There’s been a lot of discussion about Betabase.info. For those unfamiliar, it’s an online database that has collected close to 90,000 real pregnancies’ beta test results. Beta tests measure the level of hCG in a woman’s bloodstream. This is the first test given to confirm pregnancy. In a common pregnancy, hCG is released after implantation and generally doubles in concentration every 2 days. So measuring tests results can shed light on what’s happening inside, and is a first step in assessing the viability of the pregnancy.
So why is this site impressive? Betabase.info allows women to compare their test results with roughly 90,000 other pregnancies. This is a massive, unprecedented wealth of data.
That said, while Betabase shows the broad range of normal, its numbers are also fallible: self-reporting can result in inaccuracies. Historically, this data has been collected by clinics, which keeps the numbers accurate and reliable…but the sample size quite small.
So which is better: traditional clinic data collection or self-reported online data collection? We don’t know, but our guess is neither is inherently better, just different. The information each individual patient is personally seeking will ultimately determine which data set is more valuable and enlightening, and until we know more about the differences or similarities between these data pools, it can’t hurt to look into both.