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What Screening Tests a Pregnant Mother Should Undergo?

What Screening Tests a Pregnant Mother Should  Undergo?

Consultant Obstetrics and Gynecology
A UK-trained Obstetrician with a special interest in Fetal Medicine and Fetal Cardiology

A woman’s pregnancy is a joyful period when a child slowly develops until he or she are born to be a healthy little human. Pregnancy is also the time when a mother feels the need to check on her own health and her foetus’s health and wellbeing. To make sure that she is in good health and that the little precious being inside her is growing in a healthy way without any complications for either the mother or the child.

All pregnant women undergo screening tests during their pregnancy. The different types of screening tests are:

  • Ultrasound scan.
  • Blood tests.
  • A clinical history based assessment.

These tests allow the Obstetrician to categories the pregnancy and determine the risk for various conditions. Such as, the mothers advanced age or a history of diabetes in her family which can put a woman at risk for high blood pressure or diabetes during pregnancy respectively.

Screening literally means filtering and identifying people at risk. It cannot diagnose the problem. However, it can be a prompter for the need of further investigations. It is very important to understand that most screening tests calculate a risk calculation, which is a probability of having the problem that you are being screened for, not a certainty.

If a screen results are positive this mean that there is a higher than average risk for that condition. If the screen results are negative this means that there is a lower than average risk for the condition screened. Screening tests do not give a yes or no answer, in most situations; further definitive tests will be required to confirm the diagnosis.

It is very important to understand that the risk assessments come from population based statistics and modified by the individual’s test results.

We advice all women to get screened during their pregnancy, as these tests allows the doctor to follow up and understand any risks that might affect the mother, or the baby during this period of a mothers journey.