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What prenatal tests will my doctor perform?

pregnant woman in a doctor's appointment

During pregnancy, your doctor will perform a series of tests to ensure everything is in order. Depending on the trimester you’re in, different examinations will be conducted. Additionally, during each of your appointments, certain basic checks will be performed, such as measuring your blood pressure, assessing the size of your abdomen, and monitoring the baby’s heart rate.

Here’s a rundown of the tests you’ll undergo in each trimester to keep you prepared:

First trimester:

  • Ultrasound: Initially conducted to confirm the pregnancy and repeated at least two more times throughout.
  • Medical history: To understand your health and your partner’s, inquire about any previous pregnancies, and rule out any diseases or allergies.
  • Pap smear and colposcopy: Done to detect vaginal infections, cervical cancer, or the human papillomavirus (HPV).
  • Urine analysis: A check for urinary tract infections and to ensure proper kidney function. These analyses may be repeated monthly.
  • Blood tests: To detect various factors, such as blood type, hemoglobin levels, and infections like syphilis or toxoplasmosis, among others.

Second trimester:

  • Fetal ultrasound: Conducted to examine the baby’s anatomy and organs.
  • Diabetes test: Performed to rule out or detect gestational diabetes.

Third trimester:

  • Fetal ultrasound: Used to monitor the baby’s growth and other aspects.
  • Strep B culture: A study to detect this bacterium through vaginal and rectal samples.
  • Fetal monitoring: To track the baby’s heart rate.

Additionally, depending on your age and family history, there might be some additional optional tests suggested to rule out any surprises or hereditary conditions, like Down Syndrome. Don’t worry, it’s just to ensure everything goes smoothly and you have all the necessary information!

Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Remember, the key is to stay informed and maintain open communication with your doctor throughout your pregnancy journey.

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