Before Conception

When you’re planning or hoping to get pregnant, testing can help you get a clearer picture of your reproductive health. Not all tests are right for everyone or needed at all times. Your doctor may recommend tests designed to:

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  • 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 your blood type and Rh status. Sometimes there are problems when the mother and fetus have different blood types or Rh status. 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.

    Urinalysis
    Finds out how much protein is in the urine. High protein levels can be a sign of an infection in the bladder or kidney.

    Metabolic panel (basic or comprehensive)
    This 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 for 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.

    Toxoplasma
    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 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.

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

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

  • 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 serious 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.

    Thalassemia
    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.
     

  • Check for pregnancy

    Pregnancy blood test
    Tests the blood to find out if conception has occurred and you are pregnant.