Why should I have a pregnancy blood test?
A pregnancy blood test is suitable if:
- you think you might be pregnant
- you’ve tested positive on a urine pregnancy kit
- you’re undergoing IVF and your consultant recommends an hCG test
- you’re pregnant and monitoring hCG levels as advisable
About our test
We test for beta HCG by taking a blood test, giving us the most accurate indication of how pregnant you are or a definitive negative result. In pregnancy, the level of beta HCG doubles every few days so some women choose to be tested several times in early pregnancy.
Pregnancy test results
It is always recommended that you have your pregnancy test done with a doctor, rather than at home. A positive result in a home test is almost always accurate, but false negatives are possible. If your home test shows a negative result, but you still have not started your period, it is recommended that you come to speak to a doctor to be sure.
What are the earliest signs of pregnancy?
If your period is usually quite regular, the first and most reliable sign that you are pregnant is a missed period or a period that is much lighter and shorter than your usual bleed. Nausea and sickness are the second early sign of pregnancy, but usually will not start until six weeks or more after your last period.
Most pregnancy tests can be taken from the first missed day of a period. If you are not sure where you are in your menstrual cycle or when your period is due, the test is best done at least 21 days after you last had unprotected sex.During the test
The pregnancy test is done using a blood sample, which will be taken at the clinic.
Your results will be emailed to you as soon as we receive them from the laboratory. The results are self-explanatory and their interpretation by a GP is not included in the test price.
Pregnancy tests work by detecting the presence of hCG (the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin) in the blood, which will start being produced roughly six days after fertilisation. If you are doing your test at home, always check the instructions, as different tests have different requirements.
Levels can first be detected by a blood test about 11 days after conception. In general the hCG levels will double every 72 hours. The level will reach its peak in the first 8 – 11 weeks of pregnancy and then will decline and level off for the remainder of the pregnancy.
If your test is positive and you want to continue with your pregnancy, you will need to continue to monitor this level to ensure it is increasing sufficiently. You can then be referred back to your GP for further monitoring or continue to manage your pregnancy privately with our clinic and our partner specialists. If you do not want to continue your pregnancy, please contact your GP or Marie Stopes clinics.