Infertility/Fertility/low hcg?


Dear Dr. Ramirez,
I am writing from Pennsylvania.  I am 40 and had a faintly positive pregnancy test on 18 days post ovulation.  I ovulated on October 31st.  I am positive of this because I always get pain in the ovary on the side I ovulate from.  I started having some slight pregnancy symptoms of queasiness and night sweats two days before my period was due.  The test I took on 18 days post ovulation was a 50 miu/ml sensitivity.  Today at 20 days post ovulation, I took a test that was supposed to be 25 miu/ml sensitivity.  It was slightly brighter but still fairly faint.  I am worried because the line on the test is still faint at this point even with a more sensitive test.  They were both cheap dollar store tests. Do the faint lines at this point mean I am going to miscarry? I know my risk is high at my age, so I am worried. Can all pregnancies be different as far as hcg levels in the same woman? I always got fairly bright lines with my other pregnancies when using 20 miu/ml sensitivity strips. Thank you for you time.



Hello Melodie from the U.S. (Pennsylvania),

HPT's are not reliable enough in my opinion, to draw any conclusions.  At this point I think you should have blood pregnancy tests (bHCG's) done in order to determine what is going on.  That is the standard method for evaluating an early pregnancy.

Good Luck,

Dr. Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF Program

Monterey, California, U.S.A.

for additional information check out my blog at check me out on twitter with me at @montereybayivf and facebook @montereybayivf.  I now provide personalized fee for service consultations/advice/direction via email and payable via Pay Pal.  If interested, contact me via my email at  This service will allow you to have your own personal on-demand infertility expert.


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Edward Joseph Ramirez, MD, FACOG


I am a specialist in infertility and advanced gynecological care. I can answer questions about infertility, gynecology related ills, menopause...virtually anything that affects women's health. PLEASE tell me where you are writing from as I am always interested.


I have been practicing as an Ob/Gyn and Infertility Specialist for over 23 years. Gynecology, advanced laparoscopic surgery, basic infertility, IUI's, IVF, reproductive surgery, and ovulation induction are all areas of my expertise. I am Board Certified. I have been doing In Vitro Fertilization in my clinic for 19 years.

American College of OB/GYN, American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, American Society of Reproductive Medicine, California Medical Association, American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists, Fellow of The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists

American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wall Street Journal, Monterey Herald, SERMO, Women's Health and Fertility Blog

Medical Degree from Stanford University, Residency at Tripler Army Medical Center, Reproductive Training at Pacific Fertility Center, San Francisco

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