Pregnancy Tests Used in Doctor Offices

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You think you might be pregnant, but you want to have a test done at your doctor's office to be sure. There are two types of tests that your doctor's office may use to test for pregnancy, a blood test or a urine test. The blood pregnancy test is the most accurate of the two, but results take longer to get.

Urine Pregnancy Test

  • A urine pregnancy test at the doctor's office works the same as a basic home pregnancy test. It detects if there is human chorionic gonadotropin, or hCG, in your urine sample, notes the NOVA Women's Healthcare website. This type of test is generally inexpensive and is the simplest of the two tests. Results from a urine pregnancy tests are available within minutes and are about 97 percent accurate, according to the American Pregnancy Association website.

Qualitative Blood Test

  • A qualitative blood pregnancy test checks for the presence of the hCG hormone in your blood to confirm whether you're pregnant. This type of blood test provides you with a simple yes or no answer. However, it can take 2 to 3 days before results are ready, and it's more expensive than a urine test. Your doctor can order a qualitative blood test as soon as 10 days following your missed period, according to the NOVA Women's Healthcare website.

Quantitative Blood Test

  • When your doctor orders a blood pregnancy test, he may also recommend quantitative hCG test, which is used to determine just how much hCG is found in your blood. These levels help your doctor to rule out an ectopic pregnancy and track any potential issues that may arise, including molar pregnancy or multiple fetuses. A quantitative blood test can also assist your doctor in determining how far along your pregnancy is, which is helpful when you're unsure about when you may have conceived. The hCG levels in your blood will steadily rise during the first 16 weeks or so in your pregnancy, allowing your doctor to date the pregnancy based on those hCG levels.

False Results

  • Urine pregnancy tests, even those performed in a doctor's office, can sometimes give false results. A urine pregnancy test can provide a false positive result if your urine has protein or blood in it, states the WebMD website. Some drugs, including hypnotics, tranquilizers and anti-convulsants, can also cause a false positive. A false-negative result can occur if you test too soon in your pregnancy or if you're on certain medications, such as antihistamines or diuretics. If you or your doctor feel that the results of your urine test are inaccurate, a blood test can confirm the results.

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