Tests in pregnancy should be requested by the obstetrician who accompanies the woman during pregnancy and basically include blood tests, ultrasonography, gynecological and urine tests, but there are others that may be requested in special situations such as amniocentesis or biopsy of the chorionic villus.
In all consultations, the obstetrician should check the pregnant woman’s weight gain, blood pressure and increase of the abdomen and indicate the use of nutritional supplements such as folic acid and ferrous sulfate to ensure the health of the mother and baby.
The list with the first trimester gestation tests is greater because, in addition to checking how the baby is, it is important to check the health of the mother, which is essential for the proper development of the baby. Already the second and third trimester gestation tests are more directed to the development of the baby.
Prenatal Tests Every Pregnant Must Do
The following list contains the essential tests that should be done during a risk-free pregnancy during prenatal visits:
Hemogram: this blood test is to check for any changes in blood cells, infection or anemia. It should be done in the 1st and 2nd trimesters of gestation.
Blood type and Rh factor: this blood test is to check the blood group of the mother and the Rh factor, whether it is positive or negative. If the mother has a Rh negative factor and the Rh positive baby that she inherited from her father, when the baby’s blood contacts the mother’s, the mother’s immune system will produce antibodies against it, which can cause, in a second pregnancy, hemolytic disease of the newborn. It should be done in the first trimester of pregnancy.
Fasting Glucose: this blood test is for tracking gestational diabetes and monitoring your treatment or control. It should be done in the first and second trimesters of gestation.
VDRL blood test: it is used to diagnose syphilis, which, when left untreated, can lead to deafness, blindness, or neurological problems in the baby. It should be done in the first and second trimesters of gestation, and may need to be repeated in the 3rd.
Blood test for HIV: it is used to diagnose the HIV virus, which is the cause of AIDS, which can be passed on to the baby. It should be done in the first trimester of pregnancy and may need to be repeated.
Rubella Blood Test: used to diagnose rubella, which can cause neurological problems or mental retardation in the baby. It should be done in the first trimester of pregnancy and may need to be repeated.
CMV blood test: it is used to diagnose cytomegalovirus infection, which can cause malformations in the fetus, such as mental retardation. It should be done in the first trimester of pregnancy and may need to be repeated.
Blood test for Toxoplasmosis: used to diagnose toxoplasmosis, which can be transmitted to the baby, which can cause mental retardation or blindness. It should be done in the first and second trimesters of gestation.
Blood test for Hepatitis B and C: it is used to diagnose hepatitis B or C, and the virus can be passed on to the baby, which can lead to premature delivery or a low birth weight baby. It should be done in the first trimester of pregnancy and may need to be repeated.
Urine and uroculture examination: used to diagnose urinary tract infection, which, when left untreated, can cause premature birth. It should be done in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters of gestation.
Ultrasound: used to detect the presence of the embryo, the time of pregnancy and the date of birth, the baby’s heart rate, position, development and growth. It should be done in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd trimesters of gestation.
Gynecological examination and Pap smear: it serves to evaluate the intimate region and to detect vaginal infections or cancer of the cervix. It should be done in the first trimester of pregnancy.
These tests can be performed free of charge by SUS. However, ultrasound is often not performed because health clinics may not have the necessary equipment. This examination in private clinics can cost around 50 to 150 reais in the case of transvaginal ultrasound and 100 to 200 reais in the case of morphological ultrasound.
Prenatal consultations should be performed once a month up to 32 weeks of gestation and once a week thereafter.
In addition to the conventional ultrasound examination, 3D and 4D ultrasound examinations can also be used to visualize the baby’s face and identify diseases.