The Different Types Of Prenatal Examinations

The Different Types Of Prenatal Examinations

Several prenatal examinations will be offered to you during your pregnancy. these are medical examinations you may have to undergo several times in some cases or only exceptionally in others. There are two main categories of prenatal examinations: screening tests and diagnostic tests:

Screening tests. These routine prenatal exams are designed to determine the likelihood of you or your baby having a particular complication. If screening tests suggest this is the case, you will be advised to have a diagnostic test. Screening tests are generally safe and can check, for example: Your blood type o Your blood pressure, which may indicate that you have a blood problem called pre-eclampsia 

If you have a health problem such as anemia or gestational diabetes 

If you have an STD or cervical cancer o Your protein levels, blood sugar, or signs of infection o Your baby’s size, age, and position in your uterus.

Diagnostic tests. These tests by Unity Screen for example aim to diagnose, i.e., to confirm whether your baby is suffering from a specific disease. They are carried out following a positive screening test result and are generally not compulsory. Some of these tests may pose a very low risk of miscarriage, so your healthcare professional should explain their pros and cons. The choice of whether or not to undergo such an examination is yours.

Prenatal visits and second-trimester exams

Your healthcare provider will use second-trimester prenatal visits to:

  • Check that your baby is moving well
  • Monitor your heartbeat
  • Check that he is growing normally

It will also continue to monitor your blood pressure and weight gain. The following tests are performed in the second trimester:

An ultrasound. Three ultrasounds are planned in all: one per trimester. That of the second trimester, often planned for the fourth month, makes it possible to check the absence of malformations and to monitor the baby’s growth. This is where you can, if you wish, find out the sex of your baby. Know early with one simple blood test during your pregnancy.

The triple (or quadruple) test. This optional blood screening aims to measure the levels of three (or four) different substances in the mother’s blood to assess the risk of genetic diseases such as Down syndrome (trisomy 21) or Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18). Among the substances targeted are alpha-fetoprotein and the pregnancy hormone hCG.

Martin Dupuis