The HCG Test (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin) blood test is a quantitative test that measures the specific level of HCG in the blood. HCG is a hormone produced in the body during pregnancy by the cells that become the placenta. The test can also be used to diagnose abnormal conditions not related to pregnancy that can raise HCG levels, such as ovarian or testicular tumors.
Indications of the Test
The HCG blood test is primarily used to confirm pregnancy. It can also be used to monitor the health of the pregnancy, screen for Down syndrome, and diagnose abnormal conditions not related to pregnancy that can raise HCG levels, such as ovarian or testicular tumors.
No special preparation is needed for the HCG blood test. A blood sample is needed, which is most often taken from a vein.
Typical Reference Values
Results are given in milli-international units per milliliter (mIU/mL). Normal levels are found in:
- Non-pregnant women: less than 5 mIU/mL
- Healthy men: less than 2 mIU/mL
The turnaround time for the HCG blood test varies depending on the laboratory performing the test. Typically, results are available within a few days.
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