The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history, and do a physical exam.

The tests you will have depend on your symptoms, medical history, and how far along you are in your pregnancy. Your healthcare provider may do the following tests to find out whether you or your developing baby has an infection:

Amniocentesis —This procedure, done if chorioamnionitis is suspected, involves the removal of a small amount of amniotic fluid (the water surrounding a developing baby) from the uterus. While this is usually used to detect genetic problems with the developing baby, it can also help the doctor know if there is an infection present.

Blood test —Your blood is checked for the number of white blood cells and the presence of antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that your body has made to fight an infection.

Culture —The doctor will gently swab your vagina and/or rectum to see if an infection is present. The swab will then be examined under a microscope in the office or the culture will be sent to a laboratory for testing.

Ultrasound —A technician will hold a device over the abdomen that bounces sound waves off the uterus and your developing baby. The sound waves make electrical impulses that create a picture of the baby on a video monitor. This helps the doctor check for any fetal abnormalities that might indicate an infection (usually viral) in the mother.

Urinalysis —This is a test to check for bacteria in the urine. After you urinate into a cup, your healthcare provider will use a specially treated paper strip to check for bacteria in the urine. Urine can also be sent to a laboratory for identification of specific bacteria.