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What do pregnant women and small kids have in common? They both overgrow old clothes early, crave sour candy and always have someone tell them what to do and what not to do. The last part is distinctly applicable, as pregnancy is a sensitive time. It calls for lots of clinical help. You should expect to visit your gynaecologist for tests during pregnancy first trimester as soon as you celebrate the good news!
This week in LadiesAndBabies, we will tell you about the different types of first trimester screening tests. But first, let’s understand the importance of these tests.
Why Take Tests During Pregnancy First Trimester?
Pregnancy is a nine-month-long process. A trimester means three months. So the gestation period is segregated into three trimesters (3 months each).
The tests that are done to a woman during pregnancy are known are prenatal tests. Primarily there are two types of prenatal types – Screening and Diagnostics. Screening tests are done to identify whether there is a possibility of some health problems with the fetus. Diagnostics, on the other hand, are performed to accurately find specific problems. There are additional tests done based on the outcomes.
First trimester screening tests are necessary to detect health issues in the fetus. Tests conducted in this trimester give plenty of time to the caregiver to solve problems if any. These tests ensure that the health of the baby can be managed in due time. It also gives a chance to the parents to plan the next steps in their pregnancy or add essential elements to their lifestyle if they are expecting a child with special needs.
Check out the article about the First Trimester of Pregnancy
Types of Tests During Pregnancy First Trimester
First trimester screening is only the first of many visits of such type to your gynaecologist and obstetrician. Some of the general health evaluations will be done at every visit. However, there are a few tests that are predominantly meant for the first three months. This screening is a combination of majorly two tests –
It is an ultrasound of the fetus. This screening checks the fetus for any abnormalities. Fetal ultrasound has made it possible to check babies for Down Syndrome or heart defects at an early stage.
Maternal Blood Testing
This blood test during pregnancy first trimester is done to measure two specific substances in the mother’s blood. One of these substances is a pregnancy-associated plasma protein A. It is a particular type of protein that is formed by the placenta. Another substance is called Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). hCG is a pregnancy indicator and a distinct hormone created by the placenta.
Besides these, various tests during pregnancy first trimester are done to determine the mother and fetus’ overall health. These include:
Blood test during pregnancy first trimester is performed to check the blood type and understand the likelihood of anaemia, hepatitis B, HIV, immunity to German measles, chickenpox, cystic fibrosis and other ailments.
Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)
It is an additional and optional test that is done to check the cells from the placenta.
Full body exam
A general health exam which you can expect at every visit. It is done to measure body weight, blood pressure and sugar levels.
These tests are performed to check for signs of infection, protein and sugar.
Cervical tests like Pap smear are routinely done to check for STD and chlamydia, among others.
Basics About the First Trimester Screening Test
Here are some pointers you made need to remember while going for tests during pregnancy first trimester:
When is it done? – Typically, these tests are done between 11 and 14 weeks of pregnancy.
Is there a risk? – No, these are general health exams and no risks are associated with them.
How do I prepare? – You do not have to do any extra preparations. Eat and drink normally before the exams.
Do these tests hurt? – An ultrasound does not hurt at all. For the blood tests, the healthcare provider will have to insert a needle into your vein to draw a blood sample.
What to expect after the tests? – You can continue with your day as usual and wait patiently for the reports.
Tests during pregnancy first trimester may make you anxious but it is a key step to a healthy journey. You can talk to your healthcare provider before taking any tests.
Watch out for this space at LadiesAndBabies for more on pregnancy, women and child health.
To help you determine tests during first trimester of pregnancy, asked your gynecologist. Also, check our list of Best Gynecologist in India and book your appointment with Credihealth now