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Female urinary tract
Female urinary tract


Male urinary tract
Male urinary tract


HCG in urine

Definition:

This type of human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) test measures the specific level of HCG in the urine. HCG is a hormone produced during pregnancy.

See also:



Alternative Names:

Beta-HCG - urine; Human chorionic gonadotropin - urine



How the test is performed:

As you urinate, collect a urine sample in a special (sterile) cup. Home pregnancy tests require the test strip to be dipped into the urine sample or passed through the urine stream while urinating. Carefully follow package directions.

Usually a first-morning sample (the first time you urinate in the morning) is preferred, because it is the most concentrated.



How to prepare for the test:

No special preparation is needed.



How the test will feel:

The test involves normal urination into a cup or onto a stick.



Why the test is performed:

Urine HCG tests are a common method of determining if a woman is pregnant. The best time to test for pregnancy at home is after you miss your period.



Normal Values:
  • The test is negative if you are not pregnant.
  • The test is positive if you are pregnant.

A pregnancy test, including a properly performed home pregnancy test, is considered to be about 98% accurate. Positive results are more likely to be accurate than negative results. When the test is negative but pregnancy is still suspected, the test should be repeated in 1 week.



What the risks are:

There are essentially no risks (except for "false positive" or "false negative" results).



Special considerations:

Drugs that can decrease HCG measurements include diuretics and promethazine.

Drugs that can increase HCG measurements include anticonvulsants, anti-parkinsonian drugs, phenothiazine, and promethazine.



References:

Webster RA. Reproductive function and pregnancy. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry's Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 21st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2006:chap 25.

Morrison LJ. General approach to the pregnancy patient. In: Marx J, ed. Rosen’s Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 6th ed. St Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2006:chap 176.




Review Date: 10/28/2008
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; and Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, Washington; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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