Understand Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) Blood Test

Updated at: May 19, 2015
Understand Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) Blood Test

A HCG test is performed on pregnant women to monitor the HCG level in the body. Find out why this test test is important for you.

Dr Poonam Sachdev
Blood TestsWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: Feb 07, 2013

HCG blood test is done to measure the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). This hormone is present only when a woman is pregnant and hence it is also called the pregnancy hormone. HCG levels in a pregnant woman can be measured in the blood or urine;

  • Blood test: In this test your blood is tested for the presence of HCG (the pregnancy hormone)
  • Urine tests: In this test the urine is tested to confirm presence of HCG (the pregnancy hormone).

If you think you are pregnant –HCG blood test can help to confirm it. A positive test means that you are pregnant and a negative test means that you are not pregnant.


The test can determine if you are pregnant anywhere from 7-12 days after conception. It is a very accurate test to confirm pregnancy. The test has to be done in a lab and cannot be done at home like the urine pregnancy test


The types of HCG blood test that are done include;

  • Quantitative test: In the quantitative test the exact amount of HCG (the pregnancy hormone) that is present in your system is measured. 
  • Qualitative test: In the qualitative test, the blood is tested to confirm if HCG (the pregnancy hormone) is present in your system.

If the HCG blood test is done at a doctor’s office the accuracy is about 98 to 99 percent. However even the hCG blood test for pregnancy can be false positive or false negative.

  • False negative results means that the test will be negative but you are actually pregnant. The commonest cause of false negative test----if the test is performed too early.
  • False positive result indicates that the test will be positive but you are not actually pregnant. The common reason for false positive test----is medications. If you are medication that contains hCG the test may turn to be false positive.

Consult your doctor to understand the meaning of your test result.


Dr Poonam Sachdeva, our in-house medical expert talks about the why what and how in diabetes.




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