There are two types of tests performed in pregnant women: routine prenatal tests that are necessary for every pregnant woman and some additional tests which are recommended for women with high risk pregnancies.
Common Test Performed During Pregnancy
CBC – complete blood count is necessary in order to check the levels of hemoglobin, hematocrit and platelet count. Why is measuring these blood components as a part of prenatal tests is important? Pregnant women are more likely to get anemic, so the levels of hemoglobin and hematocrit help your doctor determine if you are anemic or not. In cases of anemia during pregnancy it should be corrected with food or medications as it interferes with the development of the growing fetus. Platelet count indicated the ability of the blood to clot. During childbirth, a certain amount of blood is lost. If the platelet count is low, the ability of blood to clot is impaired and there is the possibility of bleeding to death
Urine analysis – is very important during pregnancy as urinary tract infections are very common among pregnant women. Diagnosing and treating urinary infections on time during pregnancy is very important as there is a higher risk of preterm labor or other possible complications.
Cervical Changes and Pregnancy
Blood type, Rh Status and Antibody screen – blood prenatal tests will determine the type of your blood, if there will be a need for blood transfusion. Rh status helps your doctor determine if you are Rh negative or Rh positive. Rh-negative women should receive RhoGAM, an immunoglobulin given at 28 weeks of pregnancy and within 72 hours after delivery in order to prevent the mother from getting Rh sensitized. Antibody screen will help determine Rh antibodies and other types that are less common. Antibodies have the potential for causing blood disease in the fetus and in the newborn baby.
Pap smear – is recommended in cases when you haven’t done one in the last year. With the help of Pap smear, the cervix is examined for any possible precancerous changes (Read more: What is a Pap Smear?).
Prenatal Tests You Need for Your Baby’s Health
STD testing – it is very important to get prenatal tests for various sexually transmitted disease like Syphilis, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HIV-AIDS, etc., as they interfere with the pregnancy and present a potential risk for premature membrane rupture, preterm labor and subsequent infant complications (Learn more: STDs Prevention).
Gynecological examination – usually during the first visit, your doctor will perform a gynecological examination in Brooklyn, which is characterized by an examination of your vaginal area, vagina and cervix followed also by a clinical pelvimetry exam. The clinical pelvimetry exam consists of analyzing and estimating the size of the pelvic bones in order to determine if your pelvic anatomy is suitable for a normal vaginal delivery when the time comes. Except, the genital area, your doctor will also examine your breasts, heart and lungs.
Regular Check Ups During Pregnancy
Keep in mind that during pregnancy regular check – up are very important in order to keep track of the fetal development. Usually routine check –ups are recommended every month for weeks 4 – 28, twice a month for weeks 28 – 36 and every week after the 36th week of pregnancy and until labor starts. (Read about abortion options in Brooklyn )
Women with high risk pregnancies are recommended to visit their doctors more often as there is a possibility of performing extra prenatal tests or monitoring the pregnancy and the development of the fetus more closely.