Does this test have other names?
Human chorionic gonadotropin urine test, urine pregnancy test
What is this test?
This test measures the amount of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) in your urine.
When you get pregnant, your body makes HCG. In a healthy pregnancy, the amount of HCG in the blood increases a lot over a short time, usually doubling every two days. HCG can be found in your urine two to three days after it can be measured in your blood. This is often about the same time that you notice a missed period.
Except for very early in a pregnancy, this test can show if you are pregnant within days of a missed period.
Why do I need this test?
You may have this test to find out whether you are pregnant. This test is much like home pregnancy tests, which also measure the amount of HCG in your urine.
You may need this test to help plan your pregnancy care or as part of an exam to figure out the cause of symptoms you've been having.
What other tests might I have along with this test?
Your healthcare provider may also order other tests, including:
What do my test results mean?
Many things may affect your lab test results. These include the method each lab uses to do the test. Even if your test results are different from the normal value, you may not have a problem. To learn what the results mean for you, talk with your healthcare provider.
Results are given in milli-international units per milliliter (mIU/mL). A positive result is usually more than 20 mIU/mL of HCG, meaning that you are pregnant.
Results of less than 5 mIU/mL of HCG are negative, meaning that it's unlikely you are pregnant.
If the results are unclear, or if your healthcare provider has reason to believe you're pregnant, you may need to repeat this test every two days until you have a clear result.
How is this test done?
The test requires a urine sample. Your healthcare provider will tell you how to collect it.
Does this test pose any risks?
This test poses no known risks.
What might affect my test results?
Medicines that contain HCG may affect your results.
How do I get ready for this test?
You don't need to prepare for this test. But be sure your healthcare provider knows about all medicines, herbs, vitamins, and supplements you are taking. This includes medicines that don't need a prescription and any illicit drugs you may use.
- Taylor, Wanda, RN, Ph.D.
- Ziegler, Olivia W., MS, PA