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Beta HCG

Beta hCG test is also known as:


  • Quantitative beta hCG
  • Human chorionic gonadotropin test – Quantitative.
  • Beta – hCG blood test – quantitative.
  • Pregnancy test – blood – quantitative.
  • Quantitative serum beta – hCG test.


What is the Beta HCG Test?


Chorionic gonadotropin hormone (hCG) is produced by the placenta after a fertilized egg implants in the uterus, and its presence in the blood is used to confirm pregnancy. The amount of chorionic gonadotropin hormone hCG in the blood is measured with the help of this test.  This hormone is released in the blood ten days after conception, and high levels confirm pregnancy. However, it's important to note that the timing of hCG release can vary among individuals and may not always be detectable ten days after conception. The accuracy of the test can also depend on various factors such as the sensitivity of the test and the timing of the test in relation to the woman's menstrual cycle.


What is the test used for?


Other than pregnancy confirmation, the Beta hCG test is also used for monitoring the progress of pregnancy and make evaluations during fertility treatments and complications associated with pregnancy, like a miscarriage. Slowly rising hCG levels can indicate a high risk of miscarriage.


In fertility treatments, doctors may give you medications and then run a beta hCG test to determine your blood hormone levels. Beta hCg shots are usually administered to increase the chances of conception. 


Beta hCG test is also used for;


Fetal screening: Beta hCG test is a part of screening tests done between 15-20 weeks of gestation to assess specific conditions of fetuses like Down syndrome. Its higher than normal value can indicate a possible abnormality, which can then be further confirmed by other diagnostic procedures. In addition, a quantitative Beta hCG test also helps diagnose abnormal pregnancies, e.g., ectopic pregnancy, possible miscarriage, or molar pregnancy. It's important to note that while the beta hCG test can provide valuable information, it's not a definitive diagnostic tool, and further testing may be needed to confirm any suspected conditions.


Determining the age of the fetus: The beta-hCG test gives a general idea about the gestational age. The results of this test, alongside the date of the last menstrual cycle, determine the age as hCG ranges change with every passing week in the first trimester. This is why your doctor can estimate the gestational age based on this test.

In addition, the beta-hCG test is used as a tumor marker in men to help diagnose certain types of cancer such as prostate cancer and testicular cancer. Elevated levels of beta-hCG in men can indicate the presence of these cancers, although further diagnostic testing would be required to confirm a diagnosis.

What kind of sample is required for the test?


A blood or urine sample is needed to perform the test. For Beta hCG qualitative blood test, a healthcare professional takes a blood sample by following steps:



  • The veins in your arm are made more visible by wrapping an elastic band around your upper arm. This way needle can be inserted easily and with less pain.
  • Afterward, a vein is located, and the skin is cleaned with an alcohol swab.
  • A needle is inserted into the vein, and blood is collected in the syringe up to the measured value.
  • After enough blood is collected, the band is removed, and cotton is placed on the needle puncture site.
  • Pressure is applied to the cotton to stop blood and secure it with a bandage.

Do you need to prepare for beta hcg test? 

No special preparation is required for the test. Just go to the nearby hospital or laboratory and give your blood sample.

Are there any risks to this test?

The beta hCG test itself does not pose any significant risks to patients. However, as with any blood test, there may be minor discomfort or a slight sting at the puncture site during the blood draw. Additionally, some patients may experience mild throbbing pain at the puncture site afterward.

In rare cases, there may be some risks associated with the blood draw, such as fainting or dizziness, hematoma (a collection of blood outside a blood vessel), infection at the site of puncture, or excessive bleeding due to an underlying medical condition or medication. It's important to inform the healthcare provider if you have a bleeding disorder or are taking any blood-thinning medications, as this may increase the risk of bleeding during the blood draw.

Overall, the beta hCG test is a safe and commonly used diagnostic tool in healthcare settings.

What do beta hcg test results mean?


After your test results come in, your doctor will inform you about the results. The hCG levels in your blood are measured in milli-international units of hCG per milliliter of blood (mIU/mL).


Normal hCG levels in non-pregnant females are less than 5.0 mIU/mL. In healthy males, it is typically less than 2mIU/mL.

During pregnancy, hCG levels increase rapidly in the first trimester and then gradually decrease. The expected hCG levels in pregnant females depend upon the length of their pregnancy. 

However, it's important to note that there can be a range of normal levels for each stage of pregnancy, and individual hCG levels may vary.

 On the contrary, if you get higher than average value ranges, it may indicate:


  • Twins or triplets pregnancy (Multiple pregnancies)
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Testicular cancer (in men)
  • A hydatidiform mole of the uterus
  • Choriocarcinoma of the uterus.


During pregnancy, lower than average values range may indicate:


  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Incomplete miscarriage
  • Spontaneous abortion
  • Fetal deathIt's important to consult with your healthcare provider to interpret your individual beta hCG test results and discuss any concerns or questions you may have.


 Related Tests:


  • Home Pregnancy Test (HPT)
  • Clinical Urine Test
  • Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
  • Amniocentesis

Our clinical experts continually monitor the health and medical content posted on CURA4U, and we update our blogs and articles when new information becomes available. Last reviewed by Dr.Saad Zia on June 04, 2023. 


Human Chorionic Gonadotropin - StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf (

NCBI - WWW Error Blocked Diagnostic

hCG Levels | The American Pregnancy Association

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