The function of HCG
Human chorionic gonadotropin contributes to the maintenance of the corpus luteum – endocrine structures are involved in the production of progesterone, a hormone which plays a vital role during pregnancy. HCG is able of shedding the immune cells of the mother, protecting the fetus in the first trimester of pregnancy, to the complete formation of the placenta. The chorion produces HCG, its predecessor. The scientists also hypothesized that evidence which lately is more and more that HCG helps the mother to form immune tolerance to the fetus. It is believed that chorionic gonadotropin is responsible for the famous nausea in pregnancy, and at one time HCG was attributed to the "magical" ability to "program" the body to get rid of excessive body fat that can damage the unborn baby. On this supposed property was even developed by some HCG diet, but further research did not confirm this hypothesis.
While pregnant HCG and is produced by the chorion, there are other forms of this hormone, for example, produced by the pituitary gland or, in the case of cancer, secreted by cancer cells.
The types of tests for HCG
Tests for HCG are of two basic types: urine and blood. The urine is a very common analysis, working with large quantities. Urine analysis, for example, will not show a pregnancy until 12-14 days after conception and in the "diluted" urine test and in the later stages can be false negative. A urine test can give the result at a concentration of not less than 20 mIU/ml.
The hormone HCG is measured in milliseconds international units per milliliter (mIU / ml)
Blood tests for HCG are qualitative and quantitative. Quantitative study of blood serum for human chorionic gonadotropin, also known as test for beta-HCG, capable of detecting even trace amounts of the hormone. The analysis is done, typically, every two days, and helps to not only confirm pregnancy but also to show normally if it's leaking. The qualitative study confirms the presence of hormone, and is almost as effective as a good urine test.
How to take blood for HCG
A blood test for HCG take usually from a vein usually from the inside of the elbow or back-of-hand. The puncture site is cleaned with antiseptic, a hand pulls the harness in the shoulder area to make the veins to swell, and the health worker gently puts a needle into a vein. The sample is collected in a sealed vial, then removed the needle and tourniquet are removed, and the puncture site is applied a cotton swab with decontamination agent. Special training analysis is not required, but you must abstain from eating for 4-6 hours before the test.
Many physicians recommend to donate blood for HCG in the morning and on an empty stomach.
Risks blood test for HCG the same as all tests derived from the veins. You may feel varying degrees of discomfort from the puncture, you may be dizzy, sometimes till fainting formed a hematoma at the puncture site. Special risks for pregnant women analysis has not.
What medications can affect levels of HCG
Drugs that can reduce the level of HCG in the blood is:
- antihistaminic drug promethazine, also sold as pipolfen or promethazine;
- various diuretics, diuretics.
Drugs that increase the levels of HCG are:
- promethazine ( it is able to influence the hormone in the one and in the other direction);
- anticonvulsants, including preventive;
- preparations for the treatment of Parkinson's disease;
- prescription medication that contains HCG that is used most often for the treatment of infertility;
drugs of phenothiazine.
Why appoint a blood test for HCG
In addition to diagnosing pregnancy, in early pregnancy, your doctor may prescribe an analysis on the HCG to make sure its normal course, with the threat of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. HCG included in the screening test, which is used for prenatal diagnosis of fetal malformations. This analysis is taken after the induced abortion, to assess its completeness. The analysis is prescribed not only women but also men, to diagnose certain types of tumors. Another case when you take the test HCG blood in athletes suspected of using certain types of doping.
Which means a low level of HCG
For pregnant women normal HCG levels 3 weeks is considered 5-50 Miu/ml, then the amount of the hormone grows exponentially until 10-12 weeks and then decreases. The level is low in pregnant women may indicate the incorrect formulation of the term, as well as on a number of violations of pregnancy, such as:
- ectopic or missed abortion;
- delay in fetal development;
- the threat of miscarriage;
- placental insufficiency;
Which means a higher level of HCG
For pregnant women with a high level of HCG in the blood characteristic in a multiple pregnancy, it can also talk about the improperly prescribed period. High levels of HCG may cause a physician to suspect:
- pathology development of the fetus, including down syndrome;
- diabetes pregnant;
- preeclampsia or toxemia.
In men and non-pregnant women HCG is elevated in some types of cancer, including ovarian cancer in women and cancer of the testicles in a man, and when seminoma, teratoma, choriocarcinoma, tumors of germ cells and molar. Normal range of HCG for men and non-pregnant women is between 0-5 Miu /ml, postmenopausal women from 9.5 mIU/ml.
After receiving the results of the analysis on hgch, in no case should not engage in self diagnosis. Accurate interpretation of the analysis can be done only by a qualified technician who is familiar with your medical history. Besides nobody is insured from laboratory error and , if a blood test for HCG you are alerted, do not immediately fall into despair.