Beta HCG – Human Chorionic Gonadotropin – is a hormone produced during pregnancy which shows up in the blood. It is a blood test to diagnose pregnancy, and usually becomes positive around the time of the first missed period.
How the Test is Performed
Beta HCG (BHCG) is a blood test – it requires a small tube of blood, taken from a vein.
Medical Conditions and Symptoms
Beta HCG (BHCG or Pregnancy Test) may be performed by your doctor if they suspect that you may be pregnant, or if you suspect pregnancy yourself! Usual pregnancy symptoms include a missed or late period (amenorrhea), breast fullness or tenderness, or nausea and vomiting (morning sickness).
The test is often routinely performed in women of childbearing age with abdominal pain, and those who require an Abdominal X-Ray or Pelvic X-Ray, because of concerns or radiation to an unborn baby.
In some situations a quantitative Beta HCG may be useful. This measures the amount of this hormone in the blood. Under normal circumstances, this level doubles approximately every 2 days, in the first trimester.
Test Results Explained
Qualitative Beta HCG:
- A POSITIVE Beta HCG means that the woman is pregnant
- A NEGATIVE Beta HCG means that the woman is NOT pregnant
Quantitative Beta HCG:
- The result is given as a number, indicating the measured concentration of the hormone in the blood
- The fetus is usually visible on a Trans-Vaginal Ultrasound scan when the level is above 1500 units
- When the level is above 4000 units, the fetus is also usually visible on a Trans-Abdominal Ultrasound scan
- The Beta HCG level usually doubles approximately every 2 days
- General Practitioner (GP)
- Emergency Physician
- General Surgeon
- Blood Test (venesection)
- Urine HCG (Urine Pregnancy Test)
- Pelvic Ultrasound Scan
- Full Blood Count
- Blood Group or Crossmatch
- Rhesus Antibodies
- Rubella Serology
- Syphilis Test
- HIV Test
- Hormone Assays
- Red Cell Folate
- Iron Studies (Fe)
Also Known As
- Blood Pregnancy Test
- Serum HCG
- Qualitative Beta HCG
- Quantitative Beta-HCG (“Quant”)