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Detail Description

HCG lab test

Other names for HCG

The test for chorionic gonadotropin is also known as the Total Quantitative Test, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin Quantitative Total, and Test for Pregnancy.

What is human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG)?

 Human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) is a type of hormone the body produces in large amount during pregnancy.

What is the HCG lab test?

A quantitative human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) test determines the number of HCG hormones present in the blood. This test makes it easier to analyze whether you are pregnant or not and helps find out about abnormal pregnancies.

Symptoms of abnormal pregnancies

  • unexpected vaginal bleeding
  • discomfort in the abdomen
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • shoulders hurt
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness/dizziness
  • reduced blood pressure
  • flue/fever

Why do I need this test?

The doctor may want you to have this test to check if you are pregnant. You are also asked to have this test if you have vaginal bleeding or cramping. This could also mean you have an irregular pregnancy. The doctor would also want to know about your pregnancy progress and might order this test more than once after a few days.

What is the HCG process during pregnancy?

Approximately 10–11 days after conception, hCG can be seen in a blood sample. After every 48–72 hours, the levels begin to double. Around 8 to 11 weeks after conception, they reach their peak.
Following a decline and plateau, hormone levels remain constant for the duration of the pregnancy.

Why is this test performed?

HCG develops in the blood and urine of pregnant women almost 11 days after conception. This test helps to determine the approximate age of the fetus (unborn baby). It helps to learn about irregular pregnancies such as molar pregnancies, ectopic pregnancies, and miscarriages and is also used for screening for Down syndrome.

How is this test performed?

This test can be carried out in one of two ways:


A sample of blood is required for this test. Blood is collected with a small needle and placed in a test container. Your healthcare provider will instruct you to press a bandage that is wrapped around your vein. The test only lasts five minutes. Book an online test at UmbrellaMD now.
Urine tests can also be done at home. It will inform you if it finds the hormone in your urine or not. It's not meant to give out the hormone's exact concentrations.
A positive indicator of pregnancy is the presence of hCG in your urine

How do I prepare for the test?

For this test, there is no need for preparation. To be safe, make sure that all of the medications, vitamins, and supplements you use are known to your healthcare provide, or anything that you think the healthcare should know about you tell them about it. 

What will happen during the test?

You might feel a pinch of pain when the needle is injected into the vein. Some people feel a prickling or stinging sensation. The level of pain varies from person to person. There may be some wavering afterward.

Is there any risk associated with it?

Having a blood test comes with some risks.
  • a tiny bruise where the needle was inserted
  • a lot of blood
  • infection (at the needle site)
  • Fainting/lightheadedness
  • Hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin)

Is there any other reason besides pregnancy for this test

Beta-HCG is a hormone that causes tumors and is thus classified as a tumor promoter. Due to this reason, the HCG blood test is often used to identify and treat certain cancer forms.

Are there any further tests needed besides this one?

Your doctor may additionally request an ultrasound if you are pregnant to check for specific issues. Estradiol and progesterone, two more hormones, could also be examined in your blood. Estradiol, an estrogen subtype, can be measured to determine how well the pregnancy is functioning. Progesterone levels rise throughout pregnancy, and they can help your doctor determine whether you are at risk for pregnancy loss or miscarriage.

What are normal HCG results?

Normal levels are for non-pregnant women. During pregnancy, in the first stage, HCG levels rise quickly before beginning to slowly decline over time. The expected HCG range in pregnant women is based on the extent of pregnancy.
  • 5 to 72 mIU/mL after 3 weeks.
  • 10-708 mIU/mL over a 4-week period.
  • During 5 weeks, the concentration ranged from 217-8,245 mIU/mL.
  • After six weeks, the level ranged from 152 to 32,177 mIU/mL.
  • 4,059-153,767 mIU/mL over a 7-week period
  • 31,366 to 149,094 mIU/mL over 8 weeks
  • 59,109 to 135,901 mIU/mL over 9 weeks
  • 44,186–170,409 mIU/mL over 10 weeks
  • 27,107–201,165 mIU/mL after 12 weeks.
  • 14 weeks: 14,302-93,646 mIU/mL
  • 12,540-669,747 mIU/mL at 15 weeks
  • 8,904-555,332 mIU/mL at 16 weeks

The range of normal values varies slightly among different laboratories.

What are abnormal HCG results?

Results higher than the normal range state
  • A twin or triple pregnancy
  • A molar pregnancy
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Testicular cancer (in men)
Results below the normal range could mean
  • An ectopic pregnancy
  • A miscarriage
  • Fetal death

If you do not have a prescription, go to Umbrella Health Care Systems to place an order for this lab test. Umbrella Health Care Systems is a healthcare site that offers online services such as e-consultation, medical imaging, primary care, lab testing, and pharmacies. Your test results can all be analyzed and explained while you’re at home. To find out more about this healthcare platform, register here.
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