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hCG blood test

hCG blood test or pregnancy blood test measures the accurate amount of pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in the bloodstream. Pregnancy hormone hCG is produced by the placenta. It can be assessed in the blood and urine of a woman within 10 days of fertilization. hCG can be measured by:

Quantitative pregnancy blood test: This test measures the accurate amount of hCG in the blood of a woman and plays a vital role in assessing the age of the fetus. This test also helps in checking if the pregnancy is developing normally.

Qualitative pregnancy blood test: This test can only tell if there is hCG present in the blood and can give no further information. This test result is like the home based pregnancy test kit just giving a 'yes' or 'no'.

In men and non pregnant women, the typical levels of hCG is less than 5 international units per liter (IU/L). In pregnant women, it is about 5 - 100 during 24 to 28 days after last menstrual period (LMP). During 4 to 5 weeks after the LMP, the hCG is about 50-500 IU/L and peaks to about 12,000 - 270,000 IU/L during 14 - 16 weeks of pregnancy. High levels of hCG can signify multiple pregnancy or molar pregnancy or Down's syndrome. In non-pregnant women and in men, it can signify cancerous or non-cancerous tumor of the testicles or ovaries. Low values of hCG in pregnant women can signify ectopic pregnancy, death of baby or that the pregnancy is not proceeding the way it has to. It can also indicate a spontaneous miscarriage.

Genetic testing

Genetic testing is a method of genetic diagnosis to check for the susceptibility to hereditary diseases and can also be used to establish the ancestry of any person. Genetic testing studies the chromosome, breaking it to individual genes. In a broader sense, it can be used as a biochemical test for scrutinizing the existence and nonexistence of main proteins that hint abnormalities of certain genes. Genetic testing studies the abnormality in the chromosomes, genes or proteins. It can be used to find out whether a particular genetic condition is developing and it's chances of being passed over to the future generations.

The most widely used type of genetic testing is newborn screening. Genetic testing during pregnancies is called as prenatal genetic testing and is performed during pregnancy to screen or identify birth defects. This provides ample information on the developing fetus both for the parents and the physician. Amniocentesis and chorionic villus sampling is the common diagnostic test performed to diagnose any defect in the fetus. These diagnostic tests are ordered for if the triple test (AFP test, hCG blood test, and UE3) returns abnormal results.


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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 13, 2019