bhCG is a very important hormone in early pregnancy. It is made by the developing placenta, and it stimulates the corpus luteum (the "shell" of the released egg) to produce progesterone, which "supports" the pregnancy until the placenta is big enough to start producing enough progesterone of its own. Hence, levels of bhCG start to decline after 12 weeks. But...they are still present for the entire duration of the pregnancy.
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