During a woman’s nine-month pregnancy journey, the first three months—or first trimester—are especially important to the baby’s development. This is why many pregnant women regularly visit their health-care providers to receive the common tests done during the first trimester of pregnancy. Let’s examine the specific diagnostic tests every pregnant woman should receive in order to start positive development for their child.
Hormone Testing for Women
There is a variety of hormone testing for women available. The most common is the estrogen test, which measures the level of estrogen in the blood. This test is often used to assess fertility, as estrogen levels can impact ovulation and implantation. Other hormone tests include the progesterone test, which measures the level of progesterone in the blood, and the prolactin test, which measures the level of prolactin in the blood. These tests can be used to assess hormone levels in women who are experiencing menopausal symptoms or who are at risk for developing certain gynecological conditions.
Nuchal Translucency Test
A nuchal translucency test measures the thickness of the back of the baby’s neck, which helps providers assess if the child has genetic problems. The medical professional will utilize an abdominal ultrasound to determine how much fluid is located in the baby’s neck. If more than the standard amount is present, the child could have a genetic disorder. This test is not required, but many women choose to have it done to ensure their baby is healthy during the first trimester.
Health-care staff might regularly run blood tests on pregnant women to determine things such as:
- Blood type
- Antibody count
- Immunity to illnesses such as chickenpox
- Presence of cystic fibrosis, spinal muscular atrophy, and more
Blood tests are critical during each stage of pregnancy to protect the mother and child from developing illnesses or other complications.
Ultrasound machines weren’t always used in pregnancy to determine a baby’s gender, but they’re now vital in evaluating many factors in the child’s development. Pregnant women should receive ultrasound examinations in order to examine their babies’ size and location, the number of fetuses, and the exact stage of development they’re in. Initial ultrasounds are typically performed at around seven to eight weeks gestation to verify the due date and fetal heartbeat. These are essential parts of many women’s pregnancy journeys.
These are just a few of the most common tests done during the first trimester of pregnancy. Each woman’s journey is different, but all must receive proper medical care to ensure their child’s health and safety.