hCG with Gestational Table

The following is a list of what is included in the item above. Click the test(s) below to view what biomarkers are measured along with an explanation of what the biomarker is measuring.

Also known as: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin with Gestational Table

HCG, Total, Qn

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The hCG with Gestational Table test contains 1 test with 1 biomarker.

Brief Description: The hCG with Gestational Table test measures the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the blood and compares these levels with a table that lists expected hCG ranges during various stages of pregnancy. hCG is a hormone produced by the placenta shortly after a fertilized egg attaches to the uterine lining and is used as an early indicator of pregnancy.

Collection Method: Blood Draw

Specimen Type: Serum

Test Preparation: No preparation required

When and Why a hCG with Gestational Table Test May Be Ordered

A hCG with Gestational Table test is typically ordered:

  1. To Confirm Pregnancy: hCG is one of the earliest markers of pregnancy. A physician may order this test if a woman reports symptoms of pregnancy or has had a positive home pregnancy test.
  2. To Determine the Age of the Fetus: By comparing hCG levels with the gestational table, healthcare providers can estimate the gestational age of the fetus.
  3. To Monitor Pregnancy Health: In early pregnancy, hCG levels generally double approximately every 48-72 hours. Monitoring these levels can give indications about the health of the pregnancy.
  4. To Evaluate Possible Miscarriage or Ectopic Pregnancy: Abnormally rising or falling hCG levels can suggest complications like a miscarriage or an ectopic pregnancy.

What a hCG with Gestational Table Test Checks For

The hCG with Gestational Table test checks for the presence and levels of the hCG hormone in the blood. The results are then compared with a gestational table, which lists typical hCG ranges for different stages of pregnancy, giving a comparative view of how the pregnancy is progressing relative to general expectations.

Other Lab Tests Ordered Alongside a hCG with Gestational Table Test

When an hCG test is ordered, it's often part of a broader evaluation of pregnancy or related health issues. Here are some tests commonly ordered alongside it:

  1. Progesterone Test:

    • Purpose: Progesterone is a hormone crucial for maintaining pregnancy.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assess the health of the pregnancy, as low progesterone levels can be a sign of a non-viable pregnancy or an impending miscarriage.
  2. Complete Blood Count (CBC):

    • Purpose: Provides a broad picture of overall blood health.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To assess the general health of the pregnant individual, check for anemia, and identify any signs of infection.
  3. Blood Type and Rh Factor:

    • Purpose: To determine the blood type and Rh status.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To identify potential Rh incompatibility between the pregnant individual and the fetus, which can lead to complications in the pregnancy.
  4. Urinalysis:

    • Purpose: To check for signs of infection, kidney disease, or diabetes.
    • Why Is It Ordered: Urinalysis is a standard part of prenatal care to monitor for conditions like urinary tract infections or gestational diabetes.
  5. AFP (Alpha-fetoprotein) Screening:

    • Purpose: A marker for certain fetal abnormalities.
    • Why Is It Ordered: As part of prenatal screening for birth defects such as neural tube defects and chromosomal abnormalities.
  6. STD Screening:

    • Purpose: To test for sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and others.
    • Why Is It Ordered: To ensure the health of the pregnant individual and the fetus, as STDs can have significant health implications during pregnancy.

These tests, when ordered alongside an hCG test, provide a comprehensive view of the health and progress of the pregnancy and can assist in identifying any concerns or complications early on. The specific combination of tests will depend on the individual’s health history, pregnancy progression, and any symptoms or concerns they may have.

Conditions or Diseases Requiring a hCG with Gestational Table Test

The hCG with Gestational Table test can be instrumental in:

  1. Confirmation of Pregnancy: As a more accurate method than most home tests.
  2. Suspected Ectopic Pregnancy: Where the fetus implants outside the uterus.
  3. Evaluation of Potential Miscarriage: Especially in cases of vaginal bleeding or abdominal pain.
  4. Monitoring After a Miscarriage: To ensure hCG levels return to non-pregnant levels.

How Health Care Providers Use the Results of a hCG with Gestational Table Test

The results of the hCG with Gestational Table test provide valuable insights:

  1. Confirmation of Pregnancy: A positive result confirms pregnancy.
  2. Assessment of Pregnancy Progress: By comparing hCG levels with the gestational table, doctors can determine if the pregnancy is progressing typically. Deviations can indicate potential problems.
  3. Diagnosis of Pregnancy Complications: Abnormal hCG levels might indicate ectopic pregnancies, potential miscarriages, or, in some cases, multiple pregnancies (like twins or triplets).

It's essential for healthcare providers to consider the full clinical picture, including other test results and symptoms, when interpreting hCG levels.

Most Common Questions About the hCG with Gestational Table test:

Purpose and Clinical Indications

Why is the hCG with Gestational Table test ordered?

The hCG with Gestational Table test is primarily ordered to confirm pregnancy and assess its progression. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone produced by the placenta shortly after a fertilized egg attaches to the uterus. The test measures the concentration of hCG in the blood, and the gestational table helps interpret these levels in relation to the expected values for the corresponding week of pregnancy.

How can the hCG with Gestational Table test be used to monitor the health of the pregnancy?

The levels of hCG can be indicative of the health and viability of a pregnancy. A rising hCG level generally suggests a progressing and healthy pregnancy. In contrast, decreasing or plateauing levels might be indicative of potential issues such as a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. The gestational table provides reference values for each week of pregnancy, helping healthcare providers evaluate whether hCG levels are within the expected range for the gestation period.

Interpretation of Results

What do abnormally low or high hCG levels in the hCG with Gestational Table test mean?

In the hCG with Gestational Table test, abnormally low hCG levels could indicate a potential miscarriage, miscalculation in pregnancy dating, or an ectopic pregnancy (where the embryo implants outside the uterus). Abnormally high levels could suggest multiple pregnancies (e.g., twins or triplets), molar pregnancy (a rare condition where abnormal tissue grows in the uterus), or a miscalculation in the pregnancy dating.

How frequently should the hCG with Gestational Table test be performed during pregnancy?

The frequency of the hCG with Gestational Table test largely depends on the clinical context. In early pregnancy, it might be performed more frequently, often every 48-72 hours, to monitor the viability of the pregnancy, especially if there are concerns about miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. However, once the pregnancy is confirmed and progressing normally, routine monitoring of hCG levels is usually not necessary.

Clinical Implications

How does the hCG with Gestational Table test assist in the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy?

Ectopic pregnancies, where the embryo implants outside the uterus, do not produce hCG levels that rise as quickly as those in a normal intrauterine pregnancy. If hCG levels do not double approximately every 48-72 hours in early pregnancy or if they're lower than the expected range given by the gestational table for the estimated duration of the pregnancy, it raises suspicions of an ectopic pregnancy, prompting further investigations such as ultrasound.

Are there other health conditions that can influence the hCG with Gestational Table test results?

Yes, certain conditions can influence hCG levels apart from pregnancy. For instance, some types of tumors, including ovarian germ cell tumors and trophoblastic tumors, can produce hCG. Furthermore, certain medical treatments or medications containing hCG can also raise blood levels. It's essential to consider the broader clinical context and history when interpreting hCG levels.

Relationships with Other Health Conditions

Can the hCG with Gestational Table test differentiate between a normal and a molar pregnancy?

A molar pregnancy, or hydatidiform mole, is a rare condition where abnormal tissue grows in the uterus instead of a normal embryo. The hCG levels in a molar pregnancy can be significantly higher than those in a normal pregnancy. If the hCG with Gestational Table test reveals exceedingly high levels, especially when combined with other clinical signs and ultrasound findings, it might suggest the presence of a molar pregnancy. Further evaluations would then be necessary.

We advise having your results reviewed by a licensed medical healthcare professional for proper interpretation of your results.

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