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?


The amount of chorionic gonadotropin hormone hCG in the blood is measured with the help of this test to confirm pregnancy. This hormone is released in the blood ten days after conception, and high levels confirm pregnancy.

 What is the test used for?


Other than pregnancy confirmation, the Beta hCG test is also used to make evaluations during fertility treatments and complications associated with pregnancy, like a miscarriage. Slowly rising to the high peak value indicates a high risk of miscarriage.


For fertility treatment, doctors will give you medications and then run a beta hCG test to determine your blood hormone levels. As a part of IUI and IVF treatment, doctors give beta hCG shots 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 the specific conditions of fetuses like Down syndrome. Its higher than normal value indicates a possible abnormality, further confirmed by other diagnostic procedures. A Quantitative Beta hCG test also helps diagnose abnormal pregnancies, e.g., ectopic pregnancy, possible miscarriage, or molar pregnancy.


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 fetus's age based on this test.


Unrelated to pregnancy, In men, this test is also used as a tumor marker to help diagnose some cancers like prostate cancer and testicular cancer.

 Why and when do you need a Beta HCG Test?


You should get this test done if you have missed your menses. And if you are pregnant, you should get it done to ensure a smooth pregnancy.


In males, it is used as a tumor marker to indicate prostate cancer.    

 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 the 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?

 No risk is associated with this test, but you may feel minor discomfort or sting while drawing blood. After that, you may also feel mild throbbing pain at the puncture site. But for some people, risks may include;


  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Hematoma
  • Infection at the site of puncture
  • Excessive bleeding due to any pathology.

 What do the 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 less than 2mIU/mL.

 Levels of hCG raised with the progression of pregnancy. It rises rapidly in the first trimester and then lowers down slightly. The expected hCG levels in pregnant females depend upon the length of their pregnancy, i.e.;


  • 3 weeks of pregnancy would show 5-70 mIU/mL.
  • 4 weeks show 10- 700 mIU/mL
  • 5 weeks show 217- 8000 mIU/mL
  • 6 weeks show 150 – 32000 mIU/mL
  • 7 weeks show 4000 – 153000 mIU/mL
  • 8 weeks show 31,000 – 149,000 mIU/mL
  • 9 weeks show 59,000 – 135,000 mIU/mL
  • 10 weeks show 44,000 – 170,000 mIU/mL


It rises to the highest and then starts to decline. In the 18th week, its value ranges from 9,000 – 55000 mIU/mL. Normal value ranges may slightly differ depending upon the reagent, and machine laboratory uses. Talk to your laboratory technologist and doctor about the meaning of test results and the average value range. On the contrary, if you get higher than average value ranges, it may indicate:


  • Twins or triplets pregnancy
  • 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 death


 Related Tests:


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