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Routine Prenatal Testing

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
  • Anemia
  • Diabetes
  • 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.
  • Ultrasound

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.