From the moment you find out you’re pregnant, the health machinery kicks in to make sure you and your baby are okay. If you have never gone through this process, in this brief guide you will learn about the medical check-ups during pregnancy.
To do this, we will divide the tests by trimesters and we will indicate which are the routine studies and those that are carried out only in certain cases.
MEDICAL CONTROLS IN PREGNANCY: FIRST TRIMESTER
- Ultrasounds . An ultrasound is usually done every trimester. The first is very important to know if everything is going correctly. The first should be around week 6 of pregnancy , vaginally. In it you can already know the number of embryos, their vitality and location. The second is at week 12 . In it, the gynecologist measures the nuchal fold of the fetus.
- During the first 12 weeks , the first consultation will take place , in which the clinical history of the future mother will be prepared, along with family and personal history, health habits, diet, possible consumption of alcohol, tobacco or drugs. , etc.
- Vaginal cytology and colposcopy. It is done to detect possible infections or diseases.
- blood test . Among other things, it is used to find out the blood group, the blood sugar level, the hemoglobin level, whether or not there are toxoplasmosis antibodies, whether there are infections, whether the mother has diseases such as syphilis, hepatitis B and C or AIDS, etc.
- Complete urinalysis . The goal is to check if the kidneys are working well and rule out possible urinary tract infections.
MEDICAL CONTROLS IN PREGNANCY: SECOND TRIMESTER
- Blood glucose test . Thanks to it, it is possible to detect if there is gestational diabetes . It is usually performed between weeks 24 and 28. In risk cases, it is normal to repeat it between weeks 31 and 33.
- Fetal ultrasound . Around week 20 (between 19 and 23) an ultrasound is performed again to check the development of the baby and its organs. This time it is an ultrasound to rule out the presence of possible malformations and assess the growth of the baby.
- A new analysis of blood and urine . On this occasion, it is verified that the levels of ferritin (iron in the blood) are adequate and that the future mother does not suffer from preeclampsia (increased blood pressure). Possible urinary tract infections are also ruled out.
MEDICAL CONTROLS IN PREGNANCY: THIRD TRIMESTER
- Ultrasound . Normally the last ultrasound is done after week 32. It is used to check the level of amniotic fluid and the growth of the baby, among others.
- Monitors . At the end of the pregnancy, the mother is sent to monitors to check the baby’s heartbeat and uterine contractions. In some cases, this test can be brought forward a few weeks.
OTHER MEDICAL TESTS IN PREGNANCY
So far we have listed the routine checks. Then, depending on each patient, their personal and family history, or her age, the doctor may advise other tests to be done. Among them, nuchal translucency (using ultrasound), triple screening (weeks 15 to 20) or amniocentesis (weeks 15 to 18).
Some of the pathologies that can be detected with these additional controls are Down Syndrome , Turner’s, Patau’s or Klinefelter’s.
In summary: as a general rule, medical check-ups during pregnancy, when no complications have been detected, are every 4 or 6 weeks until week 36. Between weeks 37 and 40, every one or two weeks. In the event that the pregnancy lasts longer, the controls can become daily. If there are complications, the frequency with which the different tests will be carried out will be less.