If some of the initial signs and symptoms are present, and you’ve taken a urine test from the pharmacy, it could be time to get a blood test with a provider. Not all providers want to see you for this blood test, in fact, some providers won’t even make your first appointment until you are twelve weeks’ gestation, as long as you are not having any complications.
We like to offer it as an option. Some women would prefer to have a second, often more accurate, pregnancy test performed to give them peace of mind. Women who have a history of pregnancy loss may choose to have their blood tested a couple times to make sure the pregnancy is progressing normally. We certainly don’t require it, you’ll find that midwives don’t require much of anything, but we’d like you to know it’s available if you’d like it.
The blood test is performed by regular venipuncture and is fairly simple and straight-forward. Possible risks are the same as any venipuncture, bruising, swelling, and/or tenderness at the draw site, infection due to an open wound, or an allergy to something used in the process, such as gloves or a tourniquet. The blood is tested by a lab for hCG, the same hormone that the urine test is sensitive to, however, a blood test will give both qualitative and quantitative results. This means that it gives a positive or negative, but that answer is followed up with exactly how much hCG the test was able to detect in your system. This information is useful when trying to narrow down a conception date, identifying multiples, diagnosing problems, or tracking the health of a pregnancy. hCG should double in the body every couple days so if a miscarriage is suspected, the hCG can be drawn twice, a few days apart, and the number tracked as to how much it’s increasing.
So, if you are searching for a provider willing to perform a pregnancy blood test, look no farther. Give us a call and we’ll come to you.