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HCG taking a while to drop to zero after methotrexate

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BettyAnne
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:31 pm

HCG taking a while to drop to zero after methotrexate

Post by BettyAnne »

Hello everyone,

I'm hoping maybe someone else will be able to advise me on my worry. I'm hoping it's just my body taking a while, but I'm currently on day 43 after the methotrexate shot for my ectopic pregnancy and I am yet to get to a negative result. It actually went up from 13 to 14 today :(

I got the shot on the 23rd of August and it was 1,700 then, day 4 was 2,100 and then day 7 was 1,536. I got my levels checked each Monday since and they went 298 -> 65 -> 19 -> 13 -> 14

I know they are going in the right direction (with the exception to today's +1 result) but I was wondering has anyone else had it take a really long time after methotrexate to get a negative result? I've had my period the past week so I was sure today's result would have been negative.

Thank you!

EPT Host 20
Posts: 1900
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 9:58 pm

Re: HCG taking a while to drop to zero after methotrexate

Post by EPT Host 20 »

Dear BettyAnne,
I am so sorry to hear of your ectopic pregnancy and loss,
I am afraid it is difficult to predict how long it will take for your hormone levels reach non-pregnant levels. As we are all individual, our bodies respond differently to the drug and it depends on factors like how high levels reached and our unique physiology. What I can say is that it can take a number of weeks and, while it can take some time, it is not as invasive a procedure as surgery. It is also encouraging that your levels are falling steadily although I appreciate that it can be a drawn out process. Also, in terms of chances of future successful pregnancies, studies do not show a significant difference between treatment routes, whether surgical, medical using methotrexate or expectant management (allowing time for the body to resolve the pregnancy itself).

To aid the reduction of hCG levels, you should stop taking any vitamins, minerals or other medicines unless you have been told by the doctors treating you to continue with them, as some medicines interfere with the effects of methotrexate. It is particularly important that you do not take any folic acid supplements until your doctors are sure that the drug has worked.

We have more information on methotrexate here-
https://ectopic.org.uk/patients/treatment/

Hopefully your next results will show further reduction in levels,
Sending much love,
Karen x

The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust
Registered Charity Number: 1071811
Ectopic pregnancy patient information suite: Highly Commended in the 2019 BMA Patient Information Awards
**************************************************************************
During the coronavirus outbreak, The EPT team is still working hard to provide crucial information and support to women and families experiencing ectopic pregnancy as quickly and efficiently as we can.
If we have been able to help you, are you able to help us with a small donation or by volunteering or fundraising?
Further information is available at ectopic.org.uk
Email us: ept@ectopic.org.uk
We provide a call-back helpline service: 020 7733 2653
Take a look at our newsletters and subscribe to our mailing list here: https://mailchi.mp/986bdd6091ee/ectopic-matters
Detailed medical information can be found on our website. Please remember online medical information is NO SUBSTITUTE for expert medical advice from your own health care team
***************************************************************************

BettyAnne
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:31 pm

Re: HCG taking a while to drop to zero after methotrexate

Post by BettyAnne »

Hi Karen,

Thank you for the reply. What you said is what I was thinking, but it's still nice to talk it out. I am very grateful that I did not need to have the surgery, so while I'm disappointed that my levels are not negative yet, I'm not upset about it. I would prefer this route than surgery.

I stopped taking my vitamins, especially the ones with folic in them (they were first to go). Fingers crossed that I will have a negative result after next week's blood test.

I think it's the closure of it is what I'm looking for more, since I know we can't try for 3 months.

Thanks again for the reply!

BettyAnne
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:31 pm

Re: HCG taking a while to drop to zero after methotrexate

Post by BettyAnne »

Hello,

I just wanted to give a little update for anyone that may read this thread in the future.

I had my next blood test yesterday and the level went down again to 8. So while it's being very slow, it is going in the right direction. I'm currently 51 days since I got methotrexate, so it can take a while. I'll let you know how it goes next week. I'm hoping for a negative result so that we can have some closure on this life event..

Level progression from 4th August to 12th October:
40 -> 38 -> 658 -> 1236 -> 1700 -> 2100 -> 1536 -> 298 -> 65 -> 19 -> 13 -> 14 -> 8

BettyAnne
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:31 pm

Re: HCG taking a while to drop to zero after methotrexate

Post by BettyAnne »

Hello,

I finally hit a negative result for HCG on my bloods today (got a result of just 1, which is negative since it is less than 5). That phone call was such a relief for me. It's closure on the chapter and I feel like we can look forward to trying again in a couple of months (after the 3 month recommendation after having the methotrexate shot).

For anybody that feels like it is taking a while for their levels to drop, it took 57 days (8 weeks and 1 day) from the day of the shot for my negative result. Some women don't take as long, while others I'm sure take longer. As long as the level is dropping and you discuss any worries with your doctor/midwife, you will get there in the end <3

I hope that I don't need to look for support here in the future, but I will pop back now and again in case I can offer any advice to others. Thank you for the advice and support during this time <3

Sending my support and love to anyone who reads this. It's tough, but it will be ok in the end <3

Level progression from 4th August to 19th October:
40 -> 38 -> 658 -> 1236 -> 1700 -> 2100 -> 1536 -> 298 -> 65 -> 19 -> 13 -> 14 -> 8 -> 1

EPT Host 20
Posts: 1900
Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 9:58 pm

Re: HCG taking a while to drop to zero after methotrexate

Post by EPT Host 20 »

Dear BettyAnne,
I so pleased to hear your levels have returned to below 5. As you say we are all individual so the amount of time it takes varies but I'm sorry yours took so long.
Thank you for letting us know as we hear from many women who also worry their levels are taking time to settle and it is good to see first hand that this can be normal and it does eventually get back.

We will also be here for you whenever you need us. There is a specific Preparing for your Next Pregnancy board for you to look at whenever you feel ready too.

Sending much love,
Karen x

The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust
Registered Charity Number: 1071811
Ectopic pregnancy patient information suite: Highly Commended in the 2019 BMA Patient Information Awards
**************************************************************************
During the coronavirus outbreak, The EPT team is still working hard to provide crucial information and support to women and families experiencing ectopic pregnancy as quickly and efficiently as we can.
If we have been able to help you, are you able to help us with a small donation or by volunteering or fundraising?
Further information is available at ectopic.org.uk
Email us: ept@ectopic.org.uk
We provide a call-back helpline service: 020 7733 2653
Take a look at our newsletters and subscribe to our mailing list here: https://mailchi.mp/986bdd6091ee/ectopic-matters
Detailed medical information can be found on our website. Please remember online medical information is NO SUBSTITUTE for expert medical advice from your own health care team
***************************************************************************

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