range of goodness."

Thank you for your insight and obsessive research. Keep it coming!
-Allison

Anonymous said...

How did the pg end up? Did you have twins? I have similar HcG levels at the same points and am wondering????

Anonymous said...

Hi there you may not receive this but, wanted to say thank you. I'm at my first pregnancy and am older 37.. my hcg at 14dpo was 432 and 16dpo was 1322 so i feel much more confident in this pregnancy now after reading this post. I loved hearing the 5% chance with hcgs that high.

thanks and hope this preganncy turned out well and that you are chasing some cute twins around!