Throughout your pregnancy you’ll get routine exams and tests to make sure you and your baby are healthy. Your OB/GYN will check samples of your blood and urine for certain conditions including:
- HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases
- Hepatitis B
- Preeclampsia, a type of high blood pressure
You may also get:
- Pap smear
- Group B Strep screening. Your doctor will swab the skin in and around your vagina to check for the bacteria. This usually happens in the month before you give birth.
Prenatal Genetic Tests
Prenatal genetic testing is particularly important in those women who are considered high risk pregnancies:
- Over the age of 35
- Have had a premature baby or a baby with a birth defect before
- Have a genetic disorder or one that runs in your family or the other parent’s family
- Have a medical condition like diabetes, high blood pressure, a seizure disorder, or an autoimmune disorder such as lupus
- Have had miscarriages or still born babies in the past
- Have had gestational diabetes or preeclampsia when you were previously pregnant
Prenatal genetic screenings tell you if your baby has a higher risk of having a certain disorder or disease, but they can’t tell you for certain that they’ll be born with it.
If your doctor recommends prenatal testing, consider asking the following:
- Why do I need these tests?
- What will the results tell me? What will they not show?
- What happens if I don’t get the test?
- What will I do with the results?
- How accurate are the tests?
- What are the risks?
- How long will it take to get the results?
- What does it feel like?
- How much do they cost?
- Will my insurance cover them?
- Will anyone else (like my insurance company) have access to the results, especially of genetic tests?
- What will the results mean for my family?
- Can I decide not to get the results even if the test has already been done?
- Where do I get the tests done?
For more information on prenatal testing, please speak with your OB/GYN or call the Center for Women’s Health at 401-789-0661.