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Prenatal Care and Testing
Routine Prenatal Care: Your First Pregnancy Visit
Routine Prenatal Care: Subsequent Visits
|Ultrasound During Pregnancy|
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Prenatal Diagnostic and Screening Tests
|Blood type and antibody screen||Blood tests used to determine your blood type (A, B, AB, or O), and whether you are Rh positive (your blood has the Rh antigen) or Rh negative (your blood lacks the Rh antigen); if your blood type and Rh status are incompatible with your baby’s, you may need special care during pregnancy|
|Hematocrit and hemoglobin||Blood tests that check for anemia|
|Syphilis||A blood test that checks for the sexually transmitted disease (STD), syphilis, which can be treated so that it will not be transmitted to your baby|
|Rubella||A blood test to see if you have had rubella (German measles) or a rubella vaccination; if you have not, you will be advised to avoid being exposed to the disease while pregnant|
|Hepatitis B virus||A blood test to determine if you have hepatitis B, a viral disease that infects the liver; it can be treated with medications, which must also be given to your baby, along with a vaccine, after birth|
|Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)||A blood test to determine if you have been infected with the HIV virus, which causes AIDS; if you have, you will be given medications during pregnancy to reduce the risk that you will pass the infection on to your baby. This test is valuable because of the power of medications to protect the baby.|
|Urine tests||A laboratory test to check the levels of sugar and protein in your urine, which can help identify gestational diabetes and preeclampsia; urine tests can also check for bladder and kidney infections|
|Cervical tests||A Pap test to check for precancerous cells in your cervix, and swabs to test for the STDs gonorrhea and chlamydia .|
|Multiple marker screening||The multiple marker screening measures the levels of the hormones estriol, human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), in your blood. Abnormal results can indicate an increased risk of some chromosomal abnormalities. A fourth test, PAPP-A (pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A), is sometimes added to multiple marker screening to improve the ability to detect abnormalities in the fetus (Quad Screen).|
|Ultrasound||An imaging test that uses sound waves to view your fetus; ultrasounds can help determine the age and sex of the fetus and/or confirm a diagnosis|
|Other tests||Other tests that may be performed include testing the amniotic fluid, examining cells from the placenta, testing your fetus’ genetics, screening for diabetes, and testing for tuberculosis|
Parmet S, Lynn C, et al. Prenatal Care. JAMA. 2004;291(1):146.
Prenatal care and tests. US Department of Health and Human Services Women's Health website. Available at: http://womenshealth.gov/pregnancy/you-are-pregnant/prenatal-care-tests.html. Updated: September 25, 2010. Accessed March 18, 2014.
Prenatal testing. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/prenataltesting. Accessed March 18, 2014.
Prenatal tests. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/system/medical/prenatal%5Ftests.html. Updated June 2013. Accessed March 18, 2014.
Routine tests in pregnancy. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq133.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20121227T1019449259. Published January 2014. Accessed March 18, 2014.
Screening and monitoring during pregnancy. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 3, 2014. Accessed March 18, 2014.
- Reviewer: Andrea Chisholm, MD
- Review Date: 03/2014
- Update Date: 04/29/2014