First Trimester Tests for Pregnant Women
The first trimester is a very important phase for all pregnant women as the fetus undergoes the most crucial developments during this period. To ensure that the embryo in their womb is growing holistically, the doctors may ask you to get some routine as well as some emergency tests done.
As the pregnant woman during her first trimester witnesses major changes within, it is vital that she undergoes the necessary tests. Additionally, prenatal tests in the first trimester are also responsible for unveiling of any potential health concerns to the mother.
Types of Blood And Urine Tests in First Trimester
During the first trimester your doctor makes you take a number of blood tests, urine tests and ultrasounds to keep a check on your baby’s development. Here is a list of the major tests you might have to undergo.
- Blood tests are the first tests that you will have to take. Your doctor will want to know your blood group and your Rh (Rhesus) factor. He will check for the presence of diseases such as hepatitis B, HIV, syphilis and some other STDs. He or she may also check for anaemia.
- Urine tests are also a part of the routine. The doctors need to check whether you have any sort of kidney infection. Later the doctors take urine samples to check for glucose that may signal any developments of diabetes and albumin that can be a symptom of preeclampsia.
- Tests for certain diseases such as Tay-Sachs, cystic fibrosis, and sickle cell anaemia are conducted depending on your racial background, your place of residence, your family medical history and other environmental factors. Diseases such as toxoplasmosis and varicella are also checked for, if there are chances that you were exposed.
- Your doctor also conducts a test for hCG or progesterone. hCG is a hormone produced by the placenta during pregnancy. It helps to maintain and stabilise your pregnancy. These tests help confirm your pregnancy and evaluate the risk of miscarriage in case you have had previous miscarriages.
- CVS or Chorionic villus sampling is also important. Between your tenth to twelfth weeks, your doctor may ask you to undertake this highly invasive test. This is important, especially for mothers who are above thirty five years of age. This test helps detect genetic diseases such as Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, haemophilia, sickle cell anaemia and muscular dystrophy. While the test has a 98% accuracy level, it also comes with a 1% chance of causing a miscarriage. So many women opt out of it. However, if you happen to have a family history of any of these diseases, it is very important for you to take this test.
Ultrasound Screening in First Trimester
Ultrasound also known as sonograph, sonogram and echogram is routinely performed during all three trimesters of pregnancy. First trimester sonogram is performed to detect the pregnancy and presence of yolk sac, detect ectopic pregnancy and multiple fetuses, track fetal movement and heartbeats, detect structural defects such as Spina Bafida, congenital heart defects, cleft lip or palette or other organ malformations.
While the routine pregnancy tests pose no risk to the fetus or the mother, some invasive tests like amniocentesis and CVS may pose a risk of miscarriage to some extent. Such tests are recommended by doctors only in cases where the mother carries certain risks of carrying a baby with genetic abnormalities, has had complicated pregnancies previously, she is in her 40s or older, has chronic illness and is undergoing medical treatments, is a drug abuser, smoker or an alcoholic.
Your doctor considers all the factors that might lead him to believe that your pregnancy and baby might be at risk and then advise accordingly.