During your pregnancy, you will experience a variety of exams, tests, and procedures. Some of the tests are routine for all pregnant women. Others are optional or may be recommended by your healthcare provider in certain situations or if there are complications.
You should keep all appointments with your healthcare provider so that problems can be detected as soon as possible. If any problems or
potential problems are identified, your healthcare provider can plan for your
care as necessary. During each visit, you will be asked about
any symptoms or problems you may be having, particularly:
Leakage of fluid
Regular movement of your baby once you start feeling your baby moving
Swelling of your hands or feet
What Will My Healthcare Provider Look for During Prenatal Exams? TOP
Your healthcare provider will look for and ask about signs and symptoms at the
various stages of pregnancy including:
Symptoms of early pregnancy, such as morning sickness, breast
enlargement and tenderness, and frequent urination
An embryo, viewed with ultrasound
Movement of the baby
Changes in your vagina, cervix, and skin
What Routine Tests and Procedures Can I Expect to Have? TOP
You will probably have the following routine tests and
Pelvic exam, to determine the size of your pelvis and uterus
Pap smear, very early in the pregnancy if you have not had a recent one
Weight measurement and blood pressure (at each visit)
Determination of gestational age and due date
Urine tests to check for protein, sugar, and bacteria
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a vaginal/rectal culture for
Group B streptococcus
(at 35-37 weeks of pregnancy) to prevent infection of the baby during labor and delivery.
Women with certain medical conditions have a higher risk of
having problems during pregnancy and may need additional regular
prenatal testing like ultrasounds. Examples include women with
high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, multiple pregnancies (2 or more fetuses), too much or too little amniotic fluid, or post-term pregnancy.
Additional tests may be done if
your healthcare provider thinks
they are medically necessary. It may be done if your baby has a high risk of certain genetic issues or if you have had some complications in your pregnancy. Examples of additional tests include:
Triple/quadruple blood screen test—This test gives more information about risk of birth defects and includes tests for alpha-fetoprotein, conjugated estradiol, and human chorionic gonadotrophin, as well as Inhibin A in the quadruple screen. If the results are positive, this screening test may be supplemented by an
or other tests to look for abnormalities.
Nonstress tests—These tests check changes in the baby’s heart rate as they moves.
Ultrasound—The ultrasound is used for dating of pregnancy and detecting abnormalities.
Genetic testing—Preconceptional or prenatal gene carrier screening is recommended for genetic diseases in individuals are at higher risk of these conditions. Examples of people that may need this testing include persons of Eastern European Jewish descent.
Amniocentesis—This test is used for detecting chromosomal abnormalities
and birth defects.
ACOG Committee on Genetics. ACOG Committee Opinion No. 442: Preconception and prenatal carrier screening for genetic diseases in individuals of Eastern European Jewish descent. Obstet Gynecol. 2009;114(4):950-953. Reaffirmed 2014.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 101: Ultrasonography in pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol. 2009 ;113(2 Pt 1):451-461. Reaffirmed 2014.
Committee Opinion No. 640: Cell-free DNA screening for fetal aneuploidy. Obstet Gynecol. 2015;126(3):e31-e37.
Fetal fibronectin. March of Dimes website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated October 2012. Accessed October 26, 2016.
First trimester screen. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated September 2, 2016. Accessed October 26, 2016.
Group B strep (BGS). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated May 23, 2016. Accessed October 26, 2016.
Prenatal care. March of Dimes website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Accessed October 26, 2016.
Prenatal care and tests. Office on Women's Health website. Available at: ...(Click grey area to select URL) Updated September 27, 2010. Accessed October 26, 2016.
Routine prenatal care. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:
http://www.dynamed.... Updated June 22, 2016. Accessed October 26, 2016.
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