HCG Levels

11 Aug

It is a bright and sunny morning here in San Sebastian, Spain.  Josh just returned from a run across the Puente Maria Christina and I just received our first email from Rotunda since the embryos were transferred two weeks ago.  It appears that the HCG level of our surrogate is a 4.05, which means that the embryos most likely did not result in a pregnancy.  This was a beta test which provides an actual HCG level number, rather than a pee-on-a-stick test that simply returns a positive or negative value.  Dr. Kalyani is following up today with a second HCG test to check for a level change (the number by itself doesn’t mean much, as a positive change in HCG is what determines a positive pregnancy result), but at this point, a value that low isn’t very comforting.

So what this means is that we move on to a second round of implantation after selecting another egg donor.  Thankfully, we left enough sperm samples to repeat this process for a couple cycles.  The success rate of first implantation is about 55%, so we were mentally prepared for this, but it’s still bringing me down a bit.  Dr. Kalyani believes that we can try again in a few weeks, once the new egg donor has prepared herself and the surrogate is ready again.  Until then, we enjoy the rest of our honeymoon and return to the US on the 16th.  Despite this bump in the road, we are confident that our dreams will still come true.

On a more upbeat note, we have been absolutely loving Spain.  Barcelona was incredible!  The Boqueria market, the Rambla, all of the museums, and the tapas were definitely worth the seven-hour flight.  We spent five days at the Le Meridien Barcelona and then hopped a quick commuter flight to San Sebastian on the northern coast of Spain, where we will spend the next five days at the Hotel Maria Cristina.  The Playa de La Concha is packed with tourists and locals, and I have already experienced a pretty awful case of sunburn… it may be time to increase my SPF.  The balcony doors are wide open in our room and a cool breeze is blowing the white curtains back and forth.  It’s time to be grateful for an amazing husband, a fantastic honeymoon, and the future possibility of a baby.


Here is a chart of HCG levels for reference, based upon the week of pregnancy.  Anything below a 5 is considered non-pregnant. (Click to enlarge for a clearer view of the numbers.)

6 Responses to “HCG Levels”

  1. farmboyz August 11, 2012 at 11:36 am #

    With straight couples on honeymoon, there is a verifiable correlation between SPF and HCG via increased TLC.

  2. Gregg August 11, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    Sorry to hear about your results. My partner and I had several unsuccessful transfers and we almost gave up. Now we are happy parents of 4 month old twins! I just noticed in your previous entry that you were taking anti-malaria pills. Were they in your system when you produced your sperm sample? Malarone (Atovaquone/Proguanil) and Mefloquine can affect your sperm and fertility. (Doxycyline is the safest choice) If so, wait for 3 months for your body to clear out the drug and send them a new sample.

  3. Edward August 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    Sorry for your news and welcome to a club that keeps growing….IPs who didn’t succeed on the first try.
    We had 2 negatives before 2 positives….and I remember being hurt and sad but ultimately hopeful because of the ability to reset the bar and try again.
    Good luck as you take your next steps.

    • newdadsontheblock August 11, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

      Thanks for the note! Your story does make me feel a bit better… And no, only Josh took the anti-malaria medication. I took my chances. 🙂

  4. Kathrine Hake-Steffensen August 16, 2012 at 7:56 am #

    – You don’t even have to use surrogacy to be that (im)patient — we tried and waited and .. nothing. But then there were the quads 🙂 Best of luck next time 😀

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