Influence of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin and Its Use in Detecting Pregnancy
Human chorionic gonadotropin or hCG is a hormone that is created by the placenta of a woman when she is pregnant. Just after the embryo is created, it will begin attempting to implant in the uterine lining. It is at this time that this hormone begins being produced.
hCG will then begin doubling in amount as the placenta continues to grow. This doubling will take place every two or three days until the woman has reached week 10 to 12 of her pregnancy. After this point, the amount of hCG in her body will peak and begin to decline.
When a woman takes a pregnancy test, it is designed to look for this specific hormone. Since this hormone is only present during pregnancy, this is the best way to determine if a woman is pregnant. One reason that pregnancy tests may not indicate a pregnancy early on is because of the low amount of the hormone that first develops in the body.
For this reason, it is suggested that a woman wait until a week after she misses a period before taking a pregnancy test. It can also be helpful to rely on a blood test instead of a urine test when checking for pregnancy. Blood tests are more sensitive to hCG and may detect the hormone sooner than a urine test.
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