pregnancy

Pregnancy Blood Test - Types, Advantages, Disadvantages, Risk, and Accuracy

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Pregnancy blood test helps in measuring hCG hormone in a woman's blood to confirm pregnancy. The two types of pregnancy blood tests are Quantitative and Qualitative Blood test. The advantages of blood tests is that it helps in detecting pregnancy. Blood test in pregnancy is reliable and accurate as well.

Let’s Discuss in More Details About Blood Tests to confirm Pregnancy:

Pregnancy tests could be either a urine pregnancy test or a blood test. A blood test is a reliable way to determine or confirm pregnancy. It is performed by the doctors in a hospital, a health clinic or a laboratory. It measures the value of the hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG) that is secreted by placenta cells at the beginning of pregnancy. The detection of the hormone in the blood is an indicator that a woman is pregnant. If a woman is pregnant then her hCG level starts to increase sharply almost doubling in a gap of 2 to 3 days which is picked up in a test result. The level of hCG hormone reaches its peak during 8-11 weeks and thereafter it starts to level off. A doctor may ask you to get an hCG test done as early as a week after a period is missed to detect the possible pregnancy. (1) (2)

What is Blood Test in Pregnancy?

This is a simple blood test to check the levels of Hormone HCG in the blood of a pregnant lady. HCG (Human Chronic Gonadotropin) hormone is produced by the placenta during pregnancy. HCG levels in pregnant women are much more in comparison to non-pregnant women. HCG hormone can only be detected after a week of conception. Results of your tests, whether urine or blood test, are based on the measurements of HCG hormone. Usually, the doctors call the patient to tell them about pregnancy just after seeing the increased levels of HCG hormone in the body of women. (3)

How Does Blood Test During Pregnancy Works

As we have discussed above, this is a simple blood test. Some blood is taken out of your veins with a syringe. This process of taking blood out is called as Venipuncture. This test is more informative in comparison to a urine test. Doctors take a blood sample during pregnancy, to check the levels of HCG hormone in the blood. (4)

The results, which doctors get after taking blood samples, are a way to measurement and comparison of the levels of HCG hormone as it gets doubled every two days in early pregnancy days. This comparison of levels helps the doctor to keep a check on the health of the baby. These tests can help the patient avoid miscarriage, which is a big issue in pregnancy. The chances of having multiple babies are also identified by these levels of hormones. Try to take the blood test during pregnancy every two weeks, to keep a check on your pregnancy health. (5)

Types of Blood Tests for Pregnancy Detection

Pregnancy detection blood tests come in two types:

  • Quantitative blood test: Is used to measure the accurate amount of hCG in the blood. A quantitative beta hCG test is capable of detecting even a very small amount of hCG in the blood. Due to the fact that this test can pick the concentration of the hormone in the blood, it is quite useful in finding out about various other problems that can occur during pregnancy. Along with some other tests, beta hCG blood test is used to find out an ectopic pregnancy. It is also helpful to observe a woman’s condition past a miscarriage. (6)

  • Qualitative Blood test: It lets you know whether you are pregnant or not through a mere yes or no. This test just checks the presence of the hCG hormone in the blood and is not capable of measuring its quantity. (7)

Interpretation of the Results

The doctor interprets the results of the blood test in pregnancy by checking the levels of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin hormone in the body of pregnant women.

  • If the hCG levels are below 5 mIU/ml then the test is considered negative and the woman who had given the blood sample is not pregnant.
  • If the hCG levels are above 25 mIU/ml then the woman is considered to be pregnant.
  • If hCG levels are between 6 to 24 mIU/ml then no interpretation can be made.

If someone is having higher hCG levels in the absence of pregnancy then the following can be the possible reasons for raised levels:

  • Presence of interfering antibodies (8)
  • It can be the indication of infection in uterus
  • Can be the symptoms of ovarian cancer
  • Pituitary hCG

If hormone levels are less in amount than the normal levels during pregnancy, then there are chances that this may be the case of:

  • Death of the fetus
  • A complete miscarriage
  • An abnormal pregnancy
  • Ectopic pregnancy

Risks With Blood Test in Pregnancy

There are some risks that can come along with the blood test during pregnancy. The most common risk associated from the blood test is swelling on the target area. (9)

Some other risks are:

  • An abnormal amount of bleeding
  • Losing consciousness for a short time
  • Infections can be caused to the skin

Note: If you have ever faced the above-mentioned issues relating to the blood drawn, then do consult your doctor as soon as possible.

The accuracy of Pregnancy blood test

A qualitative hCG blood test is an effective way to test pregnancy and is perfectly accurate in measuring hCG in the blood. Therefore, the test results are completely reliable. Moreover, this blood test also aids the doctors in a finding of the progress of the pregnancy. (10)

How soon can I take a blood test?

After you have conceived, the levels of hCG in the bloodstream increase that is picked up by the pregnancy blood test. Being highly sensitive as compared to urine tests, a blood test is able to detect a pregnancy as early as six to eight days after ovulation.

Advantages of a blood pregnancy test?

Following are certain advantages of a blood test for which you may want to prefer it once a pregnancy is expected.

  • It can detect a pregnancy faster than a urine test, which could mean that it can pick up accurate result right after 7 or 12 days of conception.

  • A blood test is useful in measuring the amount of hCG in the blood which can further help the doctor in managing the pregnancy by tracking problems in it.

Disadvantages of the blood test?

Just as advantages, there are some drawbacks associated with a pregnancy blood test, which you may have to take into consideration before going for it.

  • A blood test is an expensive option because of the cost of the laboratory and doctor’s fees involved in it. When compared to a urine test that can be easily obtained and used at home a blood test demands both money and time.

  • You will have to wait longer to get a result
  • Done only within a lab

Is the test result affected by drugs, medication, or alcohol?

Mostly, alcohol drugs or medicines don’t affect a pregnancy blood test result. It only aims at determining the hCG level in the blood. But there are chances that the amount of hCG hormone present infertility medicine may impact the result sometimes turning it into a false positive.

Be it a urine test or blood test, pregnancy tests are usually accurate. A blood test is more reliable as compared to a urine test due to the detailed procedure and involvement of a doctor. So it is up to you to pick the one that suits you the best.

If you are on fertility treatments, getting a false positive can be disturbing. Always follow the guidelines of taking a pregnancy test if you are on fertility drugs. To know more about the pregnancy test after fertility treatment, call at +918268260808.

 
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6 Comments

Jagjeet Kumar

A blood test is an accurate way to confirm pregnancy but we cannot do it on our own that's heartbreaking.

Oct. 11, 2018, 2:13 p.m. 5.0

Khushboo Prasad

Every time I have a blood test, the injected area gets swelled up. Is it normal?

Sept. 20, 2018, 7:57 p.m. 4.5

Jessica

I never knew that increase or decrease in HCG hormones can even affect the child during pregnancy. Thanks for the knowledge!

Sept. 13, 2018, 12:03 a.m. 5.0

Mitika Rama

Is there any chance if your blood test goes negative but you are pregnant in real? Is there any chance of failing a blood test to evaluate pregnancy?

Sept. 12, 2018, 1:46 p.m. 4.5

Nityanand Kumar

Home pregnancy kit is for self-assurance but you can only be 100% sure after having the blood test. I strongly believe this too.

Aug. 27, 2018, 4:37 p.m. 5.0

Sourish Raghunathan

Aug. 25, 2018, 3:45 p.m. 4.5

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