What A Blood Pregnancy Test Measures
A blood pregnancy test measures the levels of human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, in a womans bloodstream. When you are pregnant, your body starts to secrete this hormone in increasingly high numbers. They are detectable in a blood test within the first week after conception takes place. Eventually, the hormone will also be detectable in the urine, which the home urine tests detect.
Is A Pregnancy Blood Test Better Than A Urine Pregnancy Test
A pregnancy blood tests for hCG is more sensitive and therefore, more accurate than a urine pregnancy test. So even if your at-home pee test read positive, your practitioner might opt to run an hCG blood test to confirm the happy news.
Blood tests can also pick up hCG earlier than urine tests as soon as six to eight days after ovulation. That may be helpful for women undergoing fertility treatments, since it can indicate whether the treatment helped you conceive.
And if your provider opts to give you a quantitative hCG test, which measures the exact amount of hCG in your blood, it can give you additional information that a simple urine test cant.
Can You See The Results Of A Urine Pregnancy Test
You can test your urine using one of the following methods: You will not be able to view the results until you have waited a few minutes.After you have taken this test, you may confirm the results by going to your doctor, who can do tests that are even more sensitive to determine whether or not you are pregnant.What kind of accuracy can you expect from pregnancy tests?The accuracy of urine-based home pregnancy tests is about 99 percent.Blood testing provide an even higher level of precision.
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Fast Facts On Pregnancy Tests
- Pregnancy tests work by detecting human chorionic gonadotropin .
- Some conditions and some medications can produce false or inaccurate readings in pregnancy tests.
- Each brand of pregnancy test works slightly differently, so it is important to read the instructions before use.
- Used properly, pregnancy tests can be 99 percent accurate.
A pregnancy test works by measuring the amount of HCG hormone. HCG levels increase during pregnancy.
HCG is known as the pregnancy hormone, because it is produced by the cells that form the placenta and provide nourishment to the growing embryo.
It is released when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the lining of the uterus.
HCG can be present in the blood and urine around 10 to 14 days after conception. It peaks between 8 and 11 weeks of gestation.
- A negative HCG result is a level less than 5 mIU/ml .
- A positive HCG for pregnancy is greater than or equal to 25 mIU/ml.
Pregnancy tests involve testing urine or blood. A urine test can be self-administered at home, but a medical professional must perform a blood test.
What Do The Results Means
Your results will show whether you are pregnant. If you are pregnant, it’s important to see your health care provider as soon as possible. You may be referred to or may already be receiving care from an obstetrician/gynecologist or a midwife. These are providers who specialize in women’s health, prenatal care, and pregnancy. Regular health care visits during pregnancy can help ensure you and your baby stay healthy.
Learn more about laboratory tests, reference ranges, and understanding results.
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Accuracy Of Pregnancy Tests
Pregnancy tests are pretty accurate. Home pregnancy tests, which are the least accurate, are typically accurate 97% of the time. The accuracy of blood tests is even higher and these tests rarely produce false positives. Home pregnancy tests accuracy can be affected by:
- Different products
- Abnormal substances present in urine
- Point during the pregnancy tested
How Does A Blood Test For Pregnancy Work
Another means to measure human chorionic gonadotropin a hormone for the maternal recognition of pregnancy blood tests can quickly and efficiently indicate whether or not a person is pregnant, Dr. Otis Stitt, an OB-GYN and Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecological Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, tells Romper.
The pregnancy test is a test that evaluates the presence of a hormone that’s released when an egg is fertilized, explains Stitt. That would be that aforementioned hCG hormone. Thats the hormone that circulates in the body and is one of the most specific identifiers of the presence of pregnancy.
Determining whether this hormone is present can be done by testing urine or blood.
For pregnancy blood tests, the process involves coming in to see a doctor, having blood drawn, they send it to the lab overnight and get a result as early as the next day, says Stitt. That said, if a patient went to the E.R. due to abnormal vaginal bleeding, a blood test for pregnancy could be administered on the spot with results returned within as little as a few hours time depending on the situation.
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How To Choose The Right Pregnancy Test For You
Heres what to consider when choosing a pregnancy test:
- Type and collection method. Some pregnancy tests are sticks, while others are strips. Some are meant to have you pee directly on them, while others require you to pee in a cup first. Which type you choose largely boils down to preference.
- Speed. Do you just want to know right now, or are you down to wait a few minutes? Some tests, like the Clearblue Rapid Detection Pregnancy Test, can give you results in as fast as one minute, while others require you to wait for up to five minutes.
- Cost. Tests can range from as little as 30 cents per test to more than $5 per test.
- Number per package. If youre trying to conceive and want to test regularly, it might make sense to prioritize tests that come in larger quantities. If you just want to test once or twice, you might want to opt for tests that come just a couple to a package.
- Sensitivity. Some tests may pick up on a positive result earlier than others.
How Accurate Are Blood Pregnancy Tests
The blood test for hCG is the most accurate to detect a pregnancy, says Dr. Trolice.
Blood tests have a 99% accuracy rate, so they are almost always accurate. The main reason for this is that the quantitative test can detect even the smallest traces of the pregnancy hormone hCG. However, hormone levels can vary from one woman to another.
“The range of normal beta hCG levels is very wide,” says Dr. Serena Chen, a fertility expert at the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, New Jersey, “so it’s important to have the help of your doctor to interpret test results.”
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Can You Take A Blood Pregnancy Test At Home
Nope, sadly not! Thats one of the downsides of a blood pregnancy test vs. a urine pregnancy test. Youll need to go to a medical setting, such as your doctors office or the hospital.
A healthcare technician will insert a needle into one of your veins and take a small blood sample. This will then be sent for testing in a lab.
How Accurate Are Urine Tests
Urine tests or home pregnancy tests are around 97% accurate when done correctly. Home pregnancy tests are great to use because they can be done at home, they are usually low in cost , private, they give a fast result, and are easy to use.
However, if done incorrectly or taken too early, the result can be inaccurate. If you get a negative result and still have symptoms of pregnancy , wait a week and take another test or contact your doctor so you can have a blood test done.
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What Is The Most Accurate Pregnancy Test
In the largest study of over-the-counter pregnancy tests to date, First Response proved to be 97 percent accurate from the day of your missed period for both its digital and manual line tests.
However, the study was conducted in 2011 and only compared six over-the-counter tests from three major brands. Many brands may have changed their technology since. Newer direct-to-consumer brands that have burst onto the scene, as well as other brands not included in the study, may prove to be just as accurate.
How Does A Blood Pregnancy Test Work
A blood pregnancy test works by checking for a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin in your blood. HCG is released by the placenta the organ that nourishes your baby while in your uterus as it starts to grow.
In early pregnancy, your hCG levels skyrocket, doubling approximately every two days. Then, at the end of your first trimester, they dip a little and become stable for the rest of your pregnancy.
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What Is Phantom Hcg
Phantom hCG is a false positive pregnancy blood test.
In these cases, the blood test for hCG cross-reacts with non-pregnancy related proteins in the blood called heterophile antibodies.
“When this occurs, it can actually have serious consequences unless your physician is aware of this false positive risk,” says Dr. Mark Trolice. “What are the risks? Ectopic pregnancy, where an embryo implants outside the uterus. This is a potentially life-threatening event but is often conservatively treated using an injection of the chemotherapy agent, methotrexate.”
But if the blood test for hCG is a false positive, and there is, in fact, no ectopic pregnancy, the woman may be needlessly exposed to repeated injections of methotrexate with risks of serious side effects from this medicine.
Another condition that can lead to a false positive, says Dr. Trolice, is gestation trophoblastic disease, or cancer of pregnancy tissue. In this scenario, persistent low levels of phantom hCG can be misinterpreted for this disease resulting in aggressive but unnecessary medical intervention. How to avoid over-treating a false positive hCG test? The urine pregnancy test, because heterophile antibodies are not present in urine.
What Is The Hcg Urine Test
Also known as the pregnancy hormone, HCG is produced by a womans placenta after a fertilized egg implants into her uterus. The urine test can typically detect pregnancy 10 days after your first missed period. During the first eight to ten weeks of pregnancy, the levels of HCG rapidly increase in your body.
The urine test can be performed or in your doctors office. If you believe youre pregnant, but not getting a positive result on your at home test, you may want to consider heading into our office for a physician-administered test that provides immediate results. The urine test does not reveal specific amounts of the hormone in your system, rather that the hormone is present in your body.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Pregnancy Tests
If I get a positive result on a home pregnancy test, does that mean I am pregnant?
A positive result from a home pregnancy test shows the presence of the hormone hCG in your system. When an egg is implanted in a womans uterine lining, hCG hormones begin to develop and multiply. This is a sign that you have become pregnant.
If I get a negative result on a home pregnancy test, does that mean I am not pregnant?
A negative result can mean that you are not pregnant, you took the test too early, or you took the test wrong. Pregnancy tests vary in their sensitivity , and you may not have given your body enough time to produce enough hCG hormones that will show up on the test.
Also, if you let a test sit for too long , the test is invalid. It is best to follow the instructions and wait until you have missed a period before taking the test. Most pregnancy tests come with two in a box, and it is a good idea to take both.
What Should I Do After Getting A Positive Pregnancy Test
If you take a pregnancy test at home and its positive, there are a few things you should do, including:
- Take your prenatal vitamins pick a vitamin with folic acid included in the ingredient list. Its recommended that you actually start taking these vitamins before becoming pregnant. This is because the folic acid can help prevent birth defects.
- Make sure to pursue healthy habits. Its recommended that you dont drink alcohol or smoke during pregnancy. You may also want to limit the amount of caffeine you consume each day during pregnancy.
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What Is A Urine Pregnancytest
A urine pregnancy testis a test that uses a urine sample to determine whether or not a womanis pregnant. The test detects the presence of the pregnancy hormonehuman chorionic gonadotrophin in the urine. The HCG hormone is secretedby the placenta in the event of an egg being fertilised if a womanhas HCG in her urine, this indicates that she is probably pregnant.
How Soon Can A Blood Test Detect Pregnancy
Blood tests Urine tests can detect hCG later in a pregnancy than blood tests do, but blood tests can detect it earlier.Six to eight days after the last time you ovulated, you can take a blood test to determine if you are pregnant.In order to determine whether or not a woman is pregnant, doctors utilize one of two types of blood tests: The quantitative blood test, often known as the beta hCG test, determines the precise level of hCG that is present in your blood.
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Are Blood Tests More Accurate Than Urine Tests
The difference between the urine test and the blood test is that one is more accurate, explains Stitt. And the blood test is the more accurate of the two.
With the blood test, you’ll find that you can determine whether pregnancy exists within four to six days after ovulation occurs and the egg is fertilized, says Stitt. The reason for this is that the blood has to be circulating through the body before it goes to the kidneys and then into the urine. So the hormone is present in the blood before the kidneys break the blood down and it gets into the urine.
Basically, by testing the blood youre going straight to the source to measure the hormone rather than testing urine which has to wind its way from the blood to the kidneys.
Qualitative Vs Quantitative Testing
There are two types of blood pregnancy tests, both of which offer highly accurate results.
A qualitative blood serum test confirms whether or not hCG is present in the blood, basically offering a yes or a no result. The qualitative hCG blood test is about as accurate as a home urine test.
A quantitative blood serum testis also known as the beta hCG test. It measures the exact amount of hCG in your blood. Because this test can detect even trace amounts of hCG, it is highly accurate. Doctors use this test, along with ultrasound, to diagnose an early pregnancy loss.
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Reasons To Take A Blood Pregnancy Test
Blood pregnancy tests are more sensitive than urine tests. They are typically used for those facing infertility or a suspected miscarriage.
A blood test can confirm pregnancy as early as 9 days after conception. Urine pregnancy tests take at least 10 days or longer.
Blood pregnancy tests have to be taken at the doctor’s office. Your doctor might advise you to wait until a missed period to do any type of pregnancy testing so you can get the most accurate result. Testing too early can produce a false negative.
Unlike home pregnancy tests, blood tests don’t give immediate results. You’ll have to wait for a blood pregnancy test result to come back from the lab.
Which Pregnancy Test Provides The Earliest Results
First Response and Modern Fertility can both detect pregnancy up to 6 days before your missed period. However, its important to note that the accuracy isnt as high. Its still ideal to test after your missed period for the best results. Most at-home pregnancy tests can be up to 99 percent accurate on the day of a missed period.
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Urine Testing At Home
A home test involves placing the urine on a chemical strip. The result is ready in around 1 to 2 minutes, although different brands of test may vary in the result times.
The individual collects urine in a container and either dips the pregnancy test stick into it or uses an eyedropper to place the sample on the test strip.
Alternatively, a pregnancy stick can be held in the urine stream.
Each brand of testing has its own way of giving results, so it is important to read the package insert to find out how to understand the results.
Depending on the test, the result may appear as:
- a change of color
- a change in a marked line, or the appearance of a symbol, such as a plus or minus
- an answer in a test window, for example, the words pregnant or not pregnant
What Is The Differencebetween Blood And Urine Pregnancy Tests
All pregnancy teststest for the presence of the pregnancy hormone, HCG this hormone is secreted from the developing placentain the event of an egg being fertilised. HCG plays an important rolein preparing the body for pregnancy and also stops periods. If you arepregnant, the hormone will be detected in both your urine and bloodstream.
There are two maintypes of pregnancy test those that test the urine and those that testthe blood. All home pregnancy tests test urine, while health professionalsuse blood tests. Most women carry out a home urine test before theygo to their doctor for a blood test.
Home urine tests aremost effective around one week after a missed period some people maybe able to get an accurate result before this time but research hasshown that results are more accurate later on as the concentration ofHCG in the urine is higher.
Blood tests can determineresults earlier than urine tests doctors can use either qualitativeor quantitative tests. Qualitative tests give a simple yes or no answer,while quantitative tests can determinethe levels of HCG in the blood and can consequently tell you how faralong you are in your pregnancy. Blood tests can usually give an accurateresult around one week after ovulation. Blood tests are usually carriedout in the GP surgery the sample is then sent off to a laboratory andthe results are returned to your doctor.
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