Pregnancy Progress Blood Test, from our experts to you.
Dr Natasha Fernando MBBS, MRCGP

Medical Director

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What is a
Pregnancy Progress Blood Test?

Our Pregnancy Progress Blood Test is a quantitative test for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) as it measures the actual hCG levels in your blood. HCG is a sensitive marker that can detect a pregnancy earlier than over-the-counter urine tests. Higher than normal hCG levels can also indicate that you are having twins, although this will need to be confirmed by an ultrasound scan. This test also measures your progesterone levels, which prepare your uterus for pregnancy by thickening it. Your progesterone levels should typically stay elevated throughout your pregnancy.

What is

HCG is made in the cells of the placenta (the organ that surrounds your baby), and it rises rapidly in the early stages of pregnancy, peaking at around ten or eleven weeks. HCG levels will double every 48 - 72 hours in a healthy pregnancy.

HCG tells your body you are pregnant and maintains the production of the hormones progesterone and oestrogen, which are essential for your baby.

What happens in
early pregnancy?

The early stages of pregnancy are an important time as your body begins forming a baby. The first trimester is 12 weeks from the first day of your last period. You go through significant physical and hormonal changes during this time, and your baby grows faster than at any other stage of pregnancy. This can be an exciting yet uncertain time, particularly if it is your first pregnancy or if you have experienced previous miscarriages. The risk of miscarriage is higher in the first three months, and an early test can help you see if your pregnancy is progressing as it should in the early stages.

What's Included?

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Progesterone Progesterone is a steroid hormone produced in the corpus luteum and the adrenal glands. Its main role is to prepare the body for and support a pregnancy. It is produced in increasing amounts in the second half of the menstrual cycle. Progesterone is normally tested on day 21 of your menstrual cycle to assess whether ovulation has taken place. Ê Although progesterone is considered a female hormone, men also produce progesterone in the adrenal glands and the testes. Progesterone in men plays a role in testosterone production.Ê
Beta hCG HCG is a pregnancy hormone produced by the placenta when a fertilised egg implants in the uterine wall. The hormone hCG starts to be produced around six days after fertilisation and can usually be detected 10 days after a missed menstrual period.

How to prepare
for your test

Special Instructions

Prepare for your Pregnancy Progress Blood Test by following these instructions. If you use hormone gels, pessaries, patches, or tablets, we strongly recommend selecting a venous sample to minimise contamination sometimes seen with finger-prick tests. Otherwise, administer any hormone supplements using gloves, and make sure your fingers have not been in contact with hormone supplements for at least four weeks before taking the test. Hormones can be absorbed deep within the skin even after minimal contact and remain there for weeks despite vigorous handwashing. Do not take biotin supplements for two days before this test, discuss this with your doctor if it is prescribed.