Your doctor may recommend you to undergo a number of prenatal screenings and tests to keep tabs on the baby’s and your health. Pregnancy is a delicate time. So your body and the baby’s growth need to be monitored on a constant basis to ensure good health for both. Let’s look at the list of tests during pregnancy that doctors recommend.
List of tests during pregnancy
- Genetic screening
If you or your partner has a family history of genetic disorders, then your doctor would likely recommend genetic testing. You may also have to undergo it if you’ve had a baby with genetic disorders in the past.Genetic conditions that can be detected before birth are –
- Sickle cell disease
- Polycystic kidney disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Haemophilia A
- First trimester tests
In the first trimester, you may have to undergo an ultrasound test and maternal blood testing. Among the tests in the list of tests during pregnancy, these tests can help determine if the baby is at risk of birth defects a. Ultrasound for fetal nuchal translucency This test checks the back of the foetus’s neck for fluid accumulation or thickening. b. Ultrasound for fetal nasal bone In some foetuses, the nasal bone may not be visible, especially those with Down’s syndrome. This test helps to determine the presence of the nasal bone. c. Pregnancy-associated plasma protein A This protein is produced in the body during the early stages of pregnancy. In case the level of this protein becomes abnormal, it can indicate a chromosomal problem. d. Human chorionic gonadotrophin This hormone too is produced by the placenta. Its abnormal levels can indicate chromosomal problems.
- Second-trimester tests
The second-trimester tests are carried out between the 15th and 20th week of pregnancy. These tests can tell you the risk of birth defects and genetic problems in the baby. a. AFP screening Alpha-fetoprotein is a type of protein produced by the liver of the fetus. This protein is present in the amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus. Abnormal levels of AFP may indicate –
- Down syndrome
- Spina bifida
- An incorrect prediction of the due date
- Abdominal wall problems of the fetus
The other markers that are generally tested from the list of tests during pregnancy in the second trimester are Human Chorionic Gonadotropin hormone (hCG), Estriol and Inhibin.These are simply screening tests to determine if you need to undergo more tests. b. Amniocentesis Amniocentesis is a test where a small amount of amniotic fluid is tested to determine genetic problems. This is recommended for women who are at a high risk of genetic problems.In this test, a needle is inserted into the amniotic sac to draw a sample out. The needle is guided by ultrasound. It is advised to not perform any strenuous activities for 24 hours after this procedure. c. Chorionic vilus sampling (CVS) In this test, some of your placental tissue will be extracted to check for genetic defects. This is done because the genetic material of the fetus and the placenta are the same.In this procedure, a catheter is inserted into the vagina. It is guided to the placenta using ultrasound and then a needle is used to scoop a small amount of placental tissue.
- Fetal monitoring
Fetal monitoring is referred to the methods doctors use to monitor the activities of fetus’ heart like the heart rate. An abnormal heart rate may indicate that the fetus isn’t getting sufficient oxygen.A fetoscope – a stethoscope for the fetus – is used by the doctors to monitor the heart rate of the fetus.
- Glucose tolerance test
A glucose tolerance test may be recommended by the doctor between the 24th to 28th weeks of pregnancy. This is to determine if you are at risk of gestational diabetes.For this test, multiple blood samples are taken during the course of a day to get an accurate idea of your blood glucose levels.
- Group B strep culture
In the list of tests during pregnancy, a group B strep culture test is used to determine if you have a group B streptococcus (GBS) infection in the placental tissues. Most life-threatening infections like meningitis and pneumonia in a newborn occur due to GBS.This test is generally performed between the 35th week to the 37th week of pregnancy. If these results are abnormal then you will be prescribed antibiotics.
This list of tests during pregnancy has common tests a pregnant woman needs to undergo to prevent complications later on. Discuss with your doctor if you need to undergo them at any point. [av_promobox button='yes' label='Consult A Doctor on MediBuddy' link='https://www.medibuddy.in/?utm_source=blog_cta&utm_medium=blog' link_target='' color='blue' custom_bg='#f00' custom_font='#ffffff' size='large' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello']While going through the journey of becoming a mother, one needs to be extremely careful. Consult doctors through MediBuddy to get all the necessary tests done.[/av_promobox] Sources: