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Pregnancy Test

Also known as:hCG; Qualitative hCG; Quantitative hCG; Beta hCG; Total hCG; Total beta hCG
Formal name: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
Related tests: Triple Screen or Quad Screen; First Trimester Down Syndrome Screen

Why should I do it?
To confirm and monitor pregnancy or to help diagnose and monitor gestational trophoblastic disease or germ cell tumors

When should I do it?
As early as 10 days after a missed menstrual period (some methods can detect hCG even earlier, at one week after conception) or when a doctor thinks that your symptoms suggest ectopic pregnancy, gestational trophoblastic disease, or germ cell tumors

What Kind of Sample is Needed?
A urine sample collected first thing in the morning or a blood sample drawn from a vein in the arm

Test Preparation Needed?
None needed; however, do not drink large amounts of fluid before collecting a urine sample for a pregnancy test because overly dilute urine may result in a false negative.