Important investigations that should be done when you are pregnant

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Here are some of the more common tests that will be performed on most women. Obviously, all the tests that are ordered are up to your physician, so if you don't get a specific test, don't panic. Your doctor may not think it is necessary for you to have that particular one.

Blood group and Rhesus factor

Once you become pregnant it is important to know your blood group and the presence or absence of the Rhesus factor (Rh). Rh-negative mothers often receive Rh Immune Globulin which is found under different brand names such as RhoGAM, Rhophylac etc. between 26-28 weeks of pregnancy. It is an injection given to all Rh-negative women who may be carrying an Rh-positive baby to prevent problems in a consecutive pregnancy if the current baby becomes a Rh-positive baby. 

Haemoglobin level

During pregnancy, there is an increase in the blood plasma volume leading to a drop in haemoglobin level by the dilution effect. Therefore, while the normal blood haemoglobin level of non-pregnant females should be more than 12g/dl, during pregnancy it can go as low as 11g/dl. But, it shouldn’t be less than that. Iron supplements should be taken in order to maintain the appropriate haemoglobin level.

PPBS or OGTT

Post-prandial blood sugar level (PPBS) should be checked 2 hours after a normal meal. It should be less than 120mg/dl and if it is more than that you can go for a confirmatory test called oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). It requires you to drink 75g of glucose dissolved in 300ml of water (bit of lime juice can be added to make the drink more palatable) within 10 minutes after fasting for at least 8 hours. At the completion of at least 8 hours of fasting, first you check blood for fasting blood sugar (FBS) and then drink the glucose solution. Blood should be checked again after one hour and in 2 hours following the intake of glucose solution to complete the test. FBS, OGTT at 1st hour, OGTT at 2nd hour should be less than 92, 180 and 153mg/dl respectively.

UFR 

A urine full report (UFR) is done which includes testing for urine protein (albumin), urine sugar, red cells and pus cells in urine etc. This can identify asymptomatic urinary tract infections by increased pus cells, red cells or both in the urine sample. Also, the presence of protein in urine (proteinuria) indicates a change in kidney function which may eventually lead to a condition called preeclampsia which is characterized by high blood pressure, fluid retention and proteinuria itself. 

VDRL

This is a blood test done to screen for Syphilis. Early diagnosis and treatment of Syphilis can save your baby from all the complications he/she might face if the disease is transmitted during pregnancy or during child birth.  

Written by: Dr (Ms) Anjali Gamage, MBBS

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ඔබට ඇති වෛද්‍ය ගැටළු අසන්න මෙහි ක්ලික් කරන්න, Ask a Doctor | වෛද්‍යවරයාගෙන් අසන්න

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