10 Recommended Medical Checkups During Pregnancy

In this post, we’re going to talk about all of the different medical checkups and tests that you can get when you’re pregnant.

Finding out that you’re pregnant

How do you know that you’re pregnant? Now the most comfortable way of doing it is with a urine test at home. There are simple kits that you can buy at each pharmacy.

What these tests do is they measure the number of fetal proteins in your blood which is released from the placenta when you’re pregnant. Now they catch above a certain amount of protein. And so if your test is negative what you’re doing it especially when you’re about to get your period it might be falsely negative and you might still be pregnant.

The test will almost definitely be positive. About a week after you’re supposed to get in your period. Now pregnancy tests can also be done with blood tests which measure for the same hormone. But they’re a little bit more sensitive meaning that if the level of hormone fetal hormone in your blood is a little bit lower it will also know that you’re pregnant.

Now the last way and the best way of knowing that you’re pregnant is with an ultrasound of actually seeing the fetus growing inside of the uterus. Now, this can be done only a few weeks after the next period that you missed was supposed to come. It’s important for me to mention the point of the ultrasound because not all chemical pregnancies become ultrasound pregnancies that you then see or clinical pregnancies as they’re called. So even if you have positive results make sure that you go see the baby and the beating heart inside your uterus before you get too excited.

Non-invasive prenatal screening

The first test that I want to talk about is called noninvasive prenatal screening. Now it’s a rather new test that came on the market only a few years ago but because of this, it’s quite expensive.

Noninvasive prenatal screening looks for fragments of the baby’s DNA that are circulating in the mother’s bloodstream. Now gives you the probability that the baby can have one of the genetic diseases but it’s not a definite diagnosis. So might be that they don’t catch a disease that the baby might have. This test can be performed quite early during pregnancy which is one of the main advantages of the test. You can have this test done when you’re only nine weeks pregnant. It’s done with a simple blood test.

Now, how important is it for you to do this test. It depends if you’re if your baby is predisposed to have some kind of genetic disease and you want to catch that disease early. Then this might be a good test for you to do. It could also give you the early signs and tell you what gender the baby is in a lot of cases.

However, if this is your first pregnancy and you’re not disposed of for any genetic diseases it’s an expensive test and it might be something that you don’t want to do.

One important note about this test is that if you have twins triplets or more this test is not recommended.

Nuchal Translucency

In some babies, with genetic abnormalities, fluid tends to accumulate at the back of the neck. In this nuchal fold. So it’s a little bit bigger that increases the probability that your baby has a genetic abnormality.

Now it’s important to note that this test is not a diagnostic test. It’s a screening test which gives you a probability. This means that if the nuchal fold is a little bit bigger than normal that doesn’t mean that your baby has a genetic abnormality. If it’s normal it also doesn’t mean for sure that the baby does not have a genetic abnormality it just increases the chance.

And when you incorporate this test with other results it gives you more of a better picture to know if there are any problems with the child or not a normal measurement is when the nuchal fold is under 12 millimeters in with. Now, this is not a binary test it’s not it normal or not normal. There’s a little bit of a range and a little bit more than normal can be “OK” too.

How important is it for you to do this test especially if this is your first pregnancy. I highly recommend doing this test taking the efforts and going to get this done. It’s a rather noninvasive just an ultrasound and it can give you a good picture mixed in with other tests or if there’s any type of abnormality or anything to be worried about.

Combined screening

Now, this is a simple blood test which measures two main hormones that are very important to know. The first is a placental hormone called Pap A. And the second one is the same fetal hormone Beta hCG.

Now the levels of these hormones when combined with another a number of other results just like the nuchal translucency test and another blood test that you will do will give a very accurate reading as to if there’s any type of genetic abnormality or any problems with the pregnancy.

One of the things to note here that if the placental hormone is a little bit high that can be “OK” but it also can be a disposition for feeling greater amounts of nausea. So if that’s high you could just keep that in mind that it might be causing the nauseous feelings both in the morning and all day.

How important is this test to do? This is also, in my opinion, a very important test because it’s rather simple to do. It’s not expensive. And when you mix it in with the other results you get a very high probability that the test can be confirmed or deny that the baby can have any type of abnormality. Now it’s not a diagnostic test. We’re only dealing with probability. So if there are abnormal results there’s no reason to panic especially if there are isolated abnormal results meaning that one of the levels of protein is a little bit high and all the other results are normal. This can be perfectly fine in its statistic meaning that in a certain percentage of women it will happen anyway.

Second-trimester screening (quad screening)

This is also a blood test measuring a certain amount of hormones and proteins in your blood and this can give probability as to how the pregnancy is progressing or if there is a probable chance that there’s some sort of some of the abnormality.

The four proteins measured in this test are the same beta hCG. Alpha fetal protein Escorial which is the type of estrogen that happens that it increases during pregnancy. Alpha fetal protein which is one of the proteins that we measure during this test. Can you give us an indication about the development of the nervous system if it’s a little bit high. We might have a suspicion that there could be a neural tube defect or problem with the development of the nervous system. So this can be something that could warrant further checkups if it’s a little bit low. It can also make us suspect that there’s some sort of genetic abnormality happening.

How accurate is this test? So if a baby has a genetic abnormality it will be caught in 80 to 85 percent of the cases. That means anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of babies have babies who have a genetic abnormality. We won’t know about through these tests. If you receive results from this test that one of the levels of the proteins is a little bit high. How likely is it that your baby has an abnormality only about 1 to 3 percent.

So again if this test brings results that are a little bit higher low or abnormal there’s really no reason to stress just yet and it might just work that you get further tests to find out if you’re carrying twins or triplets and the protein levels are likely to fall outside of the normal range. So make sure that you discuss with your gynecologist the levels of proteins especially if you’re having twins or triplets

if there’s an abnormal result, this is also something that should be should be discussed with the gynecologist and together you can plan what future tests you want to do.

Level 2 UltraSound