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 Tests during first trimester

Tests during first trimester

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Antenatal tests are performed during pregnancy to detect health problems in the growing fetus; establish characteristics such as fetal age or weight; or diagnose any other conditions that may affect fetal development.

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Doctor’s visit: First trimester

Your first pregnancy visit to the doctor provides the occasion for a complete physical examination.

Questions you might be asked

  • Last period.
    Be prepared to give the date of your last period to determine a due date.



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  • Your history.
    The doctor will also want to know about your reproductive history (previous pregnancies, miscarriages, or abortions); any inherited disorders which may pass on to your child and any current or past illnesses.

Procedures/tests

  • Your stats.
    The doctor or nurse will record your height, weight, blood pressure and pulse.
  • Physical.
    The doctor will give you a general physical examination, paying special attention to the heart, lungs, abdomen and pelvis.
  • Pelvic exam.
    You’ll also have a pelvic examination, which allows the doctor to estimate the size of the uterus and pelvis.
  • Blood test.
    At your first visit, the doctor will also take blood samples to determine:
    1. Your blood count, to see whether you’re anemic.
    2. Your blood group, in case you need a transfusion.
    3. If you have HIV (AIDS) antibodies, which can affect your baby.
    4. If you have sickle-cell anemia, thalassemia (a rare blood disorder), or Tay-Sachs disease. These tests are only for those at risk.
    5. If you’re immune to rubella (German measles), a disease that can be devastating if contracted early in pregnancy.
    6. If a sexually transmitted disease or hepatitis B is present.
  • Urinalysis.
    The doctor will measure the protein and sugar in your urine. The urinalysis will detect excess protein, which can be a warning sign of preeclampsia: or high blood pressure in pregnancy.
  • Cervical swab.
    This test is done for those who have had herpes. If the herpes virus is active before delivery, your doctor may suggest a cesarean section to avoid the possibility of infecting your baby.
  • Pap smear.
    Done to check the cells of the cervix for early signs of cervical cancer.

Scheduling future visits

You should see your doctor every month until your 28th week. After that, you might need a checkup every three weeks for some time and then every two weeks. After the 36th week you might be seeing your doctor every week until your baby is born.

The important 12th week visit
Be sure to bring your partner to your 12th week visit. This is when you’ll be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat. Your doctor will place an electronic amplifying device called a Doppler scan on your abdomen. This instrument is safe and can be used right in the doctor’s office.

The heartbeat can’t be heard with a regular stethoscope until approximately 20 weeks. What you’ll hear is an earnest little heart pumping at about 140 beats per minute.

Until today your baby might have been just an idea of a child growing inside you. But once you hear the heartbeat, you would know that your baby is very real.

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