An early beta hCG test is a good predictor of an ongoing pregnancy

That first glimpse of two pink lines–can it be?–and your heart start to pound with excitement. You’re pregnant!

But after a few moments of celebration, you descend back to earth. Okay, you’re pregnant, but for how long? Will this pregnancy stick?

You have entered a new, more hopeful limbo than the much bemoaned two-week wait. But it’s still no picnic. This is especially true for women who have spent lots of money on fertility treatments just trying to conceive.

We all know that miscarriage is very common, especially early in pregnancy. And for most women, good info about viability does not come until the first ultrasound usually performed at 8-10 weeks (as I describe extensively here.)

There’s not much good to say about undergoing fertility treatments. But one silver lining is this: Once pregnant, you receive information about your chances of a healthy pregnancy much earlier, from your “betas”–blood tests of your beta hCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) levels.

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