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Urine Hcg

Urine Hcg

What is an hCG urine test?

A human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) urine test is a pregnancy test. A pregnant woman’s placenta produces hCG, also called the pregnancy hormone. If you’re pregnant, the test can usually detect this hormone in your urine about 10 days after your first missed period. This is when the fertilized egg attaches to the uterine wall.

During the first 8 to 10 weeks of pregnancy, hCG levels normally increase very rapidly. These levels reach their peak at about the 10th week of pregnancy, and then they gradually decline until delivery.

This type of urine test is commonly sold in kits that you can use at home. It’s often is referred to as a home pregnancy test.

Are there risks involved with this test?

The only risks associated with an hCG urine test involve getting a false-positive or false-negative result. A false-positive result indicates a pregnancy even though there isn’t one. Rarely, the test may detect abnormal, non-pregnancy tissue, which requires follow-up by a doctor. These results are rare because usually only pregnant women produce the hCG hormone.

There’s a higher risk of getting a false-negative result. If you get a false-negative result, in which case the test says you aren’t pregnant but you really are, you might not take the precautions necessary to give your unborn baby the best possible start. Such results may occur more commonly in early pregnancy or if the urine is too diluted to detect hCG.

How do I prepare for the hCG urine test?

There are no special preparations necessary to take an hCG urine test. You can ensure the most accurate results with simple planning.

If you’re taking a home pregnancy test, you should do the following:

  • Carefully read the instructions included in your test kit before collecting your urine sample.
  • Make sure the test’s expiration date hasn’t passed.
  • Look for the manufacturer’s toll-free number on the package, and call it if you have any questions about using the test.
  • Use your first morning urine one to two weeks after your first missed period.
  • Don’t drink large amounts of fluid before collecting your urine sample because this may dilute hCG levels and make them difficult to recognize.

When can I take a urine test?

Most doctors recommend that you wait until the first day of your missed period before taking a urine pregnancy test. This is usually about two weeks after conception. However, some tests are more sensitive than others and can be taken earlier.

How accurate are urine tests?

Urine tests or home pregnancy tests are around 97% accurate when done correctly. Home pregnancy tests are great to use because they can be done at home, they are usually low in cost (anywhere from $7.99 to $19.99), private, they give a fast result, and are easy to use.

Pregnancy hCG Levels

For a fertilized egg to stay viable, the embryo needs to travel down the Fallopian tube, into the uterus, and implant in the uterine wall. At this time, hCG levels surge and become detectable in the blood. In fact, blood tests can detect the presence and levels of hCG as early as 8 days after conception. However, it takes a few more days for this hormone to appear in the urine, where the presence, but not the amount, can be measured with a home pregnancy test. In the early weeks of pregnancy, hCG levels increase quickly, by about 50 percent per day, peaking by the 10th week of pregnancy. Since hCG levels increase predictably with pregnancy, and decrease with pregnancy loss, this hormone is commonly checked with hCG blood tests to monitor the health of the pregnancy.

Precautions

Most often, the reason to check for the presence of hCG in the urine is to test for pregnancy. If a home urine test is positive for pregnancy, its important to see a doctor to confirm the pregnancy and receive essential prenatal care. In the uncommon situations where hCG is present in the absence of pregnancy, it's important to see a doctor for more specific hCG blood tests and a medical workup. Also see a doctor if a home urine pregnancy test is negative, but signs and symptoms of pregnancy are present.

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