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What is the Beta hCG Test?

In the Beta hCG test, beta stands for the beta protein of the hormone hCG and hCG – Human Chorionic Gonadotropin.

Usually, after 6 to 11 days of attachment of the fertilized egg to the uterine wall, a hormone known as hCG – Human Chorionic Gonadotropin is secreted. The hCG hormone gets produced by the placenta.  

It takes two weeks for the hCG hormone to detect in the urine. Every 2 to 3 days after attachment of the fertilized egg, the hCG hormone keeps increasing in levels.

Other names of this test:

  1. Quantitative blood pregnancy test
  2. Quantitative hCG test
  3. Quantitative serial beta-hCG test
  4. Repeat quantitative beta-hCG test
  5. hCG blood t

What is the Beta hCG Test used for?

The Beta hCG test is primarily used for confirming pregnancy. It helps determine the approximate age of the fetus. It can diagnose a potential miscarriage and screen for Down’s syndrome. 

Secondary beta hcg test uses are evaluating cancers like lung, breast, ovarian, or uterus and non-cancerous conditions like ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease, and cirrhosis.

How to read hCG beta test results and What is the Normal range in It?

hCG levels are the lowest around 6 to 11 days after conception and highest by the end of the first trimester – the first three months of pregnancy. 

beta hcg test normal range – 

       WEEKS               IU/L

             3                 – 6 to 70 

             9                 – 64000 to 150,000 

            12                – 28000 to 210000 

            16                – 9000 to 56000 

       29 to 41            – 940 to 60000

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Why do I need the Beta hCG Test?

You require a Beta hCG test to know if you are pregnant. Some doctors advise the Beta hCG test to screen the fetus and understand the age of the fetus.

If you are undergoing any fertility treatment, your fertility doctor will order a test just before your period to know if the treatment is successful.

What happens during the Beta hCG Test?

You find hCG levels in your blood or urine. A healthcare professional will take a blood or urine sample. To find out the reading of the hCG hormone. 

The professional will tie an elastic band around your biceps to make the vein visible to draw out your blood. It is a usual blood testing method.

What is a good Beta hCG level in Pregnancy?

The usual level of Beta hCG hormone found in a non-pregnant woman is < 5 IU/L, in a postmenopausal woman is < 9.5 IU/L, and in a healthy man is < 2 IU/L. 

A good Beta hCG level is > 5 IU/L and < 70 IU/L for the first three weeks of the pregnancy.

Can Beta hCG be done on an empty stomach?

Yes, you can test it on an empty stomach. Overnight fasting or having no breakfast is unnecessary for testing hCG levels. 

Make sure- you do not consume non-vegetarian foods, dry fruits, potatoes, or sweet potatoes 24 hours before the Beta hCG test. These foods contain biotin, which causes false low hCG levels in blood tests.

How do I prepare for a Beta hCG test?

There is no specific preparation for the Beta hCG test. You do not even need to fast to take this test. There are two ways to give this test. One is by urine, and the second is by blood. Both of these do not require fasting. Just bear in mind, avoid biotin-rich food items.

Does Beta hCG confirm pregnancy?

Yes, the Beta hCG pregnancy test confirms pregnancy. hCG is a hormone secreted by the cells of the placenta. 

When the fertilized egg gets attached to the uterine wall, it forms the placenta. 

Your doctor will help you understand why your hCG levels are high. It can bolster in finding out an ectopic pregnancy- pregnancy outside the uterus.

Can you have hCG and not be pregnant?

If the hCG levels are high in your blood, there could be other reasons like stomach problems and in some cases cancer. Your doctor needs to perform a few tests to know why your hCG levels are high. hCG levels are just numbers; you don’t need to panic or stress about pregnancy. These numbers do not provide a diagnosis.

Can stress affect hCG levels?

No, stress does not affect hCG levels. hCG hormone is formed, as a result, of the successful fertilization of the egg. It has no connection with the stress levels of the woman. High levels of stress can lead to hormonal changes in a woman- estrogen and progesterone, but it does not affect the secretion of hCG.    

What beta hCG level indicates pregnancy?

Beta hCG blood test results are considered positive for pregnancy when they are > 5 mlU/mL. Higher concentrations of hCG, typically at least 20 mIU/mL, are needed for at-home urine tests to identify pregnancy.

when to do beta hcg test?

It is advised to wait until the first day of the missed period before taking the test to ensure an accurate beta-hCG test positive report for pregnancy. Although beta-hCG test report samples can show a positive result as early as 10 days after conception, false negatives may occur if the test is taken too early.

Consult our medical experts at Yashoda Hospitals to know more about the Beta hCG test- uses, side effects, test results, and during test preparations.

References:

hCG levels | Pregnancy Birth and Baby (pregnancybirthbaby.org.au)

HCG blood test – quantitative: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Quantitative hCG Blood Pregnancy Test: Procedure and Results (healthline.com)

Beta-hCG: Levels and Pregnancy Test Results (verywellfamily.com)

HCG blood test – quantitative Information | Mount Sinai – New York

What Is a Positive Beta hCG Level? 2 Types of hCG Tests (medicinenet.com)

Pregnancy Tests: When to Take One, Accuracy, and Results (webmd.com)

Beta HCG Test – Normal Range, Procedure, Results & More | Portea™

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