HCG (Pregnancy test)

by Sharon Hopkins

Pregnancy hCG tests look for a special hormone in the urine or blood that is only there when a woman is pregnant. This hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), is also termed as,the pregnancy hormone. The pregnancy hormone, hCG, is released, when a fertilized egg implants in the uterus which usually happens about 6 days after conception. The hCG amount increases radically with each passing day of pregnancy.

HCG hormone in a woman can be assessed eight to eleven days, after ovulation. This is done by means of a blood test. HCG level and pregnancy test are directly correlated and indirectly aids in the progesterone production, during pregnancy by maintaining the corpus luteum, which produces progesterone. Progesterone helps to keep the lining of the uterus thick for a healthy pregnancy. During the absence of hCG, the lining of the uterus will begin to shed and a new menstrual cycle will begin.

Types of Pregnancy Tests

There are two types of pregnancy tests. One tests the blood for the pregnancy hormone, hCG, whereas, the other checks the urine for this hormone. A urine test is done at home by a home pregnancy test. A blood test requires the presence and guidance of a physician. Home pregnancy tests are easy on the pocket, confidential, and simple to use. Urine tests reveal the chances of pregnancy, about 2 weeks after ovulation.

Various kinds of pregnancy tests are commercially available, which are accessible at home, referred to as home pregnancy tests or HPTs. Most of these methods makes use of a common procedure of holding a stick under the urine. The other method makes use of urine collection in a cup and then dipping the stick into the urine. Testing the urine first thing in the morning may help boost accuracy and increases reliability. The time mentioned on the kit is followed and the result window is inspected. Pregnancy is confirmed on the presence of a line or plus symbol. The degree of intensity of the line is not of matter.

A control indicator is present in most of the tests. This line or symbol shows whether the test is in proper working condition or not. If the control indicator does not appear, the test is not working properly. Repetition of the test, after a few days is necessary for reconfirmation. The instruction manual proves helpful in the conduct of the test.

During pregnancy, the hormone levels increase two fold in every three days. The levels are 5-50 mlU/ml at 3 weeks LMP (last menstrual period) and 3,640-117,000 mlU/ml at 25-40 weeks LMP. Low hCG levels may indicate a miscalculated date of conception, miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. Sometimes, a perfect pregnancy may also have low hCG levels. High hCG levels may indicate a miscalculated date of conception, a multiple pregnancy or a molar pregnancy.

Medicines with hCG as an inherent component might provide a wrong test result. Most medicines, over-the-counter and prescription, including birth control pills and antibiotics, should not affect the results of a home pregnancy test.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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