What are hCG tests used for?

What are hCG tests used for?

An hCG test indicates beta-human Chorionic Gonadotropin in specimens. Besides pregnancy detection, they can be also done to identify some serious illnesses. These tests can be either qualitative to specify the elevated level of hCG in urine or quantitative to find out the exact hormone level in blood.

What is hCG?

When a woman gets pregnant, her body changes a lot, especially her reproductive system. To supply the baby with fluids, oxygen, and nutrients during the whole pregnancy, the woman starts to grow a special organ in her uterus called the placenta, which produces a large number of hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, HPL, and hCG to sustain the pregnancy.

HCG is a glycoprotein hormone with the highest carbohydrate content of any human hormone. It consists of 2 subunits: alpha and beta. The first is common with other hormones (e.g. LH and TSH), whereas the latter is specific to hCG only.

HCG increases with the progression of pregnancy. Broadly speaking, the main function of this hormone is to stimulate the maternal thyroid and maintain the corpus luteum (a temporary body that is responsible for the secretion of progesterone during the early pregnancy).

How does the hCG test work?

HCG can be detected no sooner than the eighth day after fertilization. As previously stated, beta subunits are specific to hCG only, thus most tests are based on detecting namely these parts.

Depending on the result you get, the hCG test may be:


These tests indicate the presence of hCG in the sample of blood or urine. They can give either positive or negative results. A high-sensitive test is able to indicate hCG at the level of around 30 milli-international units/mL, which is typical for the eighth day of the gestation.


Quantitative tests indicate the specific number of hCG milli-international units in blood. They are usually taken in labs by doctor’s prescription.

Why are hCG tests done?

Qualitative hCG tests allow indicating the elevated level of hCG, mostly connected with pregnancy.

Quantitative beta-hCG tests are made to:

  • confirm pregnancy
  • determine the age of the fetus
  • determine twin pregnancy
  • detect ectopic pregnancy
  • detect a potential miscarriage
  • screen for Down’s syndrome

Are hCG tests for pregnancy only?

No. Lab HCG tests are performed by both males and females to measure the hormone level. Besides pregnancy, an elevated level of hCG may be a sign of some serious diseases, such as abnormal tissues, tumors, and cancers.

Where to buy?

To get accurate results, you should be responsible while choosing the test. At Mega Depot, you can find a variety of hCG tests from the most trusted brands, such as Stanbio Laboratory that is known for producing high-quality, reliable clinical lab products, used by laboratory professionals in acute care hospital labs and reference laboratories.

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