The HCG Pregnancy Blood Test Explained
When a woman becomes pregnant there are certain hormones in her body that suddenly become more active and are to be found at much higher levels than before. Each one of these hormones has different purposes designed to get the female body ready to assist the fetus with everything that it needs to thrive, plus the woman's body in order to deliver, and finally provide breast milk to the baby after delivery. One of those hormones is called HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, which is usually only present in a female body after she becomes pregnant. Testing for HGC is one of the most common tests to decide if a woman has become pregnant, either in the urine test or blood. To know more you can also go to hcg labs.org.
When the HCG lab performs the blood test, they typically draw blood from a vein either in the arm or the back of the hand. It's important that they use an antiseptic, such as alcohol, to clean the skin on the site before they attempt to draw blood, then wrap an elastic band around the upper arm which increases the pressure in the vein and helps the process. Once the needle has been inserted into the vein, blood will rush into a small airtight vial rather quickly and the process is basically done. For this type of test there are no pre-test preparations necessary, such as diet or fluid intake, as the test is only checking for a certain amount of hormone in the blood.
Other then a slight pinprick pain, when the needle is first inserted, there is not much other pain associated with this test, although once in a while slight throbbing at the location is noted. If the HCG lab detects the pregnancy hormone in the blood or urine, then the woman will be diagnosed as being pregnant. However it normally takes at least 10 days after conception for the HCG levels to become high enough in order to be tested. This test can also be used to diagnose abnormal pregnancies and as a part screening for a abnormality called down syndrome, more information on that should be provided from your health care practitioner. There are usually very little risks involved in having this test done other than the normal risks involved in a blood test such as fainting, excessive bleeding, or hematoma, and once in a great while infection as well.
As you can see HCG lab tests are quite common in order to find out if a woman is pregnant or not. They are also used, at times, to diagnose abnormal pregnancies and a few other diseases involving cancer. It's a simple test that can be done in nearly any doctor's office in just a few minutes.