The hCG, Total, Qualitative test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.
Brief Description: The hCG Total Qualitative test, also known as a pregnancy test, is a laboratory test used to determine the presence or absence of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone in a person's body. This test is primarily used for the detection of pregnancy.
This test is qualitative and only reports results as either Positive or Negative. If you need a numerical (quantitative) result, order hCG, Total, Quantitative #8396.
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?
A hCG Total Qualitative test may be ordered in the following situations:
Confirmation of Pregnancy: The test is commonly used to confirm the presence of pregnancy. It is often performed if a person experiences pregnancy symptoms such as missed periods, breast tenderness, nausea, or fatigue.
Early Pregnancy Detection: The hCG hormone can be detected in the blood and urine shortly after implantation occurs, making it an effective tool for early pregnancy detection, even before a missed period.
Monitoring Pregnancy Progress: The hCG Total Qualitative test may be ordered periodically to monitor the progress of a pregnancy. Serial measurements of hCG levels can help determine if the hormone is rising appropriately, indicating a healthy pregnancy.
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:
When this test is ordered, it's often part of an initial pregnancy assessment or to evaluate potential pregnancy-related concerns. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside a qualitative hCG test:
Quantitative hCG Blood Test:
- Purpose: To measure the exact amount of hCG in the blood.
- Why Is It Ordered: To monitor the progression of early pregnancy, diagnose a potential ectopic pregnancy, or evaluate a suspected miscarriage.
Complete Blood Count (CBC):
- Purpose: Provides a broad picture of overall blood health.
- Why Is It Ordered: To check for anemia and other blood abnormalities that can occur during pregnancy or with pregnancy-related complications.
Blood Type and Rh Factor:
- Purpose: To determine the mother's blood type and Rh factor.
- Why Is It Ordered: To identify potential Rh incompatibility between the mother and fetus, which can lead to complications in the pregnancy.
- Purpose: To test for the presence of substances like protein, glucose, and signs of infection in the urine.
- Why Is It Ordered: To screen for conditions such as urinary tract infections, preeclampsia, or gestational diabetes.
STD Screening (such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis):
- Purpose: To screen for sexually transmitted infections.
- Why Is It Ordered: To protect the health of both the mother and the developing fetus, as STIs can have serious consequences during pregnancy.
Thyroid Function Test:
- Purpose: To assess thyroid function.
- Why Is It Ordered: Pregnancy can affect thyroid hormone levels, and thyroid dysfunction can have implications for fetal development and maternal health.
These tests, when ordered alongside a hCG Total Qualitative test, provide a comprehensive view of the health status of a pregnant individual and can assist in ensuring a healthy pregnancy. They help in identifying any immediate health concerns and in planning appropriate prenatal care. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual’s health history, symptoms, and the course of the pregnancy.
Conditions where an hCG Total Qualitative test is recommended:
A hCG Total Qualitative test is primarily used to confirm pregnancy. It is not typically ordered for other conditions or diseases unless there is a suspected ectopic pregnancy or other complications related to hCG levels. In some cases, a healthcare provider may also order a hCG Total Qualitative test to rule out pregnancy as a potential cause for certain symptoms.
How does my health care provider use an hCG Total Qualitative test?
Healthcare providers use the results of a hCG Total Qualitative test in the following ways:
Confirmation of Pregnancy: A positive result indicates the presence of hCG hormone, confirming pregnancy.
Early Pregnancy Detection: The test can detect pregnancy before the onset of noticeable symptoms, allowing for early medical intervention and appropriate prenatal care.
Monitoring Pregnancy Progress: Serial hCG measurements can help healthcare providers assess the progression of pregnancy. Rising hCG levels over time are generally indicative of a healthy pregnancy, while a lack of expected increase or a decline may suggest a potential problem, such as a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
It's important to note that a hCG Total Qualitative test provides a simple "positive" or "negative" result and does not provide information about the specific level of hCG hormone or gestational age. Further testing and clinical evaluation are necessary to assess the overall health and progress of pregnancy.
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.
Most Common Questions About the hCG Total Qualitative test:
Understanding the hCG Total Qualitative Test
What is the hCG Total Qualitative test?
The hCG Total Qualitative test is a blood test used to confirm pregnancy. It detects the presence of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone produced by the placenta shortly after implantation of a fertilized egg.
Why is the hCG Total Qualitative test done?
This test is primarily done to confirm pregnancy. It can also be used to assist in diagnosing ectopic pregnancies or monitor a pregnancy after a miscarriage to ensure that hCG levels return to non-pregnant levels.
What does a positive result on the hCG Total Qualitative test mean?
A positive result generally means that the individual is pregnant as the hormone hCG is typically not present in the body unless a person is pregnant.
What does a negative result on the hCG Total Qualitative test mean?
A negative result indicates that hCG was not detected in the blood and the person is not pregnant.
Interpreting hCG Total Qualitative Test Results
How accurate is the hCG Total Qualitative test in confirming pregnancy?
The hCG Total Qualitative test is highly accurate for confirming pregnancy when taken at the right time. It can detect pregnancy as early as 7-9 days post fertilization.
Can the hCG Total Qualitative test be used to indicate the age of the fetus?
No, the hCG Total Qualitative test only detects the presence or absence of hCG. To estimate the age of the fetus, an hCG quantitative test would be required.
Can the hCG Total Qualitative test be used to diagnose a current ectopic pregnancy?
The test can help in the diagnosis of an ectopic pregnancy when hCG levels rise more slowly than expected, but additional testing is typically needed for a definitive diagnosis.
hCG Total Qualitative Test and Specific Conditions
Is the hCG Total Qualitative test recommended for women trying to conceive?
Yes, this test can confirm a pregnancy early on. This is important for women trying to conceive, as early prenatal care is vital for a healthy pregnancy.
Can the hCG Total Qualitative test be used to monitor a pregnancy after a miscarriage?
Yes, the test can be used to ensure hCG levels have returned to non-pregnant levels following a miscarriage, indicating that the miscarriage was complete.
Can the hCG Total Qualitative test be used in men?
Yes, in men, elevated hCG levels can indicate testicular cancer. However, this is not a standard test for men, and other tests are typically used first.
General Questions About the Test
If my hCG Total Qualitative test is positive, what are the next steps?
A positive result usually indicates pregnancy. The next step would be to schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider for prenatal care.
If my hCG Total Qualitative test is negative, but my period is still late, what should I do?
If your test is negative but your period is late, you may want to repeat the test in a few days. If it remains negative and your period still doesn't arrive, you should consult with a healthcare provider to explore other potential reasons for your late period.
Can medications affect the result of the hCG Total Qualitative test?
Certain medications, particularly those containing hCG or used for fertility treatment, could potentially affect the results of the test.
Understanding hCG and Pregnancy
If I've had a recent miscarriage, will the hCG Total Qualitative test be positive?
It can be, as hCG levels may remain elevated for several weeks following a miscarriage. It's important to monitor these levels to ensure they return to non-pregnant levels.
Can a person have a false-positive or false-negative hCG Total Qualitative test?
Yes, false positives or negatives can occur, although they are rare. A false positive can happen if certain medications are taken, while a false negative usually occurs when the test is taken too early in pregnancy.
How long after conception will the hCG Total Qualitative test show a positive result?
The hCG Total Qualitative test can detect pregnancy as early as 7-9 days after fertilization.
What is the difference between the hCG Total Qualitative test and a home pregnancy test?
Both tests detect the presence of hCG in the body to determine pregnancy. The primary difference is the method of testing: the hCG Total Qualitative test uses a blood sample, while home pregnancy tests use urine.
Can the hCG Total Qualitative test indicate multiples pregnancies (twins, triplets, etc.)?
The hCG Total Qualitative test simply indicates the presence or absence of hCG and cannot determine multiples. An ultrasound is the definitive method to confirm a multiples pregnancy.
Can the hCG Total Qualitative test be used to indicate the viability of the pregnancy?
This test alone cannot indicate viability. While a positive result confirms pregnancy, further tests and examinations are needed to determine the health of the pregnancy.
Can the hCG Total Qualitative test provide information about possible pregnancy complications?
While abnormal hCG levels can indicate potential problems such as ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage, the hCG Total Qualitative test is not designed to detect these conditions on its own. Other clinical information and tests are needed.
Why might a woman have low hCG levels? Low hCG levels can be due to a miscalculation of pregnancy dating, a possible miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.
Why might a woman have high hCG levels?
High hCG levels can occur due to multiples (twins, triplets, etc.), a molar pregnancy, or a miscalculation of the pregnancy date.
Can the hCG Total Qualitative test be used to monitor the progress of a pregnancy?
No, for monitoring the progress of a pregnancy, an hCG quantitative test, which provides a specific level of hCG, would be more appropriate.
Can I have a normal hCG Total Qualitative test result and still have an abnormal pregnancy?
Yes, while a positive hCG test confirms pregnancy, it doesn't provide information on the health of the pregnancy. Other tests and regular prenatal care are necessary to assess the health of the pregnancy.
How is an hCG Total Qualitative test different from an hCG Total Quantitative test?
The hCG Total Qualitative test simply detects the presence or absence of hCG, while the hCG Total Quantitative test measures the specific level of hCG in the blood.
We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.