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Hcg Pregnancy Test Results

Hcg Pregnancy Test Results

Why is the HCG blood test performed?

The HCG blood test is performed to:

  • confirm pregnancy
  • determine the approximate age of the fetus
  • diagnose an abnormal pregnancy, such as an ectopic pregnancy
  • diagnose a potential miscarriage
  • screen for Down syndrome

The HCG blood test is sometimes used to screen for pregnancy before you undergo certain medical treatments that could potentially harm a developing baby. Examples of these treatments include X-rays.

If an HCG test concludes that someone is pregnant, healthcare professionals can ensure that they’re protected and that the fetus isn’t harmed by those medical treatments.

Confirming pregnancy

After you conceive (when the sperm fertilises the egg), the developing placenta begins to produce and release HCG.

It takes about 2 weeks for your HCG levels to be high enough to be detected in your urine using a home pregnancy test.

A positive home test result is almost certainly correct, but a negative result is less reliable.

If you do a pregnancy test on the first day of your missed period, and it’s negative, wait about a week. If you still think you might be pregnant, do the test again or see your doctor.

Increase Of HCG In Early Pregnancy

HCG usually doubles every 48-72 hours very early in pregnancy and every 3-4 days later on until about 9-10 weeks of the pregnancy when it levels off. There is no single "normal" HCG level during early pregnancy and there are wide ranges of normal levels which you can check with our HCG calculator.

Where does HCG come from?

HCG comes from the placenta and enters the blood soon after implantation and is detected via pregnancy tests. HCG starts to be produced by the placenta as soon as implantation occurs. This happens about one week after fertilization and ovulation when the embryo implants and the placenta attaches to the uterine lining.

How the test works?

When a woman becomes pregnant, her body produces a hormone called HCG (human Chorionic Gonadotropin). This hormone appears in the urine. The secretion of this hormone increases throughout the first trimester. This is a highly sensitive rapid test for the detection of HCG in urine. Pregnancy can be diagnosed as early as the first day of a woman’s missed period. The sensitivity of this test is 20mlU/ml of HCG in urine.

Are there reasons besides pregnancy for HCG testing?

Beta HCG is considered a tumor marker, which means it’s a substance that’s excreted by some kinds of tumors. That’s why, in some cases, the HCG blood test may also be used to evaluate and manage certain types of cancer.

Cancers that can cause higher-than-normal HCG levels include:

  • cancer of the uterus, or choriocarcinoma
  • lung cancer
  • breast cancer
  • ovarian cancer

Noncancerous conditions, such as cirrhosis, ulcers, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), can also result in HCG levels being elevated.

Your doctor may order this test as part of a series of lab tests to identify the cause of certain symptoms.