Complete Guide to Beta HCG Test in India
Labsadvisor.com brings you a comprehensive information on Beta HCG test so that you understand your test better. The details are covered under following topics:
- What is Beta HCG test?
- What is the purpose of the test?
- How to prepare for the test?
- How is the test done?
- What are the risks of Beta HCG test?
- What does your test result mean?
- What may affect the test outcome?
- How accurate are the results of the Beta HCG test?
- Cost of Beta HCG test in India
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What is a Beta HCG Test ?
Beta HCG stands for Beta Human Chorionic Gonadotropin. Beta HCG is a hormone produced during pregnancy which shows up in blood and urine of the pregnant woman. Beta HCG test is a blood test to measure the level of HCG hormone in a sample of your blood.
There are two types of Beta HCG test:
- Qualitative test: the qualitative Beta HCG test checks for the presence of HCG hormone in the blood. It is carried to confirm your pregnancy. HCG levels of 25 mIU/mL or more is usually detected by this method. A positive test result means that you are pregnant.
- Quantitative test: the quantitative Beta HCG test measures the exact amount of HCG in your blood.These levels are measured in milli-international units of HCG hormone per millilitre of blood (mIU/ml).
What is HCG?
HCG is a hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy. After the fertilised egg implants to the wall of the uterus, the growing placenta starts releasing HCG into your blood. Some HCG is also passed into urine. HCG helps in the development of the foetus and keeps the pregnancy going. The level of HCG grows exponentially after implantation. The HCG level continues to double every 48 to 72 hours during the first trimester of the pregnancy. The level of HCG is highest around 14 to 16th week of last menstrual period and then it goes down gradually. The amount of HCG in early pregnancy can give information about the health of your baby. More HCG is released in case of multiple pregnancy i.e. if there are more than one foetus in your womb. Less HCG is released if the embryo gets implanted in a place other than the uterus resulting in ectopic pregnancy.
HCG may also be produced by certain tumours, especially by the tumours of ovaries and testicles, known as germ cell tumours. A tissue like growth in the growth may also result in high level of HCG.
What is the Purpose of Beta HCG Test?
The test may be prescribed to you for one of the following reasons:
- To check if you are pregnant
- To check for ectopic pregnancy
- To identify if you have molar pregnancy
- To evaluate the chances of chromosomal disorder of your baby such as Down’s syndrome and trisomy 18
- To detect certain types of cancers like germ cell cancers, liver cancer or cancer of the pancreas. The test is done in combination with alpha-fetoprotein test.
- To diagnose a probable miscarriage.
How to prepare for the test?
There is no particular preparation as such required for the test.
How is the Beta HCG test done?
A beta HCG test a simple blood test. A sample of blood is needed to be drawn from your body. It can be done in a path lab or the sample can be collected from your home. The health care professional will follow these steps:
- An elastic band is wrapped around your upper arm so that the veins of your arm become more visible.
- After locating the vein, a small area from where the blood is to be drawn is cleaned with alcohol.
- A needle is inserted to the vein and a tube is attached to the end of the needle. The blood is collected in this tube.
- Once enough blood is collected, the elastic band around arm is released.
- A piece of cotton or gauge is placed on the site after removing the needle.
- Pressure is applied to the gauge for some time and a small bandage is put thereafter.
- The blood sample is tightly sealed and sent to the lab to measure the HCG level.
What are the Risks of Beta HCG Test?
As it is a simple blood test, the risk involved is minimal. There may be slight bruising at the needle insertion site but that goes away on its own.
In very rare cases the blood test may cause
- Excessive bleeding. If you have bleeding disorder or take blood thinning medicines, then there may be chances of bleeding from the needle insertion.
- Infection at the needle sight.
- Accumulation of blood under the skin called as hematoma.
- Light headedness
What does your test result mean?
After receiving your lab report, you can fix an appointment with your doctor to discuss the report.
With reference to webmd.com, the table below shows the normal HCG level range
|Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) levels in blood|
|Man and non-pregnant woman:||Less than 5 (IU/L)|
|Pregnant woman, 1 week of gestation (about 3 weeks after her last menstrual period):||5-50 IU/L|
|Pregnant woman, 2 weeks of gestation (about 4 weeks after her LMP):||50-500 IU/L|
|Pregnant woman, 3 weeks of gestation (about 5 weeks after her LMP):||100-10,000 IU/L|
|Pregnant woman, 4 weeks of gestation (about 6 weeks after her LMP):||1080-30,000 IU/L|
|Pregnant woman, 6-8 weeks of gestation (about 8-10 weeks after her LMP):||3500-115,000 IU/L|
|Pregnant woman, 12 weeks of gestation (about 14 weeks after her LMP):||12,000-270,000 IU/L|
|Pregnant woman, 13-16 weeks of gestation (about 15-18 weeks after her LMP):||Up to 200,000 IU/L|
The above table should be used as a guideline only. The normal range varies from lab to lab. Your lab report will contain a reference range.
If your HCG level is higher than the normal range, then you have either of the following:
- Multiple pregnancy
- Molar pregnancy
- Higher chances of your baby to have chromosomal abnormalities like Down’s syndrome and Trisomy 18
- You are further along in your pregnancy than what you thought.
- If you are not pregnant that it may indicate the presence of tumour (cancerous or non-cancerous).
If your report shows lower than normal values then it may mean
- You have an ectopic pregnancy
- There is a higher chance of miscarriage
- You are not as far along in your pregnancy than you thought.
What may affect the test outcome?
Your HCG level may get affected if you
- Had a miscarriage recently. Your HCG level will stay high for up to four weeks after your miscarriage.
- Had an injection of HCG to treat infertility. The HCG level will be high for several days after the injection.
- You are on antipsychotic and anti nausea medicine. Your doctor should be informed of all the medicines you take.
How accurate are your results?
Like other tests, beta HCG test can give both false negative or false positive results.
False negative: A negative result generally means that you are not pregnant. If the test is done too early in the pregnancy, there may not be enough HCG in the blood to give positive result. Hence, the test will show a woman non pregnant while in reality she is. Also, the HCG level changes very quickly in early pregnancy, Thus, it should not be used to calculate the age of your pregnancy.
False positive: It is possible to get a False positive if your body produces a certain type of antibodies containing fragments of HCG.
As normal range of Beta HCG depends on a lot of factors, a series of test should be done to monitor the progression of healthy pregnancy. A minimum of 66% rise in 48 hours is expected for a normal growing pregnancy.
What is the cost of Beta HCG test in India?
To check the complete list of cities in India where we offer Bets HCG Test and the cost of Beta HCG Test in India,check here
Get ₹200 voucher for your first medical test booking at LabsAdvisor.com.
How can book a Beta HCG test in India?
Please give us a call on 08882668822 to book your Beta HCG test in India. You can also download our Android App ‘LabsAdvisor’ from Google Play store to book the test online. If you want a call back, please fill out the form given at the start of the article.
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