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Lab Tests in Pregnancy

Lab Tests in Pregnancy

1st Trimester

·         Blood Type and Rh:  This is a blood test that gives the mother’s blood type (A, B, AB, or O) and rh (positive or negative).  If the mother has a negative blood type, she can either choose to have the baby’s genotype type tested or receive rhogam at 28 weeks and postpartum.

·         Antibody Screen: This is a blood test that looks for antibodies in the mother’s blood that are forming as a reaction to the fetus. 

·         Complete Blood Count (CBC): This test give a number values to all the different types of cells in your blood.  The test can show if you are anemic or have an infection.

·         Rubella Titer: This test looks for antibodies against rubella.  Rubella (aka German Measles) is a virus that causes a rash on the skin.  If rubella occurs in the mother during pregnancy, it can lead to birth defects in the baby.  If you are immune to rubella, the level will be high.  If you are not immune, the level will be low.  You will need to avoid contact with anyone that is sick or has a rash.  You can be revaccinated for rubella after delivery.

·         Serology or RPR:  This is a blood test that looks for syphilis.  It is important to test this during pregnancy because it can cause an infection in the fetus, birth defects, premature birth and other issues.  Syphilis can be treated.

·         Hepatitis B: This is a blood test that looks for Hepatitis B.  Hepatitis is a virus that attacks the liver.  This can lead to problems in the mother during the pregnancy and can also be passed to the fetus.

·         Urinalysis and Culture: This test looks at your urine.  It can show signs of infection, diabetes or blood pressure problems.

·         Pap Smear: A sample is collected from the cervix (base of the uterus) during a speculum exam.  The pap looks at the cervical cells for precancerous and cancerous changes.  If you are over 30 years old, a Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) test is added to the pap.  HPV is the virus that causes cervical cells to change.

·         Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Hepatitis C and HIV:  These are other STDs that are often tested in pregnancy.  However, some women wish to opt out of having these test performed. 

o   Gonorrhea and Chlamydia are tested through cervical sample or urine sample.  If a pap smear is done, these test can easily be added to the pap test.

o   Hepatitis C and HIV are tested in blood samples.  Hepatitis C is a virus that attacks the liver and can be passed to the fetus.  If you have a history of drug use, family history of hepatitis C or have tattoos, you should have this tested.  HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is the virus that leads to AIDS.  This virus can be passed to the fetus.

2nd Trimester

·         1 hour Glucose Tolerance Test: This is a blood test that looks for gestational diabetes.   

·         Hematocrit/Hemoglobin: This blood test checks for anemia which can develop during pregnancy.

·         RPR: This is a repeat of the test done in the 1st trimester.

3rd Trimester

·         Group Beta Strep Culture (GBS):  This is a culture or swab of the vagina and rectum that looks for the presence of GBS bacteria.

Optional Tests

·         Amniocentesis

·         Chorionic Villus Sampling

·         Cystic Fibrosis

·         Nuchal Translucency

·         Triple/Quad Screening