You have not used any contraception methods, you think you might be pregnant, but you are not sure about the results and reliability of home pregnancy test, or you want to know if you are pregnant, but it is too early for a urine test, you may consider the pregnancy blood test. These tests are taken at doctor's clinic. A laboratory tests your blood to detect hCG. These tests are more sensitive than the home pregnancy test. Pregnancy blood pregnancy test can pick up the low concentration of hCG compared to a home pregnancy test and helps to identify pregnancy status, baby health, and problems.
Types of pregnancy blood test : There are two types of pregnancy blood tests. Qualitative hCG blood serum tests check to see if hCG is present in your blood or not. A positive result means you are pregnant and a negative result means you are not pregnant. It just gives "yes" or "no" answer about your pregnancy. Quantitative hCG blood serum tests check both the presence and quantity of hCG present in the blood. It detects even very low level of hCG which helps to determine whether the pregnancy is normal and healthy, and problems like ectopic pregnancy may be detected with this test.
Home test or pregnancy blood test? Like many of fertility and pregnancy questions, there is no straightforward answer to this question. Both determine if you are pregnant or not, but the choice might depend on factors like convenience, expense, accuracy and your fertility history. When deciding if you should use a home pregnancy test or have a pregnancy blood test done at the lab, there are few items to consider like convenience, cost, and accuracy. Many times, the pregnancy blood test is preferred to remove uncertainty in home pregnancy test and acts as a confirmatory test to detect pregnancy. In case of fertile histories like miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy in the past, the doctor generally monitors hCG levels closely in first several weeks of pregnancy. If hCG levels do not rise appropriately in those very early days, it can signal a problem with the pregnancy. Neither a qualitative blood test nor an HPT allows this type of monitoring, as they do not reveal exact amounts of hCG, and cannot determine if levels are increasing appropriately.
Pregnancy blood tests have a 99% accuracy rate, so they are almost always accurate. Relatively, they are more accurate than a home pregnancy test. The qualitative test only answers "yes" or "no", while the quantitative test measures quantity of hCG and help to identify the pregnancy status and problems if any. In many cases, the choice between blood and urine pregnancy test is based on convenience, cost, and accuracy. The pregnancy blood test helps to monitor and detect pregnancy problems.
Dr. Varshali Mali is an Obstetrician and Gynecologist. She did her MBBS from Dr. D. Y. Patil Medical College, Pune, and DNB (Obstetrics & Gynecology) from Jehangir Hospital, Pune. She has a number of years of experience working as a gynecologist, pregnancy doctor, and lecturer. Currently, through her clinic located at Life Republic township near Marunji, she provides gynecology and pregnancy care solutions to the women around Hinjewadi, Wakad and nearby area in Pune. In her patient community, she is known for her welcome nature, smiley face, supportive attitude, intelligence and in-depth knowledge about gynecology and pregnancy. Mother of two daughters, she believes that motherhood is the best gift one can get. As her contribution, she puts her best efforts to make the pregnancy journey most enjoyable for her patients.
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