Tests are used during pregnancy to check your and your baby's health. At your fist prenatal visit, your doctor will use tests to check for a number of things, such as:
- Your blood type and Rh factor
- Infections, such as toxoplasmosis and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including hepatitis B, syphilis, chlamydia, and HIV
- Signs that you are immune to rubella (German measles) and chicken pox
Throughout your pregnancy, your doctor or midwife may suggest a number of other tests, too.
Some tests are suggested for all women, such as screenings for gestational diabetes, Down syndrome, and HIV. Other tests might be offered based on your:
- Personal or family health history
- Ethnic background
- Results of routine tests
Some tests are screening tests. They detect risks for or signs of possible health problems in you or your baby.
Based on screening test results, your doctor might suggest diagnostic tests. Diagnostic tests confirm or rule out health problems in you or your baby.
If your doctor suggests certain prenatal tests, don't be afraid to ask lots of questions.
Learning about the test, why your doctor is suggesting it for you, and what the test results could mean can help you cope with any worries or fears you might have.
Keep in mind that screening tests do not diagnose problems. They evaluate risk.