Pregnancy Testing at the Doctor’s Office: What You Need to Know

November 16, 2020
2 min read
Pregnancy Testing at the Doctor’s Office: What You Need to Know

If you think you are pregnant, you don’t want to just assume: you want to know. You can always buy a pregnancy test at a drugstore, but those are not reliable all of the time, especially if you don’t use it correctly or don’t know how to read the results. It is a good idea to go to a doctor to get a professional, medical-grade pregnancy test. Here is everything you need to know about a pregnancy test at the doctor’s office.

Types of Pregnancy Tests

There are two main types of pregnancy tests that you might get at a doctor’s office: a blood test and a urine test.  

For a pregnancy blood test, the doctor or nurse draws a bit of blood from your arm and sends it for testing. If there is a lab at your doctor’s office, you may be able to get the results within a few hours that same day. Otherwise they will contact you two or three days after your appointment to inform you of the results.

A urine pregnancy test at the doctor’s is basically the same as the type you would buy at the store and take at home. These show results much faster than a pregnancy blood test, usually within a few minutes.  Both types of pregnancy tests at a doctor’s office are 99% accurate.

How Do Pregnancy Tests Work?

How do these tests work?  A pregnancy test looks for the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin(hCG). The body makes this hormone once a fertilized egg has attached to the wall of the uterus. The hormone hCG doubles in your body every two to three days. This is why a pregnancy test, even a home test, gets more accurate the longer you wait to take it. Both types of test look for hCG. The hormone can be detected by a pregnancy blood test about six to eight days after conception and by a urine test after ten days. 

Which Pregnancy Test Should I Request?

Ask your doctor which pregnancy test is right for you.  Most people are fine with just a urine test. When done correctly, these are 99% accurate. A pregnancy blood test is used in more specific situations. It is more sensitive than a urine test, so it can detect pregnancy faster. A pregnancy blood test can let you know that you are pregnant even before you miss a period. 

Pregnancy blood tests and urine tests are both qualitative. This means that they either come back positive or negative. They tell you whether you are pregnant with a simple yes or no. There is also a quantitative pregnancy blood test that is given a few times over a 48 hour period. This does more than just tell you if you are pregnant.  It measures the amount of hCG over time, showing how fast it is doubling. Doctors can use this information to determine how long you have been pregnant, if you are having twins, to monitor for miscarriage, and more.

Need a Doctor for a Pregnancy test?

If you think you may be pregnant, you want to find out fast. BASS Medical Group can help. They have on-site clinical lab services, so you get faster test results 100% of the time. Walk ins are welcome for blood draws, pediatrics, flu, strep, mono, and pregnancy testing. Trust BASS Medical Group for fast and accurate medical testing. Call (925)329-3715 or visit them online to learn more or schedule an appointment today.