6 Mar 2023 | 5 min Read
Author | 675 Articles
Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a hormone primarily produced by the placenta during pregnancy. It helps thicken your uterine lining to support the growing embryo and indicates your body to pause menstruation. The HCG blood pregnancy test can help detect whether you have conceived up to a week before your missed period.
Read on as we fill you in on more details about the HCG blood test, when to take it, and its accuracy.
The HCG blood pregnancy test helps confirm whether you have conceived by detecting the presence of HCG hormones in your blood. You can undergo this test only at a clinic. There are two types of HCG blood pregnancy tests that you might have to take.
An HCG blood test might detect your pregnancy as early as 6-8 days after embryo implantation. This means that it can confirm your pregnancy at least 7-10 days before your expected period date.
According to experts, HCG blood pregnancy test results are 99% accurate. However, in rare cases, they may also give false-positive or false-negative results. Moreover, HCG blood tests are considered more reliable than urine tests as blood tests can even confirm very low levels of the hormone, and hence detect pregnancy much earlier.
However, there are certain factors that could affect your HCG blood pregnancy test results. These include:
The HCG blood pregnancy test is recommended for the following reasons:
The test is similar to any other typical blood test. It requires a small amount of blood drawn from the vein in your arm. You do not need any special preparations for this test. It is also a non-fasting test, which means you can have regular meals before giving your blood.
However, if you are taking any medications, nutritional supplements, or homeopathic medicines, you should inform your doctor before the test, as these factors could affect your results.
The qualitative HCG blood pregnancy test results are pretty easy to understand.
In the case of a quantitative HCG blood pregnancy test, the result is given as a number. This number indicates the concentration of HCG hormones in your blood.
Keep in mind that the levels of this hormone rapidly rise during the first trimester, and then decline and become steady for the rest of your pregnancy. Due to this, you may notice a variation in the levels of the HCG hormone, depending on your gestational age. Don’t worry, as your doctor will explain what the specific levels mean in your pregnancy.
It is possible for you to receive false results from an HCG test, just like urine or home pregnancy tests.
The HCG blood pregnancy test is recommended as it helps confirm whether you have conceived or not a week before your missed period. The qualitative HCG test helps confirm your pregnancy by detecting the hormone levels in your blood, and the quantitative test helps assess your gestational age and risks of pregnancy complications.
Since the HCG test results can get affected due to certain medications and injections, make sure to inform your doctor before taking the test to increase the accuracy of the results and prevent the risk of false-positive or false-negative outcomes.
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