Our Austin ObGyns conduct prenatal testing to diagnose potential problems and monitor health throughout pregnancy
Some prenatal tests may be performed in the first, second or third trimester, including urinalysis, a complete blood count (CBC) or ultrasound. In some cases, the timing of the test is more important. Our Austin ObGyns and their staff may perform an early ultrasound in the first trimester, but it is more common for women to have an ultrasound at about 18 to 20 weeks, during the second trimester.
First trimester prenatal tests
On your first prenatal visit to our Austin ObGyns, you will have several routine prenatal tests, such as: a complete blood count (CBC); a urine culture and a urinalysis. We also test to determine if you have been vaccinated for rubella (also known as German measles), as well as your status for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or tuberculosis (TB). These routine prenatal tests are given to every pregnant woman.
Screening tests are prenatal tests that can detect problems with the fetus, primarily genetic conditions. Discuss your need for these tests with our Austin ObGyns:
- First-trimester screening—Between the 11th and 13th week of pregnancy, an ultrasound and bloodwork can determine whether or not your baby is at risk for chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome, Trisomy 18 or heart defects.
- Chorionic villus sampling (CVS)—This prenatal test, conducted between weeks 10 and 12, involves taking and examining a small tissue sample from the placenta to determine if the fetus is at risk for chromosomal disorders, such as Down syndrome.
- Carrier screening—These prenatal tests can be done during pregnancy or before you get pregnant. It determines whether you or your partner is a carrier of the genes for specific disorders such as cystic fibrosis.
Second trimester prenatal tests
During the second trimester, during weeks 26 to 28, our Austin ObGyns recommend having a glucose challenge screening to determine whether you have, or are at risk for, having gestational diabetes.
Women who have high risk factors for having a child with a genetic disorder, such as Down syndrome or spina bifida, may consider having amniocentesis during weeks 15 to 20.
Third trimester prenatal tests
Our Austin ObGyns routinely perform two prenatal tests in the third trimester:
- Group B streptococcus test—At 36 to 37 weeks, this test looks for the bacteria that causes this potentially dangerous infection.
- Rh antibodies test—Between weeks 28 and 29, if you are Rh negative, you will need a blood test to test for Rh antibodies.
Prenatal tests are an important component of good prenatal care
The mission of our Austin ObGyns is to provide every patient with the best pregnancy they can possibly have. Contact us to learn more about preventive care and prenatal tests.