HCG Blood Test: 4 Things to Be Aware Before Take This Test
- 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
Human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone that the body produces when you are pregnant . Human chorionic gonadotropin is also known as hCG. Along with pregnancy confirmation, an hCG blood test also helps doctors determine the health of the fetus and the mother.
Measuring your hCG also helps identify problems like hypertension during pregnancy, as higher levels indicate pregnancy-induced hypertension. Doctors recommend that you take this test a week or ten days after conception or a missed period. This can help get an accurate result.
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 most important things to keep in mind about the hCG lab test.
The hCG blood test: Why is it conducted?
As mentioned above, the main purpose of an hCG lab test is to determine pregnancy. You can take the hCG blood test multiple times to confirm pregnancy. This test can either be done with a blood sample or a urine sample. When done in the initial week of pregnancy, an hCG blood test can also help determine the fetus’s age.
Although it is mainly used for testing pregnancy, the hCG blood test can also be used for the following purposes
- Assess whether the pregnancy is ectopic or abnormal
- Monitor pregnancy if there is a higher chance of a miscarriage
- Diagnose pregnancy tumors (gestational trophoblastic disease)
- Check if there are signs of Down syndrome
Doctors can perform this test also as a routine procedure before medical treatments like chemotherapy or surgeries that could potentially harm the fetus.Additional Read: Early Symptoms of Pregnancy
What is the procedure for hCG blood tests?
Doctors or nurses generally perform hCG blood tests by following a few simple steps .
- A band is tightened around your arm above the elbow area to stop the blood from flowing downwards
- The place where blood will be drawn is then cleaned with a swab
- Thereafter, you’ll feel a prick as the needle draws your blood
- The elastic band is then removed, and the place where the needle was inserted will be covered with cotton
- You will be asked to hold the swab at this point with gentle pressure to slow any bleeding from the area
- While removing the needle, gauze or cotton is placed where the puncture was made
After the hCG level has been measured in your blood sample, share the results with your doctor to understand how to move forward.
Normally, hCG results of 5 and lower signify that the person is not pregnant, while hCG of 25 and beyond indicates a positive result. Your doctor can further inform you of the various normal levels as per the timeline of your pregnancy from your last menstrual cycle.
Where can you get tested?
You can perform pregnancy test at home using a home pregnancy test kit but be aware of the important differences they have when compared to a lab test. Keep in mind the following before you use an at-home pregnancy test:
- Carefully read and follow the instructions written on the test kit
- Wait for the recommended number of days after a missed period
- Take a sample from the first urine test because it generally has the highest level of hCG
You should also remember that the accuracy of an at-home pregnancy test largely depends on the brand you use and whether or not it is in good condition. Apart from that, it is necessary to wait the recommended days because if you take the test too early during the pregnancy, you may get a false negative. The reason for this is that hCG takes time to develop in your body. If you are unsure of the results, you can get a lab test done. They are much more accurate as compared to at-home tests.Additional Read: Common Types of Blood Test!
What is the accuracy of the hCG blood test?
Pregnancy tests are comparatively more accurate than other tests. But there are certain times in which you may get an inaccurate result. These instances include the following:
- If you are taking hormone supplements or experiencing menopause, there is a high chance that you can get a false positive result.
- Improper testing can give a false negative result.
- Taking the test too early can give you a false negative because your body has not produced enough hCG
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 a consultation regarding 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!
Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.
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