We provide both urine pregnancy tests and blood pregnancy tests in our office. Before you come in, we want you to know what to expect if you think you may be pregnant. Both tests detect the presence of a hormone called Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (hCG). The placenta produces this hormone quickly after the embryo attaches to the uterine lining and builds up rapidly in your body in the first few days of pregnancy.
When is a Urine Pregnancy test done?
Urine Pregnancy tests can be performed in our clinic. Most doctors recommend that you wait until the first day of your missed period before taking a urine pregnancy test. Urine tests or home pregnancy tests are around 97% accurate when done correctly. However, if done incorrectly and especially if taken too early, the result can be inaccurate. This test is done in our clinic by the patient simply providing our trained medical staff with a urine sample. The staff member will then use a Urine dipstick that detects the hCG pregnancy hormone to determine if you are pregnant or not. The results are seen within a few minutes, two lines indicating a positive pregnancy test and one line indicating a negative pregnancy test.This is a very simple and effective way to detect pregnancy. In this test, there are antibodies present on the strip which become sensitive if the hCG hormone is present in the urine sample.
We also preform blood pregnancy tests in our clinic.
This is done by one of our trained medical staff members drawing a small amount of your blood via venipuncture.
What to expect during the blood draw?
Well, no one looks forward to getting their blood drawn, however, this procedure is usually brief and uneventful without complications. Most people are through with the entire procedure in under 15 minutes. The procedure begins by the phlebotomist gently pressing his or her fingers against your skin to locate the best and most accessible vein. Then she will put on gloves, and clean the skin area with an alcohol pad. Next they will tie a tourniquet around your upper arm to increase blood flow, ask you to make a fist, and insert the needle to begin the blood draw. After blood is retrieved, your blood will then be labeled immediately and sent off to a lab for testing. The detection of hCG hormone in one’s blood sample confirms pregnancy. We typically do a qualitative blood hCG test just to confirm pregnancy. This test is more accurate than the urine pregnancy test as it gives a quantitative result. We like to say that the urine pregnancy test can lie, the blood pregnancy test doesn’t.
A more detailed test called a quantitative hCG test if not typically performed unless there is a need. In this test, the concentration of the hCG hormone corresponding to the days of gestation (pregnancy) is detected and accurately known. The levels of beta hCG gets doubled so long as the pregnancy is progressing normally. If the levels start to decrease, in repeated tests, it indicates a possible loss of the embryo. A high level of the hCG hormone in early pregnancy may mean a multiple fetus pregnancy, which you are not able to tell by a urine test. This test is also useful for the doctors to rule out ectopic pregnancy. This is a condition where pregnancy grows outside the uterine cavity. If the level of hCG fails to rise in subsequent tests a risk of ectopic pregnancy is suspected. These are the substantial differences between a blood and urine pregnancy test.