hCG

What is hCG?

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone produced by the placenta of a pregnant woman. In early pregnancy, hCG levels increase and can be detected in the blood and urine. The test can confirm or rule out pregnancy and can also give an indication of how the pregnancy is progressing.

Why test hCG?

Suspected Pregnancy
To confirm pregnancy at an early stage.

IVF Treatment
Many clinics will require you to test hCG after a miscarriage and before starting IVF treatment.

Suspected Miscarriage
This test is sometimes done in case of suspected miscarriage, along with progesterone.

What does a negative hCG test mean?
A negative hCG result means that it is unlikely that a woman is pregnant; but it cannot completely rule out pregnancy if the test is done too early.

What does a positive hCG test mean?
A positive hCG means that a woman is likely pregnant.

hCG levels usually double about every 2 days in the first 4 weeks of a normal pregnancy. This slows to every 3 and a half days by six weeks.  A pregnancy that is failing will also result in longer doubling times or even falling concentrations. After a miscarriage, hCG concentrations drop rapidly and should reach undetectable levels. If this does not happen, it may mean that a dilation and curettage (D&C) is required.

Instructions
No advance preparation is needed for this test.

On the day of the test
Remember to take your ID with you when going to take a test.  Do not work out before going to do this test, as this may affect your results.


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