During Pregnancy

Your pregnancy can be a busy time, with lots of testing. You and your doctor need to understand how your pregnancy is developing, while carefully monitoring your own health to rule out potential complications. Not all tests are right for all patients or needed at all times. As your pregnancy continues, your doctor may recommend tests designed to:

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  • Confirm your pregnancy

    Pregnancy blood test
    Tests the blood to confirm that conception has occurred and you are pregnant.

  • Check your general health

    Complete blood count (CBC)
    Tests for anemia (which can happen during pregnancy), platelet levels, and general blood health.

    ABO and Rh—blood type and Rh status
    Tests for the mother’s blood type and Rh status. Sometimes when the mother and fetus have different blood types or Rh status, there could be problems. This test helps the doctor know if that might be a possibility.

    Antibody screen
    Tests for antibodies in the mother's blood. Certain antibodies might harm the fetus. If the mother has such an antibody in her blood, the doctor will carefully monitor the pregnancy and treat if needed.

    Screens for gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that sometimes happens during pregnancy. Also tests for high protein levels, which can be due to a bladder or kidney infection, and can also be a sign of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia, which may come without noticeable symptoms, can develop into a serious, life-threatening condition.

    Glucose tolerance
    This test finds out how your body handles sugar. It’s used to diagnose gestational diabetes.

    Metabolic panel (basic or comprehensive)
    The basic metabolic panel test can be used to check for diabetes, kidney disease, and an electrolyte or acid/base imbalance. A comprehensive metabolic panel may be ordered instead which will provide additional information, including information about your liver function.

  • Check the health of your pregnancy

    Maternal serum screening
    Tests your blood to find out if the fetus you’re carrying is at increased risk of having Down syndrome, a neural tube defect, or trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome). If your baby is at increased risk, more tests will be needed. These other tests can find out if your baby actually has one of these conditions.

    Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)
    During this procedure, cells are taken from the placenta. The cells are then tested to see if your baby (fetus) has a chromosomal abnormality such as Down syndrome.

    During this procedure, amniotic fluid is taken from the sac that surrounds the fetus. Cells in the fluid are then tested to find out if your baby has a chromosomal abnormality. Other tests can also be done on the fluid.

    Noninvasive Prenatal Screening (QNatal® Advanced)
    QNatal Advanced noninvasive prenatal screen is a test performed on your blood that can help you find out if your unborn baby is at greater risk of certain non-inherited birth defects, including Down syndrome and trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome) as well as Patau syndrome, Turner syndrome and several other conditions. It measures traces of your baby’s DNA found in your blood during pregnancy and can be measured as early as 10 weeks to find out if there are abnormal changes in chromosomes. This highly accurate screening test uses advanced technology and is recommended for high-risk pregnancies, including for mothers who are 35 years of age or older. Learn more

  • Check for risk of inherited conditions

    Cystic fibrosis
    Tests the blood for the altered genes that cause cystic fibrosis (CF). If both parents have one of these genes, their child might inherit CF. CF causes problems in the lungs and the digestive system.

    Spinal muscular atrophy
    Tests the blood for the altered genes that cause spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). If both parents have one of these genes, their child might inherit SMA. SMA causes severe muscle wasting and weakness and is the leading genetic cause of death in infants.

    Fragile X
    Tests the blood for the altered genes that cause fragile X syndrome (FXS). FXS is the most common cause of inherited developmental delay and intellectual disability.

    Ashkenazi Jewish panel
    Tests the blood for the altered genes that cause certain rare disorders found more often in people of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. These inherited disorders include Canavan disease, cystic fibrosis, familial dysautonomia, and Tay-Sachs disease, among others.

    Tests the blood for the altered genes that cause thalassemia, a type of anemia. If both parents have one of these genes, their child might inherit thalassemia and have symptoms.

    Sickle cell screen
    Tests the blood for the presence of sickling hemoglobins. If both parents are positive, their child might inherit sickle cell disease. Sickle cell is most common among people of African descent. It causes anemia and other problems.

  • Check for maternal infections

    Yeast/BVV culture
    Tests vaginal fluid for yeast infection and bacterial vaginosis/vaginitis, which might cause problems for the pregnancy.

    Measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles)
    Tests the blood for measles, mumps, and rubella immunity; find out if the mother has enough antibody to protect herself and her fetus against infection.

    Hepatitis B Surface Antigen
    Tests the blood for infection with hepatitis B virus which, if present, could be spread to the fetus.

    Tests the blood for toxoplasmosis, an infection caused by a parasite, which could be spread to the fetus.

    Group B strep culture
    Tests vaginal and rectal samples for the presence or absence of group B streptococcus, a bacterium that can spread to the baby during birth.

    CT/GC—chlamydia and gonorrhea
    Tests urine or a vaginal sample for chlamydia and gonorrhea infections. If untreated, these infections can lead to a miscarriage or can be passed to the fetus.

    Tests the blood for the possibility of a syphilis infection, which could spread to the baby during pregnancy.

    Tests the blood for the herpes virus (HSV-1, HSV-2, or both), which could be spread to the baby during birth.

    Tests the blood for HIV, which could be spread to the baby during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding.

  • Assess risk of preterm labor

    Fetal fibronectin
    Assesses risk of premature delivery in women who have labor pains during 24 to 34 weeks of pregnancy; test performed using a vaginal swab sample.

    LS/PG ratio—fetal lung maturity
    Tests amniotic fluid to determine your baby’s chance of being able to breathe on his/her own if born prematurely.