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Which Blood Pregnancy Test Should You Take?

Medically Approved by Dr. Edward Salko

Table of Contents

Young woman hand holding pregnancy test

Yes, you can get a home test at just about any drugstore. But you’ll have to wait until you’ve missed a period.

And if you’re like a lot of women, you may have experienced false positive (or negative!) results in the past. Taking hormones to help you get pregnant may lead to a false positive in home tests.

For a few dollars more, a blood pregnancy test is more sensitive, and can be accurate after only after only one week.

It’s also the “proof” of pregnancy required by insurance companies and government agencies such as Medicaid – a home test won’t do it.

When you’re pregnant, your body begins to produce the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). Common signs of pregnancy are fatigue, nausea, sensitivity to smells, and breast tenderness, all of which can happen before you miss a period.

Both blood tests and urine tests look for hCG, but a professional test eliminates the potential errors of home testing.

And it’s important to remember that in most cases, a home test will not be accepted in order to provide medical and social services during your pregnancy.

Qualitative or Quantitative?

Qualitative blood pregnancy tests tell you if you have hCG in your blood, and whether you are or are not pregnant. Like home tests, a qualitative test is either positive or negative. It will not determine the stage of pregnancy.

This test fulfills the requirements of most insurance companies and government agencies.

Quantitative blood pregnancy tests measure the amount of hCG in your blood, which tells you the stage of your pregnancy. The hCG hormone raises during the first trimester and begins to level off at the second and third. hCG is still present for awhile following a miscarriage. A drop in hCG can indicate trouble with a pregnancy.

Consider this test to track the progression of your pregnancy, especially if you have fertility problems, or if you want to confirm a miscarriage or pregnancy termination.

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