This is a blood test that detects the presence of the pregnancy hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), in the bloodstream.
HCG is a hormone that is produced by the placenta. It is detectable in the blood and urine within 10 days of fertilization, or conception. After the fertilized egg implants, or attaches, to the inside of the uterus or other structure inside the mother, the levels of HCG rise rapidly. The levels continue to increase throughout the first trimester of pregnancy and reach a peak 60 to 80 days after the fertilized egg implants.
Pregnancy Test – Blood $49.00
HCG is thought to be important in converting the normal corpus luteum into the corpus luteum of pregnancy. The corpus luteum is a hormone-secreting structure that grows on the surface of the ovary after ovulation takes place. In pregnancy, functions of the corpus luteum include: promoting the growth of the fetus through the 12th week of pregnancy. stimulating the development of fetal sex organs. promoting the synthesis of male hormones by the fetal testes.
Because HCG is produced by the placenta, the presence of HCG in a woman’s blood indicates that she is most probably pregnant. HCG is produced regardless of the site of implantation of the egg in pregnancy. Usually this occurs within the uterus, but may happen outside the uterus, which is called an ectopic pregnancy. HCG in the blood may also be a sign of other conditions discussed below.
This test may be done to confirm or rule out pregnancy. Women of childbearing age who have been having sex should be screened with some type of HCG test if they are having the following symptoms: delayed menstrual period breast tenderness pelvic pain irregular spotting or bleeding nausea or vomiting. This test can only give a “yes” or “no” answer as to whether or not HCG is present. If the answer is “yes” the woman is most likely pregnant. This test is part of most home pregnancy test kits.