What Hormone is Tested for in Pregnancy Tests

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 17, 2011

Pregnancy tests measure tests the presence of pregnancy hormone named, Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (hCG). It is a glycoprotein hormone that is produced by the developing embryo soon after conception.


Significance of pregnancy hormone


Ones blastocyst or fertilized egg implants itself in uterus, the part that will grow up to become placenta start producing hCG and its variant. It is due to this hormone that uterus doesn’t shed its blood rich lining and the women don’t undergo menstrual cycle.  This blood will be later utilised in developing and nourishing the baby.  As the hCG level increase it can be easily detected in the pregnancy test.

It is only after six days of fertilization that hCG is secreted for the first time.  Level of this hormone goes up within few days of implantation. Level of Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin is highest between 60th to 90th day of pregnancy. When a pregnancy test detect the presence of hCG the test comes out to be positive. Early pregnancy test must also detect variants of this hormone; however reliable results can be obtained only when the level of hCG have increased.


Identification of Pregnancy hormone

  • Human chorionic gonadortropin (hCG) can be detected by a home pregnancy test. Here urine sample is use while conducting a test.
  • When the pregnancy test for detecting this hormone is conducted at laboratory, hCG can be detected either from blood or urine sample. Blood tests are more sensitive and can give reliable result as soon as implantation begins.
  • The tests that claim early detection of pregnancy are capable of detecting the hGC's variants. These variants are called Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin- Hyperglycosylated (hCG-H).

In a pregnant women level of Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin keeps on increasing at a quick pace. For the initial eight week of pregnancy it doubles itself at every alternate day. It is for the same reason that pregnancy tests conducted in later phase are able to get hold of this hormone. So you get more reliable test results in comparison to the test conducted immediately after implantation.

Even if you are pregnant your test can show negative result, this is due to low level of hCG. Tests can best detect pregnancy hormone when done quite later after implantation.



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