Firstly, if you have just found out you are pregnant CONGRATULATIONS!!!
An HCG blood test can identify the presence and level of the pregnancy hormone Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin in a woman’s own blood sample. This is the same hormone that is picked up in the urine, with home pregnancy testing kits. At The Surrey Park Clinic, we offer the HCG blood test as a ‘same day’ result if required (£61.25 + nurse fee). Alternatively, we can offer a turnaround time of 24-48 hours (£49 + nurse fee).
Whilst the presence of the HCG hormone can identify a ‘positive’ test, it cannot confirm the stage of pregnancy or whether the pregnancy is progressing. The report will give a number (milli-international units per ml) alongside the lab parameters expected at a certain stage of pregnancy. It is important to note that these parameters can vary greatly from person to person.
Some women may have been asked by their GP or specialist (a fertility specialist for example) to do an HCG blood test, so that they can monitor their levels closely.
HCG blood tests are not recommended as a replacement for home urine tests, which are just as effective at identifying a pregnancy, if taken at the appropriate time. The blood test is usually recommended if clinically indicated; for example, if a woman is under the care of a Fertility/Gynaecology specialist, if they are experiencing unusual cramping/spotting or if they have reason to be concerned that their pregnancy is not progressing. In this scenario, it is always best to take guidance from their GP or specialist before booking these tests. The doctor may suggest doing two or more tests, between 48 hour periods to see if the levels are doubling.
Whilst an HCG blood test result can offer reassurance to a woman/couple in the early stages of pregnancy, it cannot be used as a diagnostic tool. Unusual symptoms can be a normal part of early pregnancy, but in some cases further monitoring (including scanning) and medical support is required to rule out conditions including a biochemical pregnancy, miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. In emergencies, it is recommended to seek medical advice via A&E or your local Early Pregnancy Unit.
If you do need to book an appointment, you can do so online by clicking here. Alternatively, if you would like to speak to a member of the team for more information, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01483 454 016 / [email protected]