ZocdocAnswersWhat does an HCG test check for?

Question

What does an HCG test check for?

I am scheduled to have one.

Answer

HCG stands for human chorionic gonadotropin. Tests for HCG are used to look for a live pregnancy. These tests can be done by a physician in the office. Home pregnancy tests that can be purchased at most grocery stores also test for HCG in the urine. I will give you some more background about the test. HCG is a hormone that is produced by a live embryo several days after conception. The role of HCG is to signal to the mother that a conception is occurred, and to begin preparing the body for a pregnancy. An HCG level can be used to track how a pregnancy is progressing. If the HCG level is rising, then that means a pregnancy is being maintained. If the HCG level is falling, then that means that a pregnancy is being rejected (miscarriage). If the HCG level is undetectable, this means the women is not pregnant. Finally, HCG can also be released by very rare tumors called choriocarcinoma. If your HCG test is positive, then you will need to schedule an appointment with your OBGYN. The two of you can discuss what you need to do in order to have a healthy pregnancy. You will also need start taking prenatal vitamins. Good luck.

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