When to Take a Pregnancy Blood test?

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Pregnancy blood tests can be taken just after you missed your period or even before that. It is usually after a week of conceiving, your pregnancy hormones will start to appear in your blood. The urine test can come to negative during that time. But the blood test will provide a proper result. That is because the urine tends to have fewer trace of the pregnancy hormone when compared to blood.  (White, 2016)

 There are two kinds of pregnancy blood tests which are done. One is quantitative whilst the other is qualitative. The former is the kind of test which determines the amount of pregnancy hormone in your body. The latter determines whether or not you are pregnant. The pregnancy hormone is called the hCG.

How soon can the pregnancy blood test be taken?

pregnancy blood test

Pregnancy blood tests give more accurate results when compared to the pregnancy urine tests. There might be chances that the urine test gives you a false assurance that you are not actually pregnant.

However, the chance of a blood test getting wrong is almost zero. The amount of hCG present in blood is much higher than that it is found in urine. Also the traces of hCG naturally spreads more in the blood just after conceiving. That is why you can get an accurate pregnancy blood test done within 7 to 12 days of conceiving. Blood tests can give more precise results of your pregnancy when compared to the urine tests. (White, 2016)

But the only catch is that you cannot do a pregnancy blood test at home. Unlike the urine test you cannot do it at the safety and privacy of your home. You need to approach a clinic and conduct a blood test in order to determine your pregnancy.

Should blood tests be preferred over urine tests?

As mentioned before, blood tests are of two types. On one hand they will let you know whether or not you are pregnant, whilst on the other hand they will also determine the amount of hCG or pregnancy hormone in your blood. (Eniola, 2017).

Urine tests cannot give so accurate results with so many minute details. In many cases the healthcare professionals would like to take the hCG count of your blood in order to determine that your pregnancy is going on track.

Any abnormality in the count is a matter of concern. So, in this way a pregnancy blood test gives the medical professionals a heads-up about the nature of your pregnancy. It helps in the process of tracking down on the probable problems your pregnancy might face.

What exactly is a quantitative pregnancy blood test?

A quantitative pregnancy test is the process of determination of the amount of the pregnancy hormone hCG in a woman’s blood. Ideally the amount of hCG should be on the upper side. The placenta of the pregnant woman starts producing the hCG hormone.

The placenta produces the hormone so that the body of the mother does not reject the fetus as a foreign object. The amount of hCG in the blood is usually low during the early stages of the pregnancy. Then it increases on a daily basis till it reaches its highest level.

Medical professionals often conduct consecutive pregnancy blood tests in order to track down the increase in the rate of the hCG. Whilst the qualitative assessment will determine whether or not the woman is pregnant, a quantitative assessment is needed for determining the growth rate of hCG. A mother with a low count of the pregnancy hormone is likely to have a troubled pregnancy. (Eniola, 2017).  It can even lead to a miscarriage. Doctors can also conduct more than two quantitative tests till the level of pregnancy hormone reaches its desired level.

Can a Pregnancy Blood Test give wrong results?

In some rare occasions it might get a wrong result. But that happens in the very nascent stages. However, if an early pregnancy blood test gives negative results and yet you miss your period then it is advisable that you undertake the same test again.

Two consecutive failed blood tests cannot really happen if you are really pregnant. So, in most of the cases it is safe to rely on a pregnancy blood test than a urine test.

How long does a pregnancy blood test take?

It usually takes longer than a urine test. It has to be done in a proper medical facility and unlike urine test it cannot be done at the safety of home. The duration of the test usually depends on the laboratory or the clinic.

But on average it takes around 3 to 4 days to get the test results. In most cases the tests are pretty accurate since when a urine test gives a positive result upon detecting 50 mg or more of hCG, a blood test can tell whether you are pregnant or not by tracing only 5 mg of hCG.

Is there any other benefit of a blood test?

Considering the fact that a pregnancy blood test can detect the exact amount of hCG in your blood, it really helps the medical professionals in many ways. The count of the pregnancy hormone hCG determines the overall quality and nature of your pregnancy. (Marrs, 2016)

This becomes highly critical in case you have a history of miscarriage or abortion. It is being found out that an early-stage pregnancy blood test helps in the detection of pregnancy problems like ectopic pregnancy.

Ectopic pregnancy happens when the fertilized eggs stay in the fallopian tubes of the mother, instead of the uterus. In such cases the chances of miscarriage is more. An early blood test can help in the detection of such criticalities as there will be certain abnormality in the count of hCG.

How many blood tests are needed to be taken?

Medical professionals often conduct two consecutive pregnancy blood tests, at an interval of 48 hours. This is due to the fact that your hCG count doubles every 48 hours during the early stages of the pregnancy. (Marrs, 2016)

The two draws of blood will help the doctor find out whether or not you are actually pregnant and if so then what is the condition of your pregnancy. These tests are usually conducted within 7 to 10 days of conceiving.

How much does a pregnancy blood test cost?

The cost of pregnancy blood tests are not standardized in America. It varies from state to state and clinic to clinic. On average, a pregnancy blood test will range between $50 and $200. This excludes the cost of the visit to the doctor.

In comparison to this, the home based urine tests seem to be a much cheaper alternative. However, pregnancy blood tests has its own share of benefits.

Conclusion:

In many cases pregnancy blood tests are not required. If you get a positive result from the urine test itself, you visit a doctor who will tell you the things to do once you miss your period. From there the journey is straightforward.

However, there are some doctors who insist on undertaking a quantitative pregnancy blood test. This is to determine the amount of the hCG hormone in your blood. This assessment helps the doctors to determine any sort of anomaly in your pregnancy. (Eniola, 2017).

Also if the urine test comes to be negative and yet you feel unsure about your status, then a blood test is a safer option. Though it is a more costly and less private affair, it is always better to go for a blood test in order to obtain the peace of your mind.

Hope this article was of help to you! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy, Healthy and Empowered Women!!

Reference:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/tme.12299

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5214529/

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