The β-HCG test
What is the β-HCG test?
The β-HCG test is actually the blood pregnancy test. In case of IVF treatment, this test needs to be done exactly 14 days following the egg collection. If the test is positive, then the woman is pregnant. Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin (β-HCG) is a hormone produced by the placenta following implantation of the embryo in the uterus. It can be detected and measured in blood as well as in urine. The blood test is generally considered more reliable.
Reference levels – when is the test ‘positive’?
Any measurement higher than 5 means that the test is positive and the woman is pregnant. Ideally, it is better if β-HCG measures 50 or higher 14 days after the egg collection.
If β-HCG is lower, then the risk of biochemical or ectopic pregnancy is increased.
Normally, β-HCG levels double every 2 days. This is why the doctor will ask you to repeat the test 2-3 times and why blood test is preferable to urine test.
If β-HCG levels double every 2 days, then this is a very good sign that the pregnancy will progress normally.
A 60% increase is sufficient.
If you had the test 2-3 times and all looks normal, then the next step is your first pregnancy scan. This is scheduled on week 6 of your pregnancy, so 2 weeks after the egg collection.