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Should you take a pregnancy blood test?

If you think you might be pregnant, it’s a good idea to take a pregnancy test, and you may be considering a pregnancy blood test. It’s one of two types of pregnancy tests — pregnancy blood tests, and urine tests. You should know the differences between them so that you can get tested the way you want, and decide what comes next. So how do these tests work? Where can they be done? What’s the difference between them?

How They Work:

Urine-Based Tests: Most women opt to take a urine pregnancy test. It can be done in the comfort of your home, at a doctor’s office, or you can get a lab-quality, no-cost test at ThriVe+. These tests detect a hormone called hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) in your urine. This hormone is produced when a fertilized egg attaches to the uterus lining, indicating pregnancy. 

Pregnancy Blood Test: On the other hand, blood-based pregnancy tests are done only at a doctor’s office. These tests also look for the presence of hCG, but they are more sensitive. They can detect lower levels of the hormone compared to urine tests. Blood tests are particularly useful for providing accurate results a little earlier than a urine test. Taking one can help you know how far along your pregnancy is. However, urine tests are also accurate. Blood tests are usually done only when necessary.

How do you take a pregnancy blood test?

Blood tests must be conducted at a doctor’s office or medical center. A healthcare professional will draw a small sample of blood from your arm, and the test will be processed in a laboratory setting. Medical professionals will usually do a blood test only when further testing is needed. A urine test is typically sufficient.

Woman researching a pregnancy blood test.

What can these tests tell me?

Both Tests: Both urine-based and blood-based tests can deliver a simple positive or negative result, indicating whether or not you are pregnant. They’re really useful for getting initial confirmation. If you think you might be pregnant, you can take a test at no-cost at Thrive+.

Blood-Based Tests: Blood tests, being more sensitive, can provide additional information. They can help healthcare providers estimate the gestational age of the pregnancy more accurately. Blood tests can also help in identifying potential complications, such as ectopic pregnancies or miscarriages.

Mayo Clinic, Prenatal Care: 1st Trimester Visits

Smiling patient after a pregnancy blood test.

Worried about a blood test?

While a pregnancy blood test gives you valuable info, it’s common for women to have concerns about the process. Some people worry about:

  • Fear of Needles: Nobody likes needles. The idea of having blood drawn can be anxiety-inducing. However, it’s helpful to understand that the process is quick and relatively painless. Healthcare professionals are trained to make the experience as comfortable as possible. They often use small, thin needles for blood collection.

  • Privacy and Confidentiality: Some women may worry about the privacy and confidentiality of their test results, especially with blood tests being conducted at a doctor’s office. Rest assured that healthcare providers follow strict confidentiality protocols. Your test results are confidential, and healthcare professionals prioritize your privacy throughout the testing process.

  • Cost Considerations: If you think you might be pregnant, you don’t want to be worrying about the cost of a pregnancy blood test. Some may be more expensive than over-the-counter urine tests, depending on your insurance. Many healthcare providers offer a range of options to accommodate different financial situations. It’s helpful to discuss any financial concerns with your healthcare provider to know your options. Pregnancy tests are always no-cost at ThriVe+.

  • Understanding the Results: Many women are anxious about seeing the results of a pregnancy blood test. At ThriVe+, there are medical professionals and advocates to help explain the results, answer questions, and support you. Maybe you’ve taken a test and you’re unsure about the results. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at ThriVe+. If the result wasn’t what you’d hoped, we can help you know your options.

Being concerned about a pregnancy blood test is normal. Talk with your healthcare professionals, seek emotional support from friends or family, and be informed about your options. Remember that a blood test isn’t always necessary, so it’s good to talk to your doctor.  It’s our hope that you stay healthy, confident, informed.

ThriVe+ is a safe place, where women support women. Our no-cost, lab-quality pregnancy tests are designed to get you answers. No judgment, just support. If you’re worried about taking a blood-based pregnancy test, please contact us with your questions. We are here for you.

Healthy • Safe • Strong

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