To monitor the health of an unborn baby and to-be mother, several tests are done throughout the pregnancy. These tests ensure a healthier pregnancy and delivery and are much more accurate and safer than ever.
Let us get to know about a few of them.
Ultrasound test for fetal nuchal translucency (NT)
This test uses an ultrasound test to examine the area of the fetus for increased fluid or thickening.
Two Maternal Serum Blood Tests
The blood tests measure two substances found the blood of pregnant women.
Pregnancy-associated plasma protein screening
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
These proteins are produced by the placenta in early pregnancy. Abnormal level of any of the two is associated with risk for chromosome abnormality.
Beside, maternal blood samples are also collected to be tested for certain infectious disease if parents chose cord blood stem cell storage for their child. Cord blood stem cell banks do this to meet the highest transplant standards.
Second-Trimester Prenatal Screening Tests
Second-trimester prenatal screening includes blood tests called multiple markers which provide information about a woman’s risk of having a baby with specific genetic conditions or congenital disabilities.
The multiple marker tests include:
1. Alpha-fetoprotein screening (AFP)
This blood test measures alpha-fetoprotein in mother’s blood. Abnormal level of AFP may be an indication of some complications in the fetus, like down syndrome, or other chromosomal abnormalities.
2. HCG – Human gonadotropin hormone produced by placenta.
3. Estriol & Inhibin are produced by placenta.
Amniocentesis is a test where a small sample of amniotic fluid that surrounds the fetus is tested. It is used to diagnose any chromosomal disorders and open neural tube defects.
Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
Chorionic villus sampling is a prenatal test that includes taking a sample of placental tissue. This test is also performed to screen any genetic problem in the fetus.
Fetal monitoring is done during late pregnancy to monitor the fetal heart rate.
Glucose Tolerance Test
Usually conducted in 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy, this test is done to diagnose gestational diabetes.
With different genetic screening tests, any genetic abnormalities can be diagnosed before birth. It is important if any one of the pregnant woman or her husband has a family history of the genetic disorder.
These are some common tests which are done during pregnancy on the recommendation of your gynecologist.