Blood and urine-based pregnancy tests work similarly to detect human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) in your body, a hormone only present during pregnancy. However, the way each test works and the timeframe in which each test can be used is different.

Read on to learn more about these differences. Or, if you’re looking for complimentary pregnancy testing, contact Women’s Care Center today to schedule an appointment with one of our nurses.

How Do Blood and Urine Pregnancy Tests Work?

At the moment of conception, hCG becomes present in your body. Both blood and urine pregnancy tests work by detecting hCG—blood tests use a blood sample, while urine tests use a urine sample.

HCG levels in your body during early pregnancy start low but rise quickly. This is why timing and the type of pregnancy test you receive are important. Blood pregnancy tests can detect hCG levels much earlier in pregnancy, while at-home urine tests claim to be most accurate when taken after the first day of a missed menstrual period.

Which Pregnancy Test to Take?

Urine tests are the most popular pregnancy test method because they are affordable, available at most drug stores, and can be self-administered at home. However, if you take a urine pregnancy test too early, you risk receiving a false negative. This happens when you’re pregnant but hCG levels haven’t risen to levels detectable by a urine pregnancy test.

Blood pregnancy tests can detect hCG levels in your body much sooner than a urine pregnancy test, and they can also measure these levels (which is sometimes needed to determine if the levels of hCG match the pregnancy’s gestational age). However, blood pregnancy tests are also more expensive than urine pregnancy tests and must be administered in a clinical setting.

Next Steps

Think you might be pregnant? Receiving pregnancy testing and following up with an ultrasound are the only ways to know for sure. Women’s Care Center offers complimentary urine pregnancy testing administered by a nurse and follow-up ultrasounds. Contact our office today to schedule your confidential appointment.