As a part of your prenatal care, health care providers generally ask you to undergo blood tests during pregnancy. Don’t be overwhelmed and anxious about any of the tests. You should stay informed, so that the next time your doctor throws a long list of tests – assuming you don’t know— you participate and ask reasonable questions.
We asked Dr Asha Sharman, gynaecologists at Rockland Hospital to list important blood tests during pregnancy.
Pregnancy Blood Tests First Trimester
In the first trimester, screening is done to determine the risk of foetus having birth defects such as Down syndrome, trisomy 13 or trisomy 18. Usually the following tests are performed—
- Haemoglobin test is done to determine whether you are anaemic.
- Blood group RH for both husband and wife.
- Australia Antigen.
- TSH Thyroid.
- Routine urine examination.
- BDRL Torch test.
- Blood sugar level test.
- HIV test is optional. It is, however, recommended.
Pregnancy Blood Tests Second trimester
Prenatal screening during second trimester may include several blood tests which would indicate a woman’s risk of having a baby with genetic conditions and birth defects.
- Haemoglobin test is recommended for every trimester.
- PAPP-A test is done to keep a check on protein produced by placenta in early pregnancy. Abnormal levels of such protein can result in chromosome abnormality.
- AFP test within 14-18 weeks of pregnancy. AFP test is also called maternal serum AFP and it is done to check the level of alpha-fetoprotein in pregnant woman’s blood. Abnormal levels of AFP could result in a miscalculated due date, down syndrome, spina bifida, defects in abdominal wall of the fetus.
Pregnancy Blood Tests Third Trimester
- Glocola test
- TSH Thyroid test.
Apart from these pregnancy tests special investigation is carried out in case of high risk pregnancy, when prenatal tests indicate serious health problems for the baby.
So, if you are pregnant and are apprehensive about any lack of knowledge, we suggest that you keep the tests listed in mind and prepare questions for your gynaecologist. Extra knowledge will only benefit you.
Read more articles on Pregnancy.
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