The hCG, Total, Qualitative test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.
Description: The hCG test is a blood test that measures the amount of hCG in the blood. It is used to confirm pregnancy or to help identify an ectopic pregnancy. It can also be used to confirm that there is not a pregnancy before a medical treatment.
Also Known As: Beta hCG Test, Chorionic Gonadotropin Test, hCG Total Qualitative Test, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (Hcg), Qualitative Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Total, Qualitative, Pregnancy Test. hCG Blood Test
Collection Method: Blood draw
Specimen Type: Serum
Test Preparation: No preparation required
When is an hCG Total Qualitative test ordered?
The timing of pregnancy testing is determined by a woman's accuracy in predicting the day of her menstrual period, as well as the technique of testing employed. Blood tests are more sensitive than urine tests and can be performed two days before a woman's period is expected to begin. By 10 days after a missed menstrual cycle, a urine or blood hCG test can be done with confidence. A woman may be able to ascertain whether she is pregnant the day she misses her period with a urine test, but the result may be mistakenly negative. If the first test is negative but pregnancy is suspected, the test may be repeated at a later date.
When a doctor wants to diagnose or rule out an ectopic pregnancy or monitor a woman after a loss, he or she may perform quantitative blood hCG testing over several days. A woman may first have the standard signs and symptoms of pregnancy, but subsequently develop others that signal the pregnancy is not proceeding as planned.
The following are some of the indications and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy:
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
- Lower abdominal pain or cramps on one side of the pelvis
If left untreated, the following signs and symptoms may worsen:
- Weakness, dizziness
- Fainting or feeling faint
- Blood pressure that is too low
- Suffering from shoulder pain
- In the pelvic area, there is a sudden, severe ache.
- Flu-like symptoms and a fever
If left untreated, the region around an ectopic pregnancy might burst and hemorrhage, resulting in cardiac arrest and death.
Prior to a medical operation or therapy that could be detrimental during pregnancy, an hCG test may be recommended.
What does an hCG Total Qualitative blood test check for?
Human chorionic gonadotropin is a hormone produced by a pregnant woman's placenta. The level of hCG in the blood rises early in pregnancy and is excreted in the urine. A pregnancy test detects human chorionic gonadotropin in the blood or urine and confirms or disproves pregnancy.
During the first few weeks of pregnancy, hCG is crucial for sustaining the corpus luteum's function. During the first trimester of a typical pregnancy, hCG production rises steadily, culminating around the 10th week after the last menstrual cycle. During the duration of the pregnancy, levels gradually decrease. Within a few weeks of birth, hCG is no longer detectable.
The level of hCG in the blood increases at a slower rate when a pregnancy develops outside of the uterus. When an ectopic pregnancy is suspected, monitoring the level of hCG in the blood over time may be helpful in confirming the diagnosis.
Similarly, when a developing baby has a chromosomal problem such as Down syndrome, the hCG blood level may be abnormal. As part of the usual screening for fetal anomalies, an hCG test is utilized in conjunction with a few additional assays.
Lab tests often ordered with an hCG Total Qualitative test:
- First Trimester Screening
- Second Trimester Screening
Conditions where an hCG Total Qualitative test is recommended:
How does my health care provider use an hCG Total Qualitative test?
The presence of hCG is detected by qualitative hCG testing, which is commonly used to screen for pregnancy. A test strip is dipped into a collected cup of urine or exposed to a woman's urine stream, depending on the method. Within the time provided by the instructions, generally approximately 5 minutes, a colored line appears. It is critical to properly follow the test recommendations in order to obtain reliable test results. If the test comes out negative, it's usually repeated a few days later. Because hCG levels grow quickly, a previously negative test can become positive in a short period of time.
Quantitative hCG testing, also known as beta hCG testing, determines the amount of hCG in the blood. It's possible that it'll be utilized to confirm a pregnancy. It can also be used in conjunction with a progesterone test to help diagnosis an ectopic pregnancy, diagnose and monitor a failing pregnancy, and/or monitor a woman following a miscarriage.
hCG blood levels, along with a few other tests, can also be used to screen for fetal abnormalities. See First Trimester Down Syndrome Screen or Second Trimester Maternal Serum Screening for further information on this application.
If a woman is about to undergo medical treatment, be put on certain drugs, or have other testing, such as x-rays, that could harm the developing baby, an hCG test may be done to check for pregnancy. This is normally done to make sure the woman isn't expecting. Before any medical intervention, such as an operation, that could potentially harm a fetus, most institutions now screen all female patients for pregnancy using a urine or blood hCG test.
What do my hCG test results mean?
A negative hCG result indicates that a woman is unlikely to be pregnant. However, tests conducted too early in a pregnancy, before a sufficient hCG level has been reached, may result in false-negative results. If there is a strong likelihood of pregnancy, the test may be repeated a few days later.
A positive hCG test indicates that a lady is pregnant.
The level of hcG in a woman's blood rises at a slower rate than normal in an ectopic pregnancy. For the first four weeks of a typical pregnancy, hCG levels double about every two days, then slow to every 3 1/2 and half days by six weeks. Those who had failed pregnancies often have a lengthier doubling time early on, and their hCG concentrations may even fall during the doubling stage. Following a miscarriage, hCG levels will drop rapidly. If hCG levels do not drop to undetectable levels, it could mean that there is still hCG-producing tissue that needs to be removed.
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.