Finding out that you’re pregnant is information you’ll always want to know sooner rather than later. Early detection allows you to start making decisions about your pregnancy and begin proper prenatal care as soon as possible. The good news is, a simple blood test can help determine your pregnancy status in a few days time! Continue reading to learn everything you need to know about getting a blood test for pregnancy in Houston.
Can a Blood Test Determine if You Are Pregnant?
Yes! An HCG blood test can easily determine if you are pregnant or not.
HCG stands for Human Chorionic Gonadotropin; after a fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall, this hormone is secreted by the placenta as it forms. Levels of HCG in the blood reach their peak towards the end of the first trimester (12 weeks), and continue to decrease as the pregnancy goes on. Therefore, an HCG test is only applicable during early pregnancy.
Why Get Tested?
Levels of HCG can be measured by testing both urine and blood. Standard at-home pregnancy tests measure the level of HCG found in a woman’s urine and display a negative or positive result in roughly five minutes. However, if at-home pregnancy tests are taken incorrectly or during the wrong time, they can produce false-negative test results.
This makes blood work a more reliable means of determining pregnancy.
When to Get Tested?
You should go to your primary care physician and ask for a pregnancy blood test as soon as ten days after your missed cycle or 11 to 14 days after ovulation.
Often, a person will begin to experience symptoms of pregnancy and opt to take an at-home test. If the results of this at-home test are positive, they may then request an official blood test for confirmation. Conversely, if they feel the test results of at-home urine tests are suspect, they may also reach out to their doctor to medically verify their pregnancy status.
Symptoms of Pregnancy
You may be pregnant if you experience any of the following:
- A Missed Period
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Sensitive or Swollen Breasts
- Increased Urination
- Food Cravings or Aversions
This list of symptoms is not exhaustive, and each pregnant person will experience different symptoms to varying degrees. If you are experiencing these symptoms, taking an at-home pregnancy test could help you determine your pregnancy status.
What is Involved in a Blood Pregnancy Test in Houston?
Getting a blood pregnancy test in Houston, TX, is simple. Call your primary care physician or go to your nearest urgent care clinic and request to take advantage of their lab testing services. Be careful to work with providers covered by your health insurance.
If you know you will be asking for a blood pregnancy test, call ahead; this allows your doctors to order that the test be set up in advance, saving time.
During the test, a small amount of blood will be drawn via a needle. A needle will be inserted into a vein in the arm and blood will collect in a sanitary testing vial attached to the needle. This process is largely painless and should cause no lasting discomfort.
Once the blood has been drawn, it will be sent for testing. Lab results should be available within three or four days, and your doctor can communicate them with you via email or phone call, depending on your preference.
Is Test Preparation Needed?
When going in for medical testing, it is always important to be properly prepared. No preparation is needed to take a HCG Blood Test, as nothing external influences the levels of HCG residing in the blood at the time of testing.
However, doctors recommend that urine-based HCG tests be taken in the morning to get the most accurate results. As we drink throughout the day, water being processed through the body can dilute urine and make HCG harder to detect, increasing the risk of a false negative.
Get Results at Village Emergency Center
A blood test is a fast and easy way to confirm your pregnancy status and restore your peace of mind. When searching for a blood pregnancy test in Houston, make sure you’re working with medical professionals you can trust, ensuring you receive the best care possible during this sensitive time. If you suspect you might be pregnant, reach out to your regular doctor or the nearest urgent care facility to schedule testing.