hCG Test

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Also known as: Pregnancy test; qualitative hCG; quantitative hCG; beta hCG
Formal name: Human chorionic gonadotropin

At a Glance

Why Get Tested?

To confirm and monitor pregnancy or to diagnose trophoblastic disease or germ cell tumours

When to Get Tested?

As early as 10 days after a missed menstrual period (some methods can detect hCG even earlier, at one week after conception) or if a doctor thinks that your symptoms suggest ectopic pregnancy, a failing pregnancy, trophoblastic disease or germ cell tumours

Human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) is also tested as part of the prenatal screening program for Down’s syndrome.

Sample Required?

A urine sample collected first thing in the morning or a blood sample taken from a vein in the arm

Test Preparation Needed?

None needed; however, do not drink large amounts of fluid before collecting a urine sample for a pregnancy test because overly dilute urine may result in a false negative test result.