Pregnancy Testing

Pregnancy Testing

Wondering if you are pregnant can be nerve-wracking. Knowing ahead of time of what to expect with pregnancy testing can help ease some of your anxiety. Here we provide information on what you can expect for pregnancy testing at your doctor’s office.

There are two main types of pregnancy tests that can let you know if you’re pregnant: urine tests and blood tests. One tests the blood for the pregnancy hormone, hCG. And you need to see a doctor to have a blood test. The other checks the urine for the hCG hormone.

Urine Pregnancy Testing

Doctors can perform urine pregnancy tests (UPT) in their office and is usually the first step in diagnosing a pregnancy. After the urine testing, the doctor can perform even more pregnancy tests such as a blood test and sonogram.

More often, you may take a home pregnancy test (HPT) to quickly determine pregnancy. If a home pregnancy test is positive and you have decided to continue with the pregnancy, you should call us as soon as possible. We can use a more sensitive test such as blood testing along with a pelvic exam to make sure you are pregnant. Seeing us early in your pregnancy will help you and your baby to stay healthy.

If a home pregnancy test is positive and you have decided not to continue with the pregnancy, you should call us as soon as possible. We will do another urine pregnancy testing (UPT) for their records and a sonogram to determine how far your pregnancy has progressed and discuss options that best suit your circumstances.

Blood Pregnancy Testing

Blood tests are done at our office, but are used less often than urine tests. These tests can detect pregnancy earlier than a home pregnancy test, or about six to eight days after ovulation (when an egg is released from the ovary). But with these tests, it takes longer to get the results, usually 2-3 days, than with a urine pregnancy test since they must be sent to a lab.

Two types of blood pregnancy tests are available:

A qualitative blood test simply checks to see if hCG is present. It gives a “yes” or “no” answer. Doctors often order these tests to confirm pregnancy as early as 10 days after a missed period. Some tests can detect hCG much earlier. A qualitative blood test is seldom used to quickly confirm pregnancy since it takes a few days longer. A combination of urine pregnancy test and sonogram which can be performed same day is a good method to detect pregnancy in the doctor’s office.

A quantitative blood test (beta hCG) measures the exact amount of hCG in your blood. It can find even very low levels of hCG. Because this pregnancy test can measure the concentration of hCG, it may be helpful in tracking any problems during pregnancy. The quantitative blood test is often used to rule out a tubal (ectopic) pregnancy or to monitor a woman after a miscarriage when hCG levels fall rapidly.

Pregnancy Testing FAQ

How do urine pregnancy tests work at the doctor’s office?
What is a sonogram or ultrasound?
How is a transvaginal sonogram (vaginal sono) performed?