Pregnant women can expect to undergo a variety of testing. OB/GYN Dr. Robert Aepli gives his patients a round of blood testing when they’re around 15 weeks pregnant.
"We do a complete blood count, we check a patient’s blood type and RH factor. We check to see if you’re immune to German measles and we also do hepatitis, HIV, and serology testing to rule out Syphilis," says Dr. Aepli.
The blood tests can also detect potential problems in the baby.
"We do an AFP test, merely a blood test from the mother where it can detect certain defects specifically neural tube defects such as spina bifida. We also can do an AFP quad test from the blood where it can actually predict down syndrome risk," he says
Months later pregnant women will also undergo a glucose test.
"Usually when the patient is 26 to 28 weeks pregnant where she merely drinks some sugar water and one to two hours later a blood sugar is checked. This is to screen for the on-set of diabetes during pregnancy, which is called gestational diabetes," says Dr. Aepli.
Some women will also have to undergo extra testing.
"If there is a family history of genetic problems additional testing can be carried out. In a patient over the age of 35 where there is an increased risk of down syndrome or trisomy 21 occasionally amniocentesis or another procedure chorionic villus sampling will be carried out."
If any tests show abnormalities additional evaluations will be done, including a specialized ultrasound to see if there is problem with the pregnancy or baby.