Urine Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (HCG) Levels
|Why is this test done?||This test is done to determine if a woman is pregnant.|
|How to prepare:||
|Associated Tests:||If the test is positive, the woman should make an appointment to see a doctor to confirm the pregnancy and obtain proper medical care.|
Human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) is an hormone found in pregnant women. It is usually not detected in non-pregnant women and men, except in abnormal situations. This hormone is secreted by the placenta from the very first days of the pregnancy. HCG can be detected in urine between the 8th and 14th day following the last ovulation, if there was fertilization. It can usually be detected 26 to 36 days after a woman's last period.
How should the result be interpreted?
If the result is positive
It is highly likely that the woman is pregnant.
Factors that can affect the result of the test
Certain factors can cause an erroneous result. They include:
- Using a test that has expired or is damaged.
- Doing a test too soon after ovulation; hCG levels will be too low to be detected.
- Doing the test while the woman has a genital or urinary infection. In fact, any situation involving the presence of blood, bacteria or protein in urine can alter the result.
- Taking drugs to improve fertility.
- Using dilute urine, or urine produced after ingesting large quantities of fluids, to do the test.
- Not following instructions and allotted time.
- Doing the test in the 8 weeks following an abortion.
What you need to know before the test
Before going for blood tests, a procedure or other exam, it is best to always bring a list of all the drugs you take (prescription, OTC and natural health products). Unless told otherwise, you should take your medication as usual on the day of the test. When in doubt, ask your pharmacist for more information.
© Copyright Vigilance Santé
The patient information leaflets are provided by Vigilance Santé Inc. This content is for information purposes only and does not in any manner whatsoever replace the opinion or advice of your health care professional. Always consult a health care professional before making a decision about your medication or treatment.