How Do Doctors Test For Pregnancy?

Going to the doctor always scared us since childhood. Even when you are going for a pregnancy test, you may feel some anxiety about hospital pregnancy test and may want to know how do doctors test for pregnancy.

Some doctors may first check your pulse and body temperature while others will straightaway send you for a blood pregnancy test.

But before doing anything, the doctor will ask you about your due period date. She may also talk about how frequently you have sex. Other questions like how long is your menstrual cycle are common during pregnancy examination.

Any clinic or hospital requires you to make a patient’s card. They will take your necessary information like name, age, and reason for the test.

How Do Doctors Test For Pregnancy?
How Do Doctors Test For Pregnancy?

How do doctors test for pregnancy at a clinic?

Doctors test for pregnancy at clinic either by urine test or pregnancy blood test.

After discussing your history, your doctor will ask you about any home pregnancy test that you took.

After that, they will give you a urine collecting bottle. A woman who has blood clotting problems might need a hospital urine pregnancy test.

Depending on the time of your visit, the doctor might recommend another visit or sending an early morning urine sample.

The doctor will then use a sensitive pregnancy test to detect pregnancy.

When a woman is pregnant her urine has a considerable level of hCG. hCG is a pregnancy hormone that starts coming in urine after implantation.

The embryo after implantation gets a placental layer. This layer produces many hormones including hCG.

Pregnancy tests have a dye that reacts with hCG hormone and gives a color. 

A doctor may also use a digital pregnancy test to detect pregnancy. Urine hCG pregnancy test is one of the many options available for testing pregnancy.

The CPC code for urine pregnancy test is 81025.

It is important to know that an ultrasound pregnancy test cannot be done at such an early stage.

Doctors do the first prenatal ultrasound generally after the sixth week of pregnancy.

Even a transvaginal Ultrasound will not be able to detect anything at such an early stage.

What alternative methods do doctors use for testing pregnancy?

Pregnancy blood test is another way to detect pregnancy at the hospital by a doctor.

A pregnancy blood test determines the level of hCG in serum. A pregnancy blood test is more accurate.

The hCG levels in the blood are higher than those in urine which makes the hospital pregnancy test more accurate.

A doctor tests pregnancy generally by a blood pregnancy test.

The doctor will withdraw a sample of blood and send it for hCG level determination. It is also called hCG beta pregnancy test.

It is a quantitative pregnancy test because it can calculate the amount of hCG in blood.

How do doctors test for Down’s Syndrome during pregnancy?

The beta hCG pregnancy test is also helpful in detection of Down’s Syndrome in the baby. There is no difference in either test.

Down’s Syndrome is a disease when the baby has a chromosomal abnormality which causes severe mental retardation and a constant tendency to pull out the tongue. Sticking the tongue out is the most common symptom of Down’s Syndrome.

What does a blood pregnancy test tell?

A blood pregnancy test not only tells whether you are pregnant or not but can find out many other things.

  1. Blood pregnancy test tells the duration of pregnancy till date.
  2. Ectopic pregnancy is also diagnosed during blood pregnancy test.
  3. A doctor may be able to find any congenital disabilities.
  4. The doctor will be able to safeguard you against any possibility of gestational diabetes.
  5. Low levels of hCG found in hospital pregnancy test can also point out a compromised placenta.

If your urine has some proteins or color, then urine pregnancy test will not be accurate. In this case, the doctor will opt out of taking a urine pregnancy test.

However, you will have to provide a sample of urine for most of the prenatal pregnancy tests.

A condition called Preeclampsia is the abnormally elevated blood pressure of a pregnant woman. It is a symptom of this condition that urine has protein.

For diagnosis of Preeclampsia or Toxemia, you’ll have to give a urine sample.

How early can a doctor test for pregnancy?

The process of implantation occurs after about a week from ovulation.

Ovulation occurs on the 14th day of the cycle. So this is two weeks before your due period. Blood hCG levels rise within 2-3 days after implantation. The urine hCG levels take about a week to rise to the detectable range.

A doctor can conduct a pregnancy test soon after implantation because they have a method for detecting early pregnancy.

A blood pregnancy test can detect pregnancy five days before missed period. Hence, doctors can do the pregnancy test soon after you see symptoms of implantation.

Symptoms of implantation include spotting and cramping.

Advantages of home pregnancy test

  • Early results
  • Confidentiality of the user
  • Cheap and affordable to duplicate
  • A user can take them at any time upon her convenience

Disadvantages of home pregnancy test

  • Less accurate
  • Chance of getting false negative pregnancy test is higher
  • Timings restricted to early morning

Advantages of hospital pregnancy test

  • Accurate
  • Determine many other things along with detecting pregnancy
  • Can diagnose pregnancy complications
  • Help determine the gestational age and delivery date
  • Can take at any time of the day

Disadvantages of hospital pregnancy test

  • Expensive
  • Blood sample withdrawing can cause bleeding and lightheadedness

How do doctors test pregnancy can be asked after going to the hospital.

Some doctors may write all tests during pregnancy blood test.

There is absolutely no need for them if you are not pregnant. You may have to later pay a huge bill for no reason at all.

It is best first to talk and have a verbal consultation session.


  1. Okay so I’m a little worried I may be pregnant. My last period was Feb 5-9. My boy friend and I had sex on the 10th with out a condum (I’m in bc, and he didn’t ejaculate in me). That following week I had severe nausea. Then it went away. For the following 3 weeks I felt pretty bloated. My period was guessed to start March 5 and is normally a heavy style period. I started light bleeding (changing pads 3x a day) on the 4th and am still bleeding today (5th). We did have sex between the two periods 1x a week protected. Could I be pregnant?

  2. I came on 9 of June on the 4th of July I spotted on up to July 9 had a little camping here and there but still have not saw a period saw can you tell me is there something wrong

    • At times period may not happen as a heavy flow. Especially for women who have gone through changes in sexual activity, prescription, age milestones etc. Ask your gynecologist if you feel that there is something wrong. If you’ve indulged in sexual activity, take a pregnancy test

  3. I’m kinda freaked out, I got off the pill after being on it for 7 years. My period hasn’t came and it’s been a month off the pill. I took 3 pregnancy test two days after I would have gotten my withdrawal bleed and one came out positive and another as well but very light lines. I’ve been getting cramping but no bleeding.

    • 7 years on the pill is very long duration to reverse back to normal cycle immediately. Wait for sometime, if you’ve not had sex after withdrawal of pill. In case you’ve had sex then maybe you’re pregnant and must get a blood test.

  4. I am 3 days late on my period, I took a pregnancy test this morning and it came back negative. My periods are always on time, never late. I had mild cramping the last three days and today I have not experienced any discomfort. I have been extremely exhausted the last few days and my breast have been slighty sore and nipples stay hard. I think I am pregnant but the test came back negative

  5. I missed my period on March 27 till date took a pregnancy test came back negative as GP told me to do that if I am in doubt I should do a blood test to check I had some ovaries pain on left and right was checked around 2018 everything came back normal also a bit stressed if it is seriously been in a relationship for 8 months now sexually active all the time


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here