How Soon Can a Blood Test Detect Pregnancy?
When Will a Blood Test Detect Pregnancy Hormones?
Do you think you might be pregnant, but you are not sure about the reliability of the home test you've taken? Or perhaps you want to know now if you're pregnant but it's too early to take a urine test, so you are considering a blood test.
When can you trust the home test and when do you need to take a blood test instead?
There is much to consider when deciding whether or not to get the blood test. How accurate are they? How much trouble and cost are they? How soon can you take one and when will you get the results?
Accuracy of Pregnancy Blood Test
The blood test has a 99% accuracy rate, so it's almost always accurate. The main reason for this is that a blood test can detect even the smallest traces of the pregnancy hormone hCG, that is if you take the quantitative blood test.
Qualitative vs. Quantitative Blood Tests: The quantitative blood test measures how much hCG you have in your blood. The qualitative test, on the other hand, just gives you a yes or no answer as to whether you're pregnant. The quantitative test is more precise and also helps to determine whether the pregnancy is normal and healthy. There will be increasing amounts of hCG in your system in the first four weeks of gestation but then it begins to taper off, so by measuring these levels of hCG, a doctor can determine whether things are progressing normally.
The Accuracy of a Urine Test
Comparatively, urine tests, or home tests, can be inaccurate 6% of the time.
Reasons a urine test can be inaccurate:
- Taken too soon.
- Medications are affecting levels of hCG in your system.
- Urine cup is dirty.
- Test kit is faulty.
- Blood in urine.
- Protein in urine.
- Recent miscarriage (so there's still hCG in your system).
- Ovarian tumor.
How Soon Can You Take a Blood Test?
This is another advantage to taking the blood test: You can take it sooner than the urine test. Typically, a urine test won't show positive results until two weeks after conception or the first day after a missed period. In contrast, you can take a blood test and get an accurate result within 7-12 days after conception because it will detect the smallest amounts of hCG.
Things to consider about the pregnancy blood test:
- Higher cost than a home test.
- Have to take it at the doctor's office.
- Have to wait for results.
Pregnancy Blood Test: Time and Money
Another factor that should be considered before taking the blood test is the fact that it is less convenient and more expensive than a home test. The home test is relatively inexpensive and you can pick it up over-the-counter or order online and have your results within minutes of taking the test.
The blood test must be taken at the doctor's office. You have to get there, wait there, go through the procedure, and of course, there's the bill.
How Long Do You Have to Wait for the Results of a Blood Test?
So you've gone to the doctor's office, waited to be seen, and had your blood drawn. Of course, it's not over.
Your blood has to be sent to a lab to be analyzed. How long it takes for them to give you the results varies from lab to lab. It can be as soon as an hour or as long as several days. But a couple of days is a typical waiting period for lab results.
So as you can see, there are many things to consider when you are trying to figure out whether to take the blood test and what to expect from it. It is more expensive and less convenient. You will have to wait for the lab to get results. However, it is more accurate, can detect the slightest bit of pregnancy hormone in your blood, and you can test sooner than you can with a urine test.
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