Pregnancy Screen (Qualitative)

Expected Turnaround Time

24 Hours

Turnaround time is defined as the usual number of days from the date of pickup of a specimen for testing to when the result is released to the ordering provider. In some cases, additional time should be allowed for additional confirmatory or additional reflex tests. Testing schedules may vary.

Specimen Requirements


Serum, Urine


SST (Serum), Red Top (Separate Serum), Sterile urine transport tube

Storage Instructions

Room Temp., Refrigerated (2-8 C)

Stability Requirements

Room temp. 72 hrs, Refrigerated 5 days

Test Details

Additional Information

The HCG pregnancy test is a hormone secreted in the initial stages of pregnancy by the trophoblasts of the fertilized ovum that supports the corpus luteum in secreting estrogen and progesterone, which helps sustain the pregnancy. The human chorionic gonadotropin urine test determines HCG hormone levels in the urine during pregnancy. It is produced by the cells present in the placenta that nourish the egg after fertilization, and is attached to the uterine wall, and provides nutrients to the developing embryo. 

It is possible to detect HCG in a urine sample about 10-14 days after conception. The HCG levels in the body increase rapidly in the first few weeks of pregnancy, doubling every 48 to 72 hours. It is usual for HCG levels to reach their peak around 7-11 weeks of pregnancy, then decrease and level off, remaining consistent for the rest of the pregnancy. However, HCG levels can vary significantly between different pregnancies and between different individuals, and the timing and rate of HCG level changes can also vary.  

Though qualitative tests are considered 99% accurate, some factors that could affect their accuracy are: 

  • The time of day a test is taken can affect the results of a pregnancy test. Morning urine is considered the most concentrated, meaning it contains the most amount of HCG hormone, which is produced during pregnancy. 
  • In rare cases, the hormone HCG is produced but the embryo cannot be sustained in the uterus. This is known as a biochemical pregnancy. 
  • An ectopic pregnancy, in which the embryo will attach itself outside the uterus and will cause a positive pregnancy test result since the hormone HCG is still being produced. 


  1. Geno KA, Cervinski MA, Nerenz RD. Pregnancy and the fetus. In: Winter WE, Holmquist B, Sokoll LJ, Berthholf RL, eds. Handbook of Diagnostic Endocrinology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 15. 
  2. Jeelani R, Bluth MH. Reproductive function and pregnancy. In: McPherson RA, Pincus MR, eds. Henry’s Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 24th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 26. 

Statement on Medical Necessity
All ordered tests should be medically necessary for the diagnosis or detection of disease, illness, impairment, symptom, syndrome, or disorder and the results should be used in the medical management and treatment decisions for the patient. Solaris requires ICD-10 codes with each order for lab testing and both the tests ordered and the diagnosis should be documented in the provider’s medical record for the patient. The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, takes the position that a provider who orders medically unnecessary tests may be subject to civil penalties.

Panels and Profiles
Solaris offers Providers the convenience of ordering test combinations in a group at times with the flexibility to choose appropriate test(s) for individual patients. Providers should only order those tests that he or she believes are medically necessary for each patient, and a lesser inclusive profile or individual tests should be ordered if not all tests in the test combination/profile are medically necessary. All tests offered in a test combination/profile may be ordered separately as individual tests. Solaris encourages clients to contact their Solaris representative if the testing configurations shown do not meet individual needs for any reason, or if some other combination of procedures is needed.

CPT Codes
CPT Codes listed are in accordance with Current Procedural Terminology, a publication of the American Medical Association. CPT codes are the responsibility of the billing party and are listed here for informational purposes. Correct coding may vary from one carrier to another. Solaris may bill specific carriers using codes other than what is shown.


For questions or inquiries related to testing please reach out to or contact us by phone at (844) 550-0308.