Prenatal Test

Prenatal Test

Prenatal tests are to detect, prevent, and treat risks during pregnancy, minimize infants'illness and deaths through continuous care, and to promote healthy newborns. Detecting pregnancy is important due to the significance of the early pregnancy period.

Prenatal Visits

  • Once a month till week 28
  • Twice a month between week 29-36
  • Weekly visits after week 36

Prenatal Tests

  • Medical exam by interview per each visit
  • Physical exam (blood pressure, weight, uterus size)
  • Fetus status (heartbeat, fetal movement)
  • Bleeding, amniotic fluid, uterus contraction, etc

Pregnancy Tests: Early Stage
When pregnancy is diagnosed, the tests below are performed to identify risks impacting the fetus and mother's health at the early stage of pregnancy.

1. Blood type
5-20% pregnant women do not know their blood types. Especially pregnant women with Rh(-) type blood should be under care.

2. Blood test
To check anemia, and infection, a blood test is performed in the early stage of pregnancy and at weeks 24-28 and weeks 36-37.

3. Serum test

  • Syphilis test - Pregnant women with syphilis have high risks of deformity, stillborn birth, or miscarriage. Therefore, early detection and proper treatment are important for the full recovery of both the pregnant woman and fetus.
  • Rubella
  • Hepatitis B antigen test - 10% of the total population are hepatitis carriers, many of whom do not know that they are infected. New born babies of carrier mothers should be vaccinated and not be breastfed.

4. Urine test
Useful for detecting toxemia of pregnancy, diabetes, kidney disease, and bladder disease. Must be tested in the early stage of pregnancy and at weeks 24-28 and weeks 36-37. If necessary, it can be done at any time.

5. Ultrasound
Results of 109 premature birth and 228 full term pregnant women showed that pregnant women with high cholesterol and high neutral fats before week 21 were twice likely to have premature birth. Pregnant women with high CRP levels were 3 times likely to have premature birth, and pregnant women with high cholesterol, neutral fats, and CRP levels were 6 times likely to have a premature birth before week 34. Cholesterol, neutral fats, and infections prevent the normal development of the fetus. Therefore, to prevent premature birth, women should be tested and and checked for those markers before and after pregnancy.

Pregnancy Tests: Mid Stage
In the case of normal pregnancy, two congenital anomaly tests and gestational diabetes test will be added.

1. Congenital anomaly test
Causes of congenital malformation are unknown. There is no 100% accurate congenital anomaly test. Below are tests that are recognized for their accuracy and are to be clinically used.

  • Blood test at early stage of pregnancy. Before or in the early stage of pregnancy, women are to be tested for rubella, syphilis, and toxoplasma for infections related to congenital anomaly.
  • Fetal nuchal translucency test
  • Between weeks 11-14, through ultrasound this test examines the area of the back of the fetal neck for thickening to predict chromosomal abnormality.
  • Triple marker: The triple screen test is performed between the 15th and 20th weeks of pregnancy, although results obtained in the 16th -18th weeks are said to be the most accurate. It tests fetal hormones and is not influenced by the pregnant women's dietary intake. It detects 70-80% of fetuses with cerebral paralysis and 60% with Down's syndrome.
  • Amniocentesis: This test is almost 100% accurate to detect fetal chromosomal abnormality with a small amount of amniotic fluid around fetus while in the uterus.
  • Ultrasound
  • PKU test: 4-6 days after birth, a newborn baby's blood sample is tested for the presence of the enzyme to break down phenylalanine. If this enzyme is missing, then the child's diet will need to be monitored to prevent phenylalanine from building up in the bloodstream. Other tests done in conjunction with the PKU include tests for hypothyroidism and galactosemia. These can be prevented if detected early.

2. Gestational diabetes test
Test immediately for pregnant women over 35, with family history, obesity (over 120%) and test between week 24-28 for pregnant women with no risk.

3. General blood test and urine test

Tests before Delivery
Between week 36 - 37, pregnant women will be tested for items before delivery or c-section.