A variety of lab and diagnostic tests are completed during pregnancy. Most of these diagnostic tests are completed during the initial prenatal visit and then repeated at other times if warranted. Completing these tests at the first prenatal visit focuses to minimize the risks to the fetus and establish a baseline of lab values for comparison throughout the pregnancy. It also identifies high risk pregnancies and those that may need advanced testing or monitoring.
A complete blood cell count (CBC) is completed, which checks blood hemoglobin, hematocrit, red and white blood cell counts for the early detection of any systemic abnormalities and to create a baseline.
The blood type is determined and is also tested for the presence of Rh factor.
Rubella is a TORCH infection that is especially dangerous to the fetus during the first trimester. No maternal treatment is available if contracted and therapeutic abortion may be offered to the patient. For this reason a titer level to detect the number of circulating antibodies is completed and vaccination boosters are given, if indicated.
Screening for antibodies to Hepatitis B virus (HBV) at the first prenatal visit of all pregnant women is indicated as this is the most damaging virus to the developing fetus. HBV exposure is treated by giving the mother hepatitis immune globulin. Mothers who have not been immunized may also begin the 3 vaccine series.
HIV Testing is completed to identify possible risks of transmission to the fetus. Patients are also screened for additional sexually transmitted infections (STI’s). Additional STI’s include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis.
Urine is screened for ketones, glucose, protein, bacteria, and casts. Screening establishes a baseline but also allows for early detection of metabolic abnormalities or gestational diabetes.
Early glucose screenings are completed to establish a baseline and identify patients who are at risk for developing gestational diabetes.
Cervical or Papanicolaou (PAP) smears are completed to identify possible cervical cancer and cell changes. Smears are also a detection tool for sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) and inflammation or malformation of the cervix.
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