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hCG Blood Test: At-Home Blood Pregnancy Test - Explained

Pregnancy tests check your urine or blood for raised hCG levels, which progressively increase in the first ten weeks after conception. While urine tests are a popular option, home hCG blood tests are more reliable in detecting smaller amounts of hCG to confirm pregnancy at the earliest possible date.
The GlycanAge Team

We're sure everyone's heard of urine stick tests you can take at home to find out whether you're pregnant or not. They are easy, quick and give you a pretty accurate result. However, they come with some rules and regulations.

You can't use them as early on as you might want, you have to take them in the morning and they are less reliable than blood tests.

With news like this, you want to be sure, so how can you safely and accurately test for pregnancy at home? Find out in our article.

What Is hCG?

hCG is a hormone that is only produced during pregnancy and rises rapidly once a fertilised egg has been implanted, which is usually around six to ten days after conception. Pregnancy tests look for an increase in this hormone to find out if a woman is pregnant or not. In a normal pregnancy, a woman's hCG levels double every 3 days, until it reaches a natural peak, which happens around 12 weeks.

What Is A Home hCG Blood Test?

An at-home hCG blood test is a safe and simple pregnancy test, that can provide you with quick results. Urine tests measure the same hormone, however, while they are a popular option, home hCG blood tests are more reliable in detecting smaller amounts of hCG, meaning they can confirm pregnancy at the earliest possible date.

Whereas urine tests typically cannot detect hCG until 2 weeks after conception, blood tests can confirm pregnancy 11 days after. All this makes them 99% accurate when used correctly, which is easy to do.

Additionally, unlike urine tests, which are most accurate when used in the morning, blood tests can be used any time of the day and results are not affected by dilution from drinks. 

How Does An At-Home Pregnancy Blood Test Work?

A home pregnancy blood test involves a finger-prick blood sample and uses antibodies to detect raised hCG hormone levels. An amount above 25 IU/L returns a positive result. Some tests can also measure quantitative levels of hCG in the blood to determine how well the pregnancy is progressing. 

A typical kit contains a lancet (small needle), a pipette, a test cassette, a diluent solution, a sterilised wipe, and a set of instructions. 

The process involves pressing the lancet firmly against your finger and drawing a small amount of blood. You then use the pipette to collect your blood sample and deposit it into the testing cassette. After adding the diluent solution to the blood sample, you must wait around five to ten minutes to see your result; one line usually indicates a negative result and two lines a positive.

Within just minutes, you have the answer to your question.

Why Take An At-Home Blood Test For Pregnancy?

An at-home pregnancy blood test can help you confirm your pregnancy at the earliest possible date, thereby allowing you to prepare and implement health and lifestyle changes, such as stopping smoking and drinking alcohol, limiting creating foods and such in order to support the development of a healthy foetus. 

Additionally, women who require medical treatment that could harm an unborn baby may want to take a hCG blood test to ensure they aren’t pregnant before undergoing a procedure like an X-ray. 

Other than a missed period, the most common signs of early pregnancy include:

  1. Nausea and/or vomiting
  2. Swollen and tender breasts
  3. Fatigue and lack of energy
  4. Frequent urge to urinate
  5. Abdominal cramping and bloating

Where To Get An At-Home Blood Pregnancy Test

If you suspect you may be pregnant, you can have a blood pregnancy test performed in your doctor’s office or at a hospital. There is no special preparation for a test like this. However, for your convenience, you can also purchase a home testing kit.

Other options, such as pregnancy blood tests from Medichecks and London Medical Laboratory, require you to mail your sample to an accredited laboratory to interpret results, with a turnaround time of around two days. 

How To Prepare For The Home Blood Pregnancy Test?

Although an at-home blood pregnancy test could detect pregnancy before you even miss your period, it is advised to take it after the first day of a missing period.

This type of test can be taken at any time of the day, as well as after drinking water, making it convenient for a busy schedule.

hCG Levels - What You Need To Know?

As we've mentioned earlier, the hCG levels rise during the first trimester. After that, they reach a peak and slightly decline. Here are the expected hCG ranges in pregnant women:

  1. 3 weeks: 5 - 72 mIU/mL
  2. 4 weeks: 10 -708 mIU/mL
  3. 5 weeks: 217 - 8,245 mIU/mL
  4. 6 weeks: 152 - 32,177 mIU/mL
  5. 7 weeks: 4,059 - 153,767 mIU/mL
  6. 8 weeks: 31,366 - 149,094 mIU/mL
  7. 9 weeks: 59,109 - 135,901 mIU/mL
  8. 10 weeks: 44,186 - 170,409 mIU/mL
  9. 12 weeks: 27,107 - 201,165 mIU/mL
  10. 14 weeks: 24,302 - 93,646 mIU/mL
  11. 15 weeks: 12,540 - 69,747 mIU/mL
  12. 16 weeks: 8,904 - 55,332 mIU/mL
  13. 17 weeks: 8,240 - 51,793 mIU/mL
  14. 18 weeks: 9,649 - 55,271 mIU/mL

Potential Risks

There are no major risks to taking an at-home hCG blood test. If you are not skilled at piercing your skin for blood collection, you might get a small hematoma, but this shouldn't deter you from finding out whether you're pregnant from the comfort of your own home.

Take Control Of Your Health With A GlycanAge Test

Pregnancy is a huge catalyst for a mother to improve her lifestyle to ensure the health of her baby. In order to take control of your health and better understand how well your body is ageing, consider using the GlycanAge testing kit.

The GlycanAge test assesses the state of your immune system by measuring the level of chronic inflammation in your body. Chronic inflammation is one of the hallmarks of ageing, making it a great marker to focus on. But you don't have to be a scientist to understand the results - they come in the form of your biological age. Think of it as a baseline for how well your body is handling your lifestyle - diet, exercise, sleep patterns, stress management and more.

So instead of giving you the generalized advice of - Eat better, exercise, and sleep more! We can provide you with a personalised plan that takes into account your needs, wants and limitations.

Often we see people doing too much, mostly overexercising because they think it's helping their health. Unfortunately, things like that bring you more damage than benefits. Finding the right balance could be a challenge.

Start by taking our Health Quiz.

Interested in the whole process?

Once you receive your home testing kit, all you need to do is a simple finger prick test (much like the blood pregnancy test) and send the results back to our lab, in a pre-addressed envelope. You can leave the rest to us. After 3-5 weeks of rigorous analysis to obtain the most accurate readings, your results will be ready.  

With your result, you'll get a complimentary consultation with a member of our care team who will devise a strategy to help you reverse your biological age. You'll be able to ask any question and get the best personalised advice possible.

Don't put your health on the back seat, especially if you're planning on expanding your family. Make sure that you are healthy and taking care of your body properly so that your kids can learn to do the same. Be a good role model!

Order your GlycanAge biological age test today. 

If you're interested in learning more about how our test helped people from all around the world, you can read our client interviews. Everyone has a unique story, with a different reason for wanting to take better care of themselves, but everyone benefited from the GlycanAge test and the consultation.


Is An hCG Test Kit Accurate?

hCG test kits have at least 99% accuracy when performed correctly per instructions, making them as reliable as a test taken at a hospital or doctor’s office. Blood pregnancy tests are often more complex than urine tests; therefore, it is important to follow instructions carefully to avoid an incorrect result. With that said, all pregnancy tests may produce a small number of false positive or false negative results, regardless of how or where they are performed. 

What does an hCG blood test tell you?

An hCG blood test shows you if you are pregnant or not. It works by looking for an increase in hCG, a hormone whose levels increase rapidly in early pregnancy.

What hCG level indicates pregnancy?

If your hCG levels are less than 5 mIU/mL, you aren't considered pregnant, while anything above 25 mIU/mL indicates a pregnancy.

What is a positive beta hCG test?

A positive beta hCG test indicates pregnancy if they show above 25 mIU/mL.

How long does a blood pregnancy test take?

An at-home hCG blood pregnancy test can take as little as 5 minutes to show results.

The GlycanAge Team

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