You may think a blood pregnancy test (BPT) might be more accurate than a urine test to determine pregnancy. However, the facts show that this is not the case.
How pregnancy tests work
Both a blood pregnancy test and a urine pregnancy test measure the presence and amount of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone. This hormone is produced by the placenta shortly after the fertilized egg – embryo – attaches to the uterine lining. This is the hormone that nourishes the embryo and it’s this rapid shift in hormones that triggers most of your pregnancy symptoms.
Levels can first be detected by both forms of these tests at about the same number of days following conception/fertilization – 7 to 10 days.
There are two common types of hCG tests:
- A urine pregnancy test detects whether any hCG is found in the urine – qualitative – the result is either positive or negative.
- A blood pregnancy test measures the specific amount of hCG in the blood – quantitative – levels of hCG
- Both tests help indicate the early stages of pregnancy.
Why you wouldn’t need a BPT
- Urine tests are more than 99 percent accurate and are trusted by medical professionals.
- A urine test is simple and painless, and costs nothing to collect.
- If you are healthy and have no previous pregnancy issues, you need not worry about taking a blood pregnancy test instead of a urine test.
- The results of a blood and urine tests are virtually identical and you would avoid the invasive, costly and sometimes uncomfortable procedure of a blood draw.
When you might need a BPT
In some cases, your doctor may recommend a blood pregnancy test:
- If there is an indication of a potential miscarriage to see if your hCG levels are dropping.
- To confirm that you are no longer pregnant following a medical abortion.
- If you have had two negative pregnancy tests but are still missing your periods and experiencing pregnancy symptoms.
- To help diagnose an ectopic or tubal pregnancy when there are indicators.
Get peace of mind through a free, accurate pregnancy test at Gateway. We provide confidential, free, lab-certified urine pregnancy tests administered by skilled professionals.
Call Gateway, your local Raleigh pregnancy center, at 919.833.0096. We have nurses on hand to answer all of your questions. Contact us today.