Pregnant women mostly find out about their pregnancy by taking a blood test for pregnancy. In some cases, doctors also suggest a patient take a urine test as well. However, there are many reasons why blood tests are regarded as important and often preferred.
When a doctor or physician asks pregnant women to take a blood test, they are generally referring them to have a quantitative blood analysis. Through this blood test, your doctor can determine the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the patient’s blood.
What is human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG)?
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is a hormone secreted in pregnancy. Depending on the test, the pregnancy hormone HCG can be found starting after conception. It usually takes a week or two from the time of inception. The findings of a urine-based home pregnancy testor a blood pregnancy test from your doctor will depend on the level of this hormone in your urine or blood, respectively. When done correctly, both test methods produce results with an accuracy of approximately 99%. There are other names too for the hCG test, such as;
- Quantitative blood pregnancy test
- Quantitative hCG blood test
- Quantitative serial beta-hCG test
- Repeat the quantitative beta-hCG test
- Beta-hCG blood test
Furthermore, when pregnancy occurs, the cells present in the developing placenta make hCG. The developing placenta responsible for making hCG is the sac that nourishes the egg after it is fertilized and attaches to the uterine wall. As soon as the inception occurs, the presence of hCG can be detected about 11 days after the process. Meanwhile, hCG levels continue to double every 48 to 72 hours.
The Need for hCG Blood Test for Pregnancy
The need for a human chorionic gonadotropin blood test for pregnancy becomes necessary in the following conditions;
- If you wish to confirm pregnancy.
- If someone wishes to determine the age of the fetus.
- If a woman is diagnosed with an abnormal pregnancy. This type of pregnancy is also known as ectopic pregnancy.
- Your doctor may recommend you take an hCG blood test if there is a risk of miscarriage.
- In some cases, it is also done to screen for Down syndrome.
- Before undergoing some medical treatments, taking an hCG test is also recommended by some physicians and doctors.
- Some medical treatments, including X-rays, can be harmful to the baby. This is where the doctor or medical professional will determine the condition of the fetus so that the treatments don’t harm the fetus.
The Results of the hCG Blood Test
As soon as the blood sample is collected and the test has been performed, results will be shared with you so that you can consult with your doctor. As soon as your doctor has the report, they will inform you about your hCG levels.
For your better understanding, here is a detailed explanation of the weeks from the last menstrual period and the normal hCG levels per milliliter of blood.
- For 4 weeks, the normal hCG levels are 0 – 750
- For 5 weeks, the normal hCG levels are 200 – 7000
- For 6 weeks, the normal hCG levels are 200 – 32000
- For 7 weeks, the normal hCG levels are 3000 – 160000
- For 8-12 weeks, the normal hCG levels are 32000 – 210000
- For 13-16 weeks, the normal hCG levels are 9000 – 210000
- For 16-29 weeks, the normal hCG levels are 1400 – 53000
- For 29-41 weeks, the normal hCG levels are 940 – 60000
The Lower & Higher Levels of hCG in a Pregnant Woman
If you have taken blood test for pregnancy and the results are lower than the normal amount, the following understandings can be developed;
- The first chance is that there could be a miscalculation of pregnancy dating.
- Another is that there is a high possibility of a miscarriage or blighted ovum.
- There could also be an ectopic pregnancy.
- It also leads to an understanding of the possible death of the fetus.
On the other hand, if the blood test for pregnancy results come out higher than the normal figures, the following are some of the understandings that you can develop;
- The higher amount can also hint towards the miscalculation of pregnancy dating.
- Another understanding is that it could be a molar pregnancy. In this type of pregnancy, an abnormal mass forms inside the uterus after the process of fertilization instead of a normal embryo.
- It also helps in developing an understanding of multiple pregnancies. For instance, you can form an idea about twins or triplets if there are chances of twins or triplets.
- A higher amount of hCG levels can also be found when non-cancerous tumors are present in the uterus.
Blood Test is More Accurate than Other Tests – Here’s Why?
Some doctors or physicians recommend taking urine tests to detect the hCG levels in a woman’s body. However, blood tests take over the urine test as the results are more accurate, reliable, and precise.
The perception developed for the blood test is that all the blood tests are conducted at a doctor’s clinic. However, this is only partially true as the at home blood test sample collection is becoming a new normal in today’s world.
After the sample collection and as soon as the results are shared, the results can be consulted with the doctor, and they can undermine the condition of the pregnancy. They can also understand the complicating factors. For this, they can also evaluate the sensitivity of your blood for further understanding and clearance.
In addition, their physicians and doctors also order blood tests for mothers if the pregnancy is at a higher risk. In these fertility treatments, the results of blood tests are more accurate and reliable. Through this, diagnosing the possibility of miscarriage and the potential ectopic or other complications in pregnancy becomes possible.
A Word on the Accuracy of hCG Blood Test for Pregnancy
Each lab test has a precision of accuracy. There is no lab test in the world that is 100% accurate, and generally, lab tests are 99% accurate. Discussing the hCG blood test accuracy for pregnancy is somewhat above the other scales.
The hCG test has the potential to provide both false-positive and false-negative findings for pregnancy. If there is any uncertainty, your doctor will perform additional testing or assist you in understanding your results. Some drugs, particularly those medications or drugs that have hCG included during the making, will further complicate the accuracy of the results. This also consists of some fertility medications that people consume unknowingly. Moreover, smoking marijuana and other lethal substances during pregnancy can also elevate the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin levels in a human’s blood.
Furthermore, the existence of germ cell tumors can also affect test findings. Cancerous or benign germ cell tumors are often seen in the reproductive organs, and these cancers develop in the same cells that produce your sperm or eggs. If a woman isn’t pregnant but still develops a high hCG level, her doctor may need to order further tests to rule out cancer as a possible cause.
The Final Words
For women, taking a blood test for pregnancy is more sufficient to confirm pregnancy and understand the different pregnancy stages. It gives the right information that is needed to have a smooth pregnancy going on without any interruption. The pregnancy tests are safe, simple, and practical to determine the level of pregnancy.
Furthermore, panicking is always the solution if your results come out every day. Instead, consult your doctor immediately, as they will recommend further testing to understand the right way.