This test is reimbursed by the CNS upon medical prescription, unlike a urine test purchased from a pharmacy.
What is beta-hCG ?
HCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, is a hormone secreted by pregnant women. It is produced by the placenta, more specifically by cells called trophoblast cells, from the sixth day after conception. The level of this hormone increases steadily during the first trimester of pregnancy. In most cases, the level of this hormone will be negative outside of pregnancy.
It is composed of an alpha chain which is common to many hormones and a beta chain specific to the pregnancy hormone.
When to do the test ? How to interpret it ?
The hormone level is generally positive from the 6th day after fertilisation (around 3 weeks after the date of your last menstrual period), and then increases steadily during the 1st trimester of pregnancy. It doubles approximately every 36 to 48 hours until the 10th week of pregnancy, and then decreases during the second and third trimesters.
A level lower than 5 IU/L is usually sufficient to rule out pregnancy, unless the test is carried out too early.
It is a good idea to wait until a day or two before you expect your period to start to perform the test. If the value is low (below 25 IU/L), it is preferable to repeat the test 48 hours later to check whether the level has increased.
In twin pregnancies (woman pregnant with twins), bêta-hCG levels are generally higher.
The béta-hCG test does not provide an accurate date for the start of the pregnancy, as very different levels may be observed from one woman to another. An ultrasound scan will therefore be required to date the start of the pregnancy.
Can it be used for monitoring purposes ?
Do you want to carry out this test ?
Visit one of our medical analysis laboratories.
Ketterthill is a network of nearly 100 laboratories in Luxembourg