The b-HCG test identifies pregnancy, ectopic pregnancy, a failing pregnancy, and the age of the fetus, it confirms and monitors a pregnancy. It also identifies ectopic pregnancy. This test is a part of panels that screen for any abnormalities in the fetus. Moreover, it is used to screen women for pregnancy before they can receive certain medical treatments.
HCG levels increase in cases of ovarian cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, and cancer of the uterus (choriocarcinoma). Moreover, HCG levels tend to increase in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcers, and cirrhosis. After a miscarriage, there is a significant drop in HCG levels.
What is being tested?
The b-HCG test is a hormone test as b-HCG is a hormone that forms during pregnancy. This hormone is synthesized by the cells in the developing placenta. HCG could be identified in the blood samples 11 days after pregnancy. The count of HCG continues to increase every 48-72 hours and they are maximum after 8-11 weeks of pregnancy. After that, the HCG levels start to drop and reach a steady level for the remaining duration.
For a urine test, it is compulsory to not drink large quantities of fluid before submitting a sample, as dilute urine may give incorrect results in the b-HCG test, a false negative. But there isn’t any preparation required for the b-HCG blood test.
It is required not to drink water in large quantities before the b-HCG test.