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What tests should be performed during pregnancy?

06 Jun 2024

What tests should be performed during pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a special time in every woman’s life, full of joy, expectation, but also uncertainty. To ensure the health and safety of both the expectant mother and her baby, it is important to have regular prenatal tests. In this article, we’ll discuss the key tests you should have during pregnancy and what they mean.

1. First prenatal visit

Time: 6-8 weeks of pregnancy

During the first visit, the gynecologist will conduct a detailed medical interview, which includes the mother’s health history, previous pregnancies, chronic diseases, allergies, lifestyle and medications taken. The doctor will also order basic laboratory tests, such as:
• Blood count: Assessment of general health, detection of anemia.
• Blood type and Rh: Identification of blood type and Rh factor to prevent serological conflict.
• Urinalysis: Detection of urinary tract infections, assessment of renal function.
• Blood sugar test: Detecting gestational diabetes.

2. Tests in the first trimester

Time: 11-14 weeks of pregnancy

In the first trimester, key tests are performed that help assess the risk of genetic defects and developmental anomalies:
• Ultrasound of the first trimester (genetic): Assessment of nuchal translucency (NT), anatomical structure of the fetus, exclusion of heart defects.
• Dual test: A blood test that assesses levels of PAPP-A protein and free beta-hCG subunit to assess the risk of trisomy 21 (Down syndrome) and other chromosomal abnormalities.

3. Tests in the second trimester

Time: 15-22 weeks of pregnancy

The second trimester is the time for further important tests:
• Triple/quadruple test: A blood test that assesses levels of AFP, hCG, estriol, and sometimes inhibitor A to further assess the risk of genetic defects.
• Mid-term ultrasound (20-22 weeks): Detailed assessment of fetal anatomy, detection of developmental defects, assessment of the child’s growth and development.
• Glucose Testing (OGTT): Glucose tolerance test to detect gestational diabetes.

4. Tests in the third trimester

Time: 28-32 weeks of pregnancy

The third trimester focuses on assessing the health of the mother and baby and preparing for childbirth:
• Third trimester ultrasound: Assessment of fetal growth, position of the placenta, amount of amniotic fluid.
• Group B streptococcus (GBS) testing: Detects bacteria that may be dangerous to the newborn during delivery.
• Hemoglobin level check: Reassess for anemia.

5. Additional tests and consultations

Depending on the individual health needs of the future mother, the doctor may order additional tests and consultations:
• Cardiotocography (CTG): Monitoring the fetal heartbeat and uterine contractions, especially at the end of pregnancy.
• Specialist consultations: In the event of chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes or thyroid problems, a consultation with an appropriate specialist may be necessary.

6. Modern prenatal tests

For women who want detailed information about their baby’s health, advanced prenatal testing is available:
• NIPT Tests (Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing): Tests such as NIFTY, Veracity, Verage-ne, which analyze fetal DNA from the mother’s blood to detect the risk of genetic defects such as trisomy 21, 18, 13.
Summary
Regular examinations during pregnancy are crucial to monitor the health of the mother and developing baby. Thanks to them, you can detect possible problems early and take appropriate actions. Remember that each case is individual, so it is important to work closely with the doctor supervising the pregnancy. By taking care of yourself and regularly performing recommended tests, you increase your chances of a healthy and safe pregnancy.
We invite you to our Mediss Medical clinic, where we offer comprehensive prenatal care and a wide range of tests to provide you and your child with the best possible care.