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4 Things to Be Aware About Before You Take an HCG Blood Test

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
April 1st, 2022
9 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • Beta-hCG blood test is another name for pregnancy test
  • HCG level helps to identify problems like hypertension during pregnancy
  • HCG test price usually ranges between Rs.80 and Rs.2000

During pregnancy, your body produces human chorionic gonadotropin hormone or hCG which can be found in your blood and urine [1]. With the hCG blood test, doctors can confirm pregnancy and find out about the health conditions of mother and fetus. This lab test can be performed any time after 10 days of conception to help determine if you are pregnant or not. Measuring your hCG also helps identify problems like hypertension during pregnancy, as higher levels indicate pregnancy-induced hypertension. There are different names for the hCG blood test such as 

  • Quantitative blood pregnancy test  
  • Beta-hCG blood test 
  • Quantitative serial beta-hCG blood test

Read on to know the major things to keep in mind about the hCG lab test.

What is the purpose of the hCG blood test? 

The standard purpose of the hCG lab test is to evaluate whether you are pregnant or not. Both blood sample or urine can be used for hCG, and you can get tested more than once to confirm a pregnancy. In the early stages of pregnancy, tests that measure the hCG levels also help assess the age of a fetus. Although it is mainly used for testing pregnancy, hCG blood test also helps in the following. 

  • Ruling out or identifying an ectopic pregnancy in which the fertilized egg gets attached or implanted in an abnormal area of your body 
  • Checking for pregnancy prior to any medical treatment or surgery 
  • Looking for traits of Down syndrome in the child as part of a prenatal screening 
  • Monitoring pregnancies that may be at a risk of miscarriage 
  • Helping diagnose the GTD (gestational trophoblastic disease) which is a term used to identify all kinds of pregnancy-related tumors 

Doctors can perform this test also as a routine procedure before medical treatments like chemotherapy, surgeries, which could potentially harm your fetus.

Additional Read: Symptoms of Pregnancy

purpose of the hCG blood test?

What is the procedure of the test? 

Healthcare professionals generally perform hCG blood tests by following a few simple steps [2]. 

  • A band is tightened around your arm above the elbow area to stop the blood from flowing downwards and making the veins in your arm more visible, also making it easier to insert the needle 
  • Once the vein is located the skin around it is cleaned with an alcohol swab 
  • Thereafter a needle is inserted into the located vein with a tube attached at the other end to collect the blood 
  • After the blood is collected in the tube the elastic band is removed  
  • While removing the needle, gauze or cotton is placed where the puncture was made 

When the needle is inserted, you may feel a brief pinch or stinging, or you may not feel anything at all. After the hCG level has been measured in your blood sample, share the results with your doctor to understand how to move forward.

HCG blood test results

HCG Blood Test results

Where can you get tested? 

You can test for pregnancy at home using a home pregnancy test kit but be aware of the important differences they have when compared to lab test. Keep in mind the following before you use an at-home pregnancy test: 

  • Read and follow the instructions very carefully while using the pregnancy test kit. The accuracy of this test largely depends on the condition of the test kit you are using.
  • Make sure you have passed the recommended days after missing your period before you perform the test. If the test is done too soon it may give a negative result even if you are pregnant.
  • Do this test with your first morning urine sample as it is most concentrated and the hCG is detectable easily. 

If you are unsure with the results, you can get a lab test done, and they are much more accurate as compared to at home tests.

Additional Read: 7 Common Types of Blood Test

pregnancy at home

What is the accuracy of hCG blood test? 

Even though no tests are 100% accurate, pregnancy tests rank quite high in terms of accuracy. However, keep the following things in mind. 

  • You can get a positive result even if you are not pregnant in case you are taking a hormone supplement during or after menopause. 
  • You can get a negative result even if you are pregnant when the test is not done properly. Testing too early after your conception may also lead to a negative result as there are insufficient hCG levels.
  • If all tests show negative result, you can repeat the tests in a few days’ time to be 100% sure.

The beta hCG test cost can be anywhere between Rs.80 and Rs.2000, depending on the area where you are situated and where you choose to get tested from. For best rates and ease of access, you can book a lab test on Bajaj Finserv Health online. After getting the test result, you can book online appointments with reputed ob-gyns on the same platform and get consulted for your reproductive health. For any health-related concerns, find the best specialists available in your city on the platform as you start putting your health first!

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