Routine Tests During Pregnancy

Routine Tests During Pregnancy 

Urinalysis - This test examines the urine for the presence of bacteria, sugar or protein. 

  • Bacteria in the urine could indicate infection.

  • Sugar in the urine could indicate gestational diabetes.

  • Protein in the urine could indicate preeclampsia, a pregnancy complication.

Urine or Blood Screen - This test examines the urine or blood for the presence of drugs that are frequently abused. Your signature on this form indicates your consent to testing at any time throughout your pregnancy or hospitalization.

16-20 Weeks Gestation:

  • Fetal Anatomy Scan

  • Maternal Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) or Expanded Alph-fetoprotein testing which also includes measurements of estriol amd HCG (aka: Quad Screen) - APF is often elevated in the blood of mothers carrying a baby with a neural tube defect in which the spinal cord does not close normally. Currently AFP is also being combined with other measurements of estriol and HCG levels to screen for Down Syndrome and other chromosome abnormalities like Trisomy 13 and Trisomy 18. Please remember that this blood test only indicates if you are at risk for having a baby with any of these disorders. Much controversy surrounds AFP testing, since the test can produce false-positive results. At times women who are carrying normal fetuses will be unnecessarily alarmed and advised to undergo further testing based on an initial AFP screening. It is best to talk to your provider about your individual risks and concerns regarding AFP testing before consenting to this blood test.

  • Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Screening - this test determines whether or not a person carries the abnormal gene that causes cystic fibrosis (an inherited disease that affects breathing and digestion). There is no cure for cystic fibrosis. It is best to talk to your provider about your individual risks and concerns regarding cystic fibrosis testing before consenting to this blood test. 

24-28 Weeks Gestation:

  • Diabetes Screening - this test is called a glucose challenge test. One hour after ingesting a sugary drink, your blood level is measured. If the test is abnormal, a three hour glucose tolerance test (GTT) is performed. Your blood sugar level is checked every hour for three hours following ingestion of anothersugary drink. If abnormal, this GTT will diagnose gestational diabetes. If gestational diabetes is present, special efforts will be necessary to maintain your blood sugar at a normal level. this can often be accomplished with dietary restrictions, but may at times require you to take medication or insulin injections. In the cast majority of cases, gestational diabetes  during pregnancy should be monitored later in life for the development of diabetes.

  • Hemoglobin - Most providers will recommend a repeat screening to check you again for evidence of anemia.

  • RPR - Most providers will recommend a repeat screening to check you again for the presence of syphilis infection. 

36-38 Weeks Gestation:

  • Group B Streprococcus Swab - this test involves a culture of the vagina and anus to check for the presence of Group B strep. If the Group B strep is present, you may be treated before labor begins to prevent infection of the baby during the birthing process.
  • Gonorrhea and Chlamydia Cultures - These cultures may be repeated and if positive you will be treated prior to delivery.


Other diagnostic tests sometimes used:

Medical technology has made significant advances during the last 30 years and it is now possible to detect for potentially serious problems in a developing fetus prior to birth. Your provider will take many factoirs  into consideration before advising you to undergo additional testing in pregnancy. Some of these factors include:

  • Maternal age

  • Pre-existing maternal health problems

  • experiences and outcomes of previous pregnancies

  • history of genetic or congenital disorders

  • Presence of multiple fetuses

  • Other high risk conditions

All decisions to undergo diagnostic testing during pregnancy should be made jointly by both parents and the provider. Before consenting to any procedure, you should feel comfortable that all of your questions have been satisfactorily answered and the risk and benefit of each test has been thoroughly explained.

Labs recommended during pregnancy

CBC, Hemoglobin - 
Blood Type and Ph Antibody Screening - 
Rubella Titer - 
Hepatitus B Screen - 
Pap Smear -
Gonorrhea and Chlamydia Cultures - 
Urine Cultures -