Managing Pregnancy Medical Tests
The pregnancy test was positive. Are you feeling surprised, excited, scared, or overwhelmed? Whatever your flood of emotions, as reality sets in and you move forward with this new adventure, you may have more questions than answers. From your first doctor’s appointment, to the first ultrasound, to the weeks up to delivery, there is a lot of information to digest.
Maybe you are the type of person who wants to know everything you can, or maybe you are content knowing just the basics. Just as there are different types of people, you will find a multitude of different types of tests during pregnancy. Some medical testing is standard, some optional. Read on to gain insight and understanding to the tests you may encounter.
A typical blood test will consist of a standard withdrawal from your arm. A blood test may be taken at your first visit and perhaps again during the second trimester. A simple blood test can inform your doctor of many factors including: your blood type, if you have any type of iron deficiency (anemia), detection of Hepatitis B, and can also check for the “Triple Screen” (MSAFP), which can detect the possibility of a fetal defect and the need for further testing. Finally, a blood test that follows the drinking of a sugary (glucose) concoction will be given in the third trimester to test for gestational diabetes.
Just when you thought you might be excused from this annual adventure, you’re out of luck. Even pregnant, you should be prepared for this examination; it is usually given at your first appointment which can help identify any potential health issues, including any cell abnormalities. A swab of the vaginal area may also be taken late in the third trimester to test for Group B Step (GBS).
With each visit, be prepared to roll up your sleeve. This non-invasive test will be common with each medical check-up.
With each visit, most practitioners will request a urine sample. The urine test will allow physicians to monitor bacteria levels, use of any drugs, and also sugar (glucose) in the urine.
Although learning about the tests to come may make you feel overwhelmed or even a bit scared, remember, the tests will come in time. As you grow and your baby grows, your knowledge and understanding of the process will grow as well.