If you have been trying to conceive and are wondering whether you are pregnant, you may want to take a beta-hCG pregnancy test. This pregnancy test measures a hormone called hCG (human chronic gonadotropin). You can do testing for this hormone as little as ten days after conception, letting you know as early as possible whether you are pregnant or not.
What is the purpose of a pregnancy hCG test?
The purpose of a beta-hCG pregnancy test is to determine whether someone is pregnant or not as early as possible.
hCG tests can also be used to:
- identify or rule out an ectopic pregnancy – a pregnancy where the fertilised egg has attached itself to an abnormal area
- check for pregnancy before a significant medical treatment or surgery
What does an hCG pregnancy test measure?
As outlined above, an hCG pregnancy test measures the human chorionic gonadotropin hormone, created at higher levels during pregnancy. There are two different levels of hCG looked at:
- Quantitative level – which measures the amount of hCG present in the blood
- Qualitative level – which gives us a positive or negative result depending on whether hCG is present or absent in the blood sample
When should I take a pregnancy test?
Most people take a pregnancy test as soon as they realise they might be pregnant. hCG testing may be able to tell you whether you are pregnant or not as soon as ten days after your baby is conceived. However, most pregnancy tests increase in accuracy if they are taken at least seven days after you miss a period.
You may also want to take an hCG pregnancy test if you are suffering from signs of an ectopic pregnancy, such as:
- abnormal bleeding from the vagina
- lower back pain
- pain in the lower abdomen or pelvic area
- cramping on one side of the pelvis
You must talk to a doctor if you notice any of these symptoms.
How is the pregnancy blood test carried out?
The hCG pregnancy blood test is carried out in the comfort of your own home, where you take a finger-prick blood sample and return it to our accredited labs for testing. We will supply the results in as little as two working days.
If your results are positive, you should get in touch with your doctor to determine your next steps, including whether any other tests to confirm your pregnancy are required.
Waiting to find out whether you are pregnant or not can be nerve-wracking, especially when you are keen to find out the results. However, if you are taking a blood pregnancy test, you can feel more confident in the results as they are typically accurate.
NB. It is important to note that our tests are not a substitute for seeing a doctor, particularly if you have symptoms. You should not make a diagnosis or start any treatment without a consultation with a doctor or a suitably trained health professional.