You have blood and urine tests to check for levels of a pregnancy hormone called human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG). hCG isn’t normally present in women who aren’t pregnant. The placenta releases hCG into your bloodstream and your body gets rid of the rest in your urine.
Molar pregnancies also produce hCG and the levels can be much higher than normal. So measuring the levels of hCG in your blood and urine can help to diagnose a molar pregnancy.
You might also have blood tests to check for signs of anaemia and to see how well your liver and kidneys are working.
Having a blood test
You can eat and drink normally before your blood tests.
You sit or lie down to have the test.
A doctor, nurse or phlebotomist (person specialised in taking blood) chooses the best vein to use. This is usually from your arm or hand. Let them know if you are afraid of needles, get unwell with the sight of blood or are allergic to plasters or latex.
They put a tight band (tourniquet) around your arm above the area where they take the sample. You may need to clench your fist to make it easier to find a vein.
They clean your skin and then put a small needle into your vein. Next, they attach a small bottle or syringe to the needle to draw out some blood. They might fill several small bottles.
Once they have all the samples, they release the band around your arm. They then take the needle out and put pressure on the area with a cotton wool ball or small piece of gauze for a few minutes. This helps to stop bleeding and bruising.
Look away when they’re taking the blood if you prefer. Tell your doctor, nurse or phlebotomist if you feel unwell.
Getting your results
Your doctor or midwife usually gives you your results within a day or so of the test.
To collect a clean urine sample:
- your nurse will give you a small, sterile plastic tube
- label the tube with your name, date of birth, and the date
- wash your hands thoroughly
- start to pass urine and then stop
- pass urine into the tube
- screw the lid of the tube shut
- wash your hands
- give the tube to the nurse
You usually get your results within a day or so of having the test.