What is a hCG blood test, how to prepare and why they take a test during pregnancy

3 35 - 9Chorion is the embryonic membrane from which the placenta is formed. Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG, hCG, hCG) is called the “pregnancy hormonal agent, because its active production by chorion starts a day after the intro of a fertilized egg.

The primary function of the hormonal agent is the advancement of the corpus luteum of the ovary – a short-lived gland that produces progesterone. Without progesterone, the intro of a fertilized egg into the lining of the uterus is difficult. With the start of fertilization, the corpus luteum, under the impact of chorionic hormonal agent (CG), stays active for up to 12 weeks, produces progesterone for the advancement of the endometrium and upkeep of pregnancy.

The fast pregnancy test is based upon figuring out the level of hCG. In this case, the product for research study is urine, the concentration of the hormonal agent in which is lower than in the blood. On a blood test, pregnancy can be detected a day or more after fertilization.

If during pregnancy there is a decline in the level of the hormonal agent or a downturn in its development, this might show a danger of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy.

Functions of chorionic gonadotropin

HCG is required just during pregnancy – without it, it is difficult to control the primary procedures of preserving and establishing the fetus. The hormonal agent is produced by the fertilized egg and, once it is connected to the wall of the uterus, promotes the advancement of the placenta.

The chorionic gonadotropin includes alpha and beta systems. The latter are particular just for hCG, it is they who are examined during lab tests. Beta systems appear in blood plasma 6–8 days after fertilization and vanish a week after shipment.

HCG functions:

  • In the very first weeks of pregnancy – conservation of the corpus luteum and stimulation of the synthesis of progesterone and estrogen.
  • Formation and stimulation of the adrenal glands and sex glands in the fetus.
  • Preparing the mom’s resistance for bearing the fetus.
  • Stimulating testosterone production in young boys.

An boost in the concentration of hCG can show not just pregnancy, however likewise irregular advancement of the fetus, diabetes mellitus in the mom, or cancer.

The hormonal agent is produced in females and males with particular kinds of cancer. Based on the outcomes of the analysis for hCG, malignant growths are detected. An boost in the sign in males might show teratoma and testicular seminoma, a low hormone level likewise shows a infraction of the typical performance of the body.

HCG test types

There are 2 kinds of tests for hCG – to identify the overall level of the hormonal agent and to recognize complimentary beta systems.

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General analysis

Early medical diagnosis of pregnancy. A blood test reveals the start of conception when the drug store test has not yet reacted. With the typical advancement of pregnancy in the very first weeks, the level of the hormonal agent doubles every other day.

By 10-11 weeks, the hCG content reaches a optimum and starts to slowly reduce. The basic analysis is duplicated in the 2nd trimester in the complex of research studies. Material for research study is sent numerous times so that failures in the advancement of the fetus can be identified in time.

Free B-HCG (HCG)

The analysis is efficient for the medical diagnosis of neoplasm, incl. oncological.

When research study is vital

The antenatal center physician will definitely advise a female to contribute blood for analysis. In the very first 2 trimesters of pregnancy, the research study exposes Down and Edwards syndromes in the fetus. If the test result is favorable, they discuss the possibility of an abnormality, and not about its responsibility. The female is recommended a 2nd research study.

This is specifically essential when there are threat aspects:

  • 2 38 - 11The age of the pregnant female (35 years and older).
  • The birth of kids with Down’s sign.
  • Congenital abnormalities in blood family members (genetic element).
  • Radiation direct exposure.

Indications for research study

A blood test for the level of chorionic gonadotropin is suggested primarily for females. Men are evaluated for presumed deadly neoplasms. Normally, the level of HDC in a male ought to not surpass 5 mU/ml.

Doctors recommend a recommendation for tests in the following cases:

  • Delayed menstruation.
  • Establishment of pregnancy in the early phases (5-6 days after fertilization).
  • Diagnosis of an ectopic, frozen, numerous or non-developing pregnancy and the danger of miscarriage.
  • Suspicion of faulty medical abortion.
  • Monitoring the advancement of pregnancy. All females bring a kid go through regular assessments from 12 to 18 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Early detection of irregular fetal advancement. The research study is more dependable with a synchronised blood test for estirol and alpha-fetoprotein.
  • Confirmation or exemption of cancers of the gastrointestinal and reproductive system in males and females.

The primary objective of the research study of the level of HCV is to leave out the pathological advancement of the fetus and pregnancy.

Preparing and carrying out research study

This research study belongs to the classification of complex, numerous aspects impact its precision. Based on the outcomes gotten, the physician will reason about additional actions. At all phases – from preparation for contributing blood to lab tests – the guidelines need to be strictly followed.

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Preparation duration:

  • Blood for analysis is taken in the early morning.
  • At least 8 hours ought to expire from the last meal to blood collection.
  • Smoking and alcohol consumption are strictly omitted.

The result can be affected by the mental state of a individual – tension and overstrain misshape the indications.

Blood tasting

For research study, blood plasma is needed, product for analysis is drawn from a vein. In a centrifuge, blood cells are separated from the plasma, and even more adjustments are performed utilizing unique reagents.

Evaluation of outcomes

The limitation of the hCG standard for males and non-pregnant females is 5 mU/ml, a variance in the instructions of increasing is constantly a indication of a illness.

For females anticipating the birth of a kid, the rate depends upon the period of pregnancy.

Beta-hCG rates in pregnant females (table)

Term (weeks); The rate of sign in mU/ml


In the typical course of pregnancy, the concentration of hCG slowly increases, specifically rapidly in the very first trimester. The material of the hormonal agent at this time doubles within 1-2 days. At 10-12 weeks, when the placenta is formed, beta-hCG is formed as actively as possible. After that, the level of the hormonal agent slowly reduces and stays virtually the same till shipment.

The standards for males and females beyond pregnancy might change rather, depending upon the specific qualities of the body. It is not rewarding to individually detect the condition on the basis of the analyzes got, just a expert can qualifiedly evaluate the condition.

The standard in males and females

On average, in healthy individuals, research study outcomes are as follows:

Patient classification; HCG level (mU/ml)

Mento 2,5
Womento 5

Reasons for increasing the concentration of hCG

In pregnant females, surpassing the basic indications indicates:

  • Multiple pregnancy. The more embryos in the uterus, the more the indications are increased.
  • Toxicosis (gestosis).
  • Gestational diabetes that happens during pregnancy. It is detected with extra research studies, for which blood sugar tests are recommended.
  • Abnormalities in fetal advancement (problems, hypoxia, hereditary illness, Down syndrome).
  • An mistake in figuring out the period of pregnancy. For a precise setting of the due date, numerous aspects need to be taken into consideration.
  • Admission of hormone drugs.

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Deviations from the standard, not connected with bearing a kid, might be due to:

  • Oncological issues. Usually, the growth is discovered in the testicles, ovaries, uterus, and gastrointestinal system.
  • Tumors formed in embryonic tissue (choriocarcinoma, chorioepithelioma, cystic drift).
  • Taking medications which contain hCG.
  • Inadequate medical abortion or current surgical treatment.

Reasons for a decline in the concentration of hCG

Abnormal hormonal agent levels during pregnancy might reduce if:

  • The pregnancy froze.
  • Pregnancy establishes outside the uterus.
  • Intrauterine advancement is postponed.
  • There is a danger of spontaneous abortion or early birth.
  • The development and function of the placenta (fetoplacental deficiency) is impaired.
  • An extended pregnancy happens.

If non-standard indications are gotten, the research study ought to be duplicated after a couple of days. Only a physician can properly examine the test results.

Analysis dependability

The research study of venous blood for hCG is thought about the most precise method to identify early pregnancy. However, the outcomes can be altered when the client or service technician breaches the guidelines. Even alcohol usage or smoking cigarettes can impact the analysis information, if you envision that this is possible during pregnancy.

Women taking medications or having giving birth issues ought to notify their physician.

An incorrect favorable test result, according to stats, is kept in mind in 2 percent of females who contribute blood to examine the level of the hormonal agent. The medical diagnosis might be inaccurate due to hormone imbalance or cancer. Sometimes an existing pregnancy is not verified.

This occurs with an ectopic pregnancy or late embryo implantation. This scenario clarifies the concern of why duplicated analyzes are required.

Modern labs have the capability to acquire dependable outcomes. Correct decoding of indications can be a concern not just of the birth of a healthy kid, however likewise of life or death. The details ought to be evaluated thoroughly, considering the outcomes of all research studies.

Svetlana Borszavich

General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.