I’m Pregnant! What Tests Do I Need?

Posted April 01, 2022 in Pregnancy

4 Minute Read: 

So you are going to have a baby. Congratulations! 

There are so many changes and new things to experience coming your way.

Pregnant women wearing pink with only belly showing at gynecologist's office.

Included in these experiences are all the testings and screenings you and your bundle of joy will undergo during these next nine months.

If you are a first-time mother, trying to determine everything you need to do can seem overwhelming. We are here to help with any question you may have. Reach out to Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group today! 

The Pregnancy Test

The first test that you are likely to use is a pregnancy test. If you think you’re pregnant, a simple, at-home test is usually enough to get your answer. 

If it’s positive, call your OB/GYN  to make an appointment within two weeks. 

The First Prenatal Doctor Visit

The doctor will want to see you for the first time no later than your eighth week. At your first visit, the doctor will obtain a complete gynecological, personal, and family medical history from you.

The Pelvic Exam

Your doctor will check your uterus and pelvis to confirm the pregnancy is on track and ensure you are healthy.

This exam will involve the doctor checking all of your pelvic organs and external genitals (vulva), including the uterus, cervix, and vagina.

Your provider may also perform a Pap smear, where they will collect cells from your cervix using a speculum and swab. Pap smears are designed to find abnormal changes in the cells of your cervix that might lead to cancer.

Prenatal blood tests

Your gynecologist will order a number of blood tests. These will probably include the following: 

  • Blood type and antibody screen
  • Complete blood count (CBC)
  • Hepatitis B
  • HIV
  • Non-invasive prenatal screening (optional)
  • Non-invasive prenatal screening (NIPS) for trisomy 21 (down syndrome), trisomy 13, and trisomy 18 
  • Rapid plasma reagin test for syphilis
  • Rubella

A urinalysis and urine culture, and other tests not mentioned here may be ordered by your provider.

Other Non-Invasive Tests and Screenings

Your OB/GYN may order the following noninvasive screenings:

Nuchal Translucency Optional Screening 

Nuchal translucency screening (NT) is a special ultrasound performed between 11 and 13 weeks gestation. This test checks for increased fluid at the base of the fetus’s neck (nuchal fold) to evaluate for the possibility of a chromosomal defect.

Alpha-fetoprotein OptionalScreening

Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) screening is a blood test that is done between 16 and 18 weeks into your pregnancy to evaluate the fetus for neural tube defect markers. 

Baby’s Anatomy Scan Ultrasound

Your routine ultrasounds are typically done at the doctor’s office. When the fetus is between 18 and 20 weeks, an anatomy scan will be done with a radiology team that specializes in prenatal diagnosis. 

This anatomy scan is scheduled after your 14th week to make sure you get an appointment at the correct time to obtain the best images of the baby’s internal organs.

Illustrated chart mapping out embryo development by week.

Glucose Tolerance Test (GTT)

Between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy, a blood test will be ordered to check for gestational diabetes. You will be given a sweet drink to consume at the lab, and blood will be drawn both one and two hours later to check the levels of your blood sugar. You will probably be asked to fast (not eat) for this test. 

Group B Strep

Between 35 and 37 weeks, a vaginal culture will be recommended to test for Group B Strep bacteria which is positive in 20 percent of healthy women. 

If your results show that this bacteria is present, antibiotics will be prescribed during labor to prevent your newborn from becoming infected.

Weekly internal exams

Between 35 and 37 weeks of your pregnancy, we will begin performing internal exams weekly to check your cervix for dilation — a sign that the baby is coming soon.

Non-stress Test (NST)

Another optional test that will be conducted based on your OB/GYN’s recommendation is the non-stress test which may be considered for several reasons. This screening monitors your baby’s health and wellness by checking the baby’s heart rate in conjunction with an ultrasound to check the amniotic sack.  

Your Santa Rosa, CA, Gynecology Provider

Women’s OB/GYN Medical Group provides compassionate and knowledgeable midwifery services in Santa Rosa, California, as well as the following –

Call our office today at (707) 415-8995 to learn more about us!