Can You Measure hCG Levels in Your Urine?

A blood test may be prescribed by your doctor if they feel that they need more details about your hCG levels. In your blood, low levels of hCG may be found 8 to 11 days after conception. The peak of your hCG levels occurs at the end of the first trimester, and they gradually decrease throughout the remainder of your pregnancy.

Is a High hCG Level a Bad Thing?

In order to assess changes in the level, a high level of hCG should be checked again within 48–72 hours. A high level can indicate:

  • Miscalculation of pregnancy dating
  • Molar pregnancy
  • Multiple pregnancies
  • History of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin in Pregnancy Testing

    The Aschheim-Zondek Test, the first bioassay for the diagnosis of pregnancy, was introduced in 1927. In this experiment, immature female mice or rabbits were injected with urine from pregnant women. A few days after the injection, the animals’ ovaries were checked for signs of follicular maturation, luteinization, and hemorrhage into the ovarian stroma, which indicated a positive pregnancy test 24. The first immunological pregnancy test, the Wide-Gemzell test, was created in 1959 following the development of an immunoassay, using rabbit antibodies against hCG 25. More sensitive and precise hCG assays were made possible by the development of enzyme-labelled immunoassays and monoclonal antibodies in the 1970s.

    Following these technological advancements, Warner-Chilcott introduced the first home pregnancy test in 1976. It took two hours for the results to be ready, and the test required a test tube and a tube-holder with a special mirror to allow the user to read the results from the bottom of the tube.

    Currently available home pregnancy tests are quick and simple to use. They consist of an immunometric assay that binds hCG with monoclonal or polyclonal antibodies to cause a reaction that changes the color of the sample. This typically happens when marker lines appear, or with more recent digital tests, the reaction is read by an optical sensor, which displays the result as “Pregnant” or “Not pregnant” (in words) 26.

    The most advanced home pregnancy test available today can quantify the amount of hCG present in urine to give women an estimate of how many weeks have passed since conception 17, 27. Based on established hCG thresholds relative to ovulation, defined as LH surge 1 day 17, 27 or later, the Clearblue Digital Pregnancy Test with Conception/Weeks Indicator (SPD Swiss Precision Diagnostics GmbH, Switzerland) measures the level of hCG and classifies the duration of the user’s pregnancy into 1-2 weeks, 2-3 weeks, and 3 weeks since ovulation/conception.

    The strong correlation between hCG and gestational age is how this test functions. Studies have revealed that test results generally concur (

    This highlights that hCG measurement is a more accurate method for dating early pregnancy than LMP, since LMP provides a value in the same week as the true gestational age for just 46 % of women, within 1 week for 78 % of women and within 2 weeks for 87 % of women 29 Since hCG is more reliable than LMP for estimating pregnancy length, some women will undoubtedly experience discrepancies in their results. It would be interesting to learn more about how this affects women, but cases of inconsistent results between early ultrasound and LMP are likely to be similar.

    Most recently, a correlation between early pregnancy urinary hCG levels and the anticipated due date has been discovered. The Weeks Indicator test provided a delivery time estimate that was comparable to the CRL estimate based on ultrasound, according to a study comparing the two methods. Weeks since ovulation, the device result for each volunteer, was followed on average by 37 weeks until delivery. 37 days, and based on CRL measurement, the median gestational age was 47 weeks. 40 weeks 30, as shown in .

    Beta-hCG: interpreting your pregnancy test

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