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Hcg Level Test

Hcg Level Test

What is the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) blood test?

The human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) blood test measures the level of hCG hormone present in a sample of your blood.

hCG is produced during pregnancy. Your doctor may refer to the hCG blood test by another name, such as the:

  • beta-hCG blood test
  • quantitative blood pregnancy test
  • quantitative hCG blood test
  • quantitative serial beta-hCG test
  • repeat quantitative beta-hCG test

There are important differences between hCG blood tests and the hCG urine tests that you can purchase over the counter.

Urine tests can be influenced by factors such as dehydration and the time of day that you test, while an hCG blood test can provide conclusive results even in cases where hCG levels are quite low.

What is human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)?

During pregnancy, cells in the developing placenta make hCG. The placenta is the sac that nourishes the egg after it’s fertilized and attaches to the uterine wall.

hCG can first be detected in a blood sample about 11 days after conception. Levels of hCG continue to double every 48 to 72 hours. They reach their peak around 8 to 11 weeks after conception.

hCG levels then decline and level off, remaining steady for the rest of the pregnancy.

Blood Pregnancy Test

You are now several days post ovulation and you suspect that this might be the cycle that you conceived! The next question that you might ask yourself is: should I run to the doctor for a blood pregnancy test or should I take a home pregnancy test?

Like most questions related to fertility and pregnancy, there is no straightforward answer to this question. Both a blood pregnancy test and a home pregnancy test will identify the presence of the pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and will determine if you are pregnant or not. So, to determine which test is right for you, you might want to consider convenience, expense, accuracy, and your fertility history.

There are actually two different types of blood pregnancy tests, also called pregnancy serum tests. One type, called a quantitative blood pregnancy test (or a beta hCG test), measures the exact amount of hCG in the blood, while a qualitative blood pregnancy test simply provides confirmation of the presence of hCG, and a “yes” or “no” answer for pregnancy. If the blood pregnancy test reveals that hCG is under 5 mIU/ml, then the test will be considered negative. If the level of hCG is determined to be between 5 and 25 mIU/ml, this is said to be an equivocal result, and another test should be performed in a few days to confirm pregnancy.

Urine Tests

Urine tests can be performed in two different ways and these can be performed at home or in a clinic. One way involves collecting your urine in a cup and dipping a stick into the urine or putting urine into a special container with an eyedropper. Another option involves placing a stick into your urine stream and catching your urine in midstream.

Tests vary in how long you have to wait to get a result. You will be looking for a change in color, a line, or a symbol (like a plus or minus). The newer digital pregnancy test offered by Clearblue Easy makes reading your results simple: the window will either show the words “not pregnant” or “pregnant”.

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