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What Is a Beta Pregnancy Test?

A beta pregnancy test is performed at your doctor’s office to confirm your pregnancy.

There are two types of beta pregnancy tests:

Qualitative – A qualitative beta pregnancy test tests your blood for a yes or no answer. The qualitative beta pregnancy test isn’t typically used because you can get the same result with a less expensive sensitive urine based home pregnancy test.

Quantitative – A quantitative beta pregnancy test is when the numerical level of the amount of hCG in you blood is measured.

Most pregnancies do not require a beta pregnancy test. They are usually required for women who are having fertility treatments or are under a doctor’s care when attempting to get pregnant.

Women undergoing fertility treatments will typically have several beta pregnancy tests to make sure the hCG levels are increasing over time.

Typically, a beta pregnancy test is considered positive when the hCG level is 25 mIU or higher. hCG levels detected by a beta pregnancy test that are between 5 mIU and 25 mIU warrant watching and the blood test should be performed again in two days. You will want the results showing an increase in hCG amounts.

hCG Levels During Pregnancy

When tracking your pregnancy’s progress with blood pregnancy tests, you will want to see an increase in the level from one test to another. hCG typically doubles every 48 to 72 hours in a healthy pregnancy. If a hCG result is 100 on Tuesday, a second blood test should show a result of 200 on Thursday or Friday.

hCG levels During Early Pregnancy:

hCG levels in weeks from LMP (last menstrual period):

3 weeks LMP: 5 – 50 mIU/ml
4 weeks LMP: 5 – 426 mIU/ml
5 weeks LMP: 18 – 7,340 mIU/ml
6 weeks LMP: 1,080 – 56,500 mIU/ml
7 – 8 weeks LMP: 7, 650 – 229,000 mIU/ml
9 – 12 weeks LMP: 25,700 – 288,000 mIU/ml
13 – 16 weeks LMP: 13,300 – 254,000 mIU/ml
17 – 24 weeks LMP: 4,060 – 165,400 mIU/ml

Last modified: February 10, 2013

The information provided here should not be considered medical advice. It is based on the average experience of women trying to conceive and may not be what you may be experiencing. It's not meant to be a replacement for any advice you may receive from your doctor. If you have any concerns about your cycle or our ability to get pregnant, we advise you to contact your doctor.