A Guide on Important Tests During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is probably one of the most lovable and delicate moment in a woman’s life. Now, the coming 40 weeks will be the most pampering time as you and your tummy will be monitored and measured in every possible way just to ensure that the little one is fit and fine in there. With medical advancement, pregnancy have become one of the most smooth medical conditions for most women as in comparison to what mothers had to face in age old days.

Tests During Pregnancy

Many medical tests and procedures like ultrasounds and X rays are executed to make sure that both the mother and the child remain healthy. If you take the right tests at the right times, the pregnancy is sure to be a healthy and hassle-free one. Here are some of the essential pregnancy tests that are conducted during specific weeks of pregnancy –

Blood Tests for Complete Blood Count or CBC

Once you get the confirmation from the doctor about your pregnancy, the first test she would recommend you is complete blood count or CBC. This test measures a number of important factors in your blood that is required to judge the health of the mother and foetus.

The most important things asked for in this test are the hematacrit (number of red blood cells in the body) and platelet count. If either of the counts seems lower than normal limit, you might be having anaemia that needs treatment. Furthermore, some blood tests also look for hepatitis B and C, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like HIV/AIDS, herpes and syphilis.

Rh Factor Test

This test is for both the expecting parents, where the Rh (or Rhesus) factor is judged from their blood samples. The test looks for a protein that is usually found on the surface of the blood, if you have this protein (common in 85% population) then there is nothing to worry. But if one parent lacks it, then complications might arise. This is because if a baby is born with mixed Rh blood (one positive and one negative) then he/she might be suffering from a condition called hemolytic anemia.

Multiple Marker Test

This test can be of two types – one is the quad screen test and the triple screen test. Triple screen test analyses the blood in the fetus and placenta and checks for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), and estriol. While, the quad screen analyses the quantity of inhibin A (Inh-A) to the blood mix. This test is done usually during the 15th to 20th week of pregnancy and doctors can detect neural tube defects, anencephaly, spina bifida,  etc.

CVS Testing

This test is conducted between 10-12 weeks of pregnancy and it detects chromosomal problems. This test is essential for pregnant women over 35, as the fetus are more prone to have chromosome problems

AFP Screening

Usually done between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy, the Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is a test that measures the levels of this protein made by the foetus. Abnormal levels might indicate complications in the third trimester. It prompts increased chances of stillbirth.

Photo Credit By: reachoutwomenscenter.com

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