Pregnancy Blood Test (hCG, Total, Quantitative)

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Pregnancy Blood Test (hCG, Total, Quantitative)


Test Description

A pregnant blood test detects hCG in the blood and rules out or confirms pregnancy. hCG or human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone that the placenta of pregnant women produces. In early pregnancy, the hCG level rises in the blood and is eradicated in the urine. During the early period of pregnancy, hCG is imperative to maintain the function of the corpus luteum. Human chorionic gonadotropin production increases gradually during the first trimester (eight to ten weeks) of a normal pregnancy, peaking around the tenth week after the last menstrual cycle. Human chorionic gonadotropin levels then drop gradually during the rest of the pregnancy. After delivery, hCG is no longer noticeable within a few weeks. When pregnancy happens outside of the ectopic (uterus), the hCG level in the blood rises gradually. When there is suspicion of ectopic pregnancy, determining the hCG level in the blood over time may help make a diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy. Likewise, the hCG blood level may be irregular when the developing baby has a chromosome defect like Down syndrome. An hCG test is performed in routine and in combination with a few other tests as screening part for fetal abnormalities between pregnancy of 11 and 12 weeks. When to order pregnancy blood test? Your healthcare practitioner may refer the test with other names such as beta-hCG blood test, quantitative blood pregnancy test, or quantitative hCG blood test. The pregnancy blood test or hCG blood test is carried out to:

  • Confirm pregnancy
  • Detect the approximate age of the fetus
  • Diagnose an abnormal pregnancy like ectopic pregnancy
  • Screening for down syndrome
  • Diagnose a potential miscarriage
Sometimes, the pregnancy blood test is performed to screen for pregnancy before undergoing specific medical treatments that could harm a developing baby. Mostly, the test is done to confirm a pregnancy. The symptoms and signs of pregnancy vary from women to women. However, the most common sign is a missed period for early pregnancy. Other symptoms and signs are:
  • Swollen and tender breasts
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting and nausea - morning sickness
  • Bloated feeling in the abdomen
You don’t need any kind of special preparation for the test. During the test, a blood sample is drawn from a vein in your arm, through a small needle. Once inserting the needle, a small amount of blood is gathered into a vial or test tube. The whole process generally takes less than 5 minutes. If this test confirms that you are pregnant, then your healthcare practitioner can ensure that you’re protected and that the developing baby isn’t harmed by those treatments. Routine healthcare visits to your healthcare practitioner during pregnancy can help you ensure your and your baby well-being. Interpreting the pregnancy blood test results Your results will point to whether or not you are pregnant. If you’re pregnant, then you should contact your healthcare practitioner as soon as possible. If your pregnancy blood test indicates a very low amount of hCG, then it could mean that you are having an ectopic pregnancy. A developing baby or fetus can’t survive this pregnancy. If left untreated, it could be life-threatening for you. Testing Info Alternate Name: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG),Chorionic Gonadotropin Test Instructions : Please do not exercise prior to testing. It is best that your blood is taken in a rested state. Fasting: No Methodology: Immunoassay (IA) Results In: 1 Note: Turn around times on results are an estimate and are not guaranteed. The lab may need additional time due to holidays, confirmation/repeat testing, etc. You can contact us to discuss when your results should be ready and we will contact the lab on your behalf immediately.