BETA pregnancy confirmation after IVF or other reproductive techniques

May 30 2011

What is a Beta?

The determination of the levels of the hormone beta-hCG in blood. The hormone produces the embryo and passes to the mother via the placenta. This is the first measurable sign of embryo implantation.

When can the Beta be performed?

During an In Vitro Fertilisation treatment, it is performed 13 or 14 days after the egg collection. When it comes to Egg Donation treatments or frozen embryo transfers, it is taken 13 or 14 days after starting the administration of progesterone (Utrogestan ®, Progeffik ®, Cyclogest ®).

What value of Beta is considered normal?

This depends on when the analysis is performed. If it is taken 13 days after the egg collection, a value of 30 mIU / ml is considered a good prognostic value. However, each case has to be assessed individually

High levels of Beta which can suggest a twin pregnancy, cannot be confirmed until the first ultrasound.

The normal values during the first few weeks are:

• 3-4 weeks: 9-130 mIU / ml

• 4-5 weeks: 75-2600 mIU / ml

Can I perform the test early and avoid the wait?

If you perform the test early then the embryo and the hormone levels will be so small that the result will come out negative, whether you are pregnant or not.

Can I perform the test after the recommended date?

Yes, testing a few days later will not influence the outcome of the treatment. In any case, try to do the test as soon as possible due to the fact that waiting to see the result of a treatment is the most difficult moment from an emotional standpoint.

Is the Beta a reliable test?

Yes. A positive result from a reputable laboratory means that embryo implantation has taken place. What is not a positive result is that the pregnancy is progressing normally.

Can I be sure with a positive Beta that the pregnancy will go well?

We cannot assure you of this but the beta test lets us establish a prognosis based on the results. It is a quantitative test that is we find out not only if it is positive or negative, but the exact amount of beta-hCG in the blood. If the value is adequate, the probability of losing before the first scan is very low, so we can establish a good prognosis. On the other hand, if the level is low, the probability that the pregnancy is progressing correctly, decreases.

What is the next step after the Beta if the result is positive?

If the Beta levels in the blood are good then the patients should continue with the medication and schedule an ultrasound scan 2 to 3 weeks later.

What if the result of the Beta is negative?

If the result is negative, meaning that the embryo did not implant, medication should be stopped. The medical team will analyse your case and meet with you to assess the evolution of the treatment cycle and take appropriate measures in order to achieving pregnancy.

What if the beta level is low?

If the level is low, the prognosis is not good, but there is still the possibility of a normal pregnancy. For this reason, it is necessary to continue with the medication and repeat the test a few days later. If after this second test an adequate increase in Beta levels can be seen, an ultrasound scan is then scheduled.

How to take the test or send a sample?

If you do not have easy and fast access to the test, visit our IB BIOTECH services.

Dr Joaquín Llácer, Medical Directo at Instituto Bernabeu, Elche.

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For more information, please visit our Web site www.institutobernabeu.com/en/

See the equivalent beta test values for each week of pregnancy in the FAQ that we have dedicated to this topic:

http://www.institutobernabeu.com/en/3-10-121/frequently-asked-questions/

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