A woman goes through steady (normally quarterly) physical and psychological changes during pregnancy. These changes are closely followed by the doctor through a complete schedule of tests during pregnancy.
There are different types of tests during pregnancy. Some routine and others more advanced, capable of detecting, for example, genetic abnormalities in the baby. Although this succession of tests can generate some anxiety among pregnant women, you should be clear that, in reality, they are a way to ensure a healthy child.
Tests during the first trimester of pregnancy
Your body will change during each trimester of your pregnancy but, above all, your baby will change.
The first months are full of news for the future mom. The tests in the first trimester are aimed at knowing the health status of the pregnant woman and becoming familiar with her medical history. Although, some more advanced tests can also be carried out during this stage. These tests will allow the detection or elimination of genetic abnormalities and infectious diseases that may affect the baby.
In this period, you will make your first visit to a specialist. The doctor will do a urine test to confirm pregnancy, where they will detect if the pregnancy indicating hormone is present. Through this analysis it is also possible to detect if there is protein, sugar or signs of infection.
In addition, from the 10th week of pregnancy you have the possibility of having a non-invasive prenatal test such as the NACE prenatal test to detect chromosomal abnormalities responsible for Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome or Patau syndrome.
Second trimester: O’Sullivan test and amniocentesis
The second trimester is, a priori, the safest period of the pregnancy. After the first three months, and now that your body has adapted to its new situation, it’s easier to get information about him.
In addition to routine tests, such as weight control or measurement of stress at each visit, in this second phase you should write down three tests in your pregnancy calendar that will confirm that everything is in order: the O’Sullivan test, high resolution ultrasound and amniocentesis.
The O’Sullivan test aims to detect the risk of developing gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy due to alterations in blood glucose levels of pregnant women.
The test is a non-invasive test and is normally integrated into the second trimester blood test. To do this, the healthcare professional will first provide you with 50 grams of glucose by mouth. An hour later, the amount of blood glucose is studied to assess your absorption levels.
Amniocentesis: detection of genetic abnormalities
Another test of the second trimester of pregnancy is amniocentesis, which is performed between week 15 and 18. This test is used to detect chromosomal abnormalities in the baby. Generally, amniocentesis is practiced on women older than 35 years or who obtained high-risk results during triple screening in the first trimester of pregnancy.
This invasive test involves the extraction of a sample of the amniotic fluid, whose analysis can determine chromosomal irregularities in the baby. Because its extraction is done through the insertion of a needle into the abdomen, amniocentesis involves certain risks that can generate a gestational loss in approximately 1% of cases.
Third trimester tests: fetal monitoring and delivery preparation
In the third trimester, many of the tests are geared towards childbirth, so you can make sure everything is ready for your baby to be born healthy. It is, without a doubt, a very emotional moment but it is also loaded with nervousness before the imminence of childbirth.
The last ultrasound, vaginal culture and fetal monitoring are the three tests indicated in the calendar of pregnant women in the third trimester. All three are aimed at controlling the health status of the baby and preparing mother and child for childbirth.
The tests will be recommended to you by your doctor, what you need to make sure is that your doctor’s clinic is equipped with Forme Medical equipment, so that your experience during these tough times is not all bad.