What medical tests must I undergo during pregnancy?
The prenatal control medical tests are the explorations that allow you to follow the development of your pregnancy and to verify that everything is going well for you and your baby. You will have to go to the doctor six or eight weeks after your last period. Your doctor will send you to a gynaecologists, obstetricians and matrons, who will establish the regularity of your later controls.
Your first consultation will be long, since they will practice a thorough examination of your state of health. Throughout the pregnancy, they will do three or four ecographies to you, three analyzes of blood and three of urine. In some cases they will test to verify if there is any risk of diseases for the baby. If everything is fine, the consultations are usually made once a month, except for the ninth month, when they are usually more frequent (biweekly or weekly).
FIRST WEEKS OF PREGNANCY. FROM WEEK 1 TO 13
General examination. The first consultation will be long because the most exhaustive balance on your state of health has to be done: familiar and personal antecedents, medicine allergies, consumption, gynaecological history, etc. This visit will help you to know if there is some factor that could risk your pregnancy or not. The gynaecologist will examine you to confirm that you are pregnant. The gynaecologist will also take your constants, that is to say, your stature, weight, arterial tension… And, of course, they will study your abdomen and, in the next consultations, they will auscultate the cardiac beats of the baby.
Ecographies. The first ecographies help to discard malformations of the fetus and inform you about the development of your baby. The ecography exploration is a little unique: you will be able to see how your baby live within the uterus, its autonomy and its movements.
Analytical. The urine and blood analyzes, are made in every trimester of the gestation. They are used to know which is your sanguineous group, if you are anaemic, how is your situation of immunity against infectious diseases, or if you are potentially diabetic during pregnancy.
Analyses also are made for healthy reasons. Through them the hormonal levels can be verified and infectious diseases like the rubella or the toxoplasmosis can be detected.
SECOND QUARTER. FROM WEEK 14 TO 28
At the beginning of this second quarter some tests are detect problems in the development of the fetus. They are necessary mainly in women over 35 years.
Amniocentesis. It consists of an abdominal puncture by means of which amniotic liquid is extracted for later analysis. It is only made in certain cases because it is slightly dangerous. Anyway, it is useful to know if the baby can develop Down syndrome.
Test of O’Sullivan.. It is usually realized at the end of the second quarter and is used to detect gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that arises for the first time during the gestation and can afterwards disappear.
The visits to the specialist usually take place weekly at this stage. After week 37-38 a new gynaecological examination is made to evaluate the state of the neck of the uterus. These are the famous “tacts” that determine the expansion of the uterine neck, the descent of your baby and the clinical characteristics of your pelvis. As the time for childbirth approaches, the state of the placenta and the amount of amniotic liquid are verified to act in case some important anomaly takes place.