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Blood tests are an integral part of pregnancy. Some common blood tests are performed to check presence of abnormalities in fetus, infections, gestational diabetes. There are different kinds of blood tests for pregnancy which are Hemoglobin blood test, Rubella Test, HIV Test, and Hepatitis B test.
Let’s Discuss in More Details About Blood Testing During Pregnancy:
- What Are Common Blood Tests?
- Different Kinds of Blood Tests During Pregnancy?
- What are the Side Effects of Blood Tests?
Blood tests are usually done to check for anything that may cause a problem during pregnancy or after pregnancy. Some tests are meant for all women, while some are only offered if the expectant mother is at risk of a particular infection or inherited condition. It is also done to check a baby’s health. All blood tests are usually optional. A doctor explains the tests beforehand so that you can decide whether to go for it. There are many reasons why a blood test is conducted during pregnancy. (1) (2) Some of them include:
- To confirm blood group ( A, B, AB or O).
- To identify any infections or diseases
- To identify if the fetus is at risk of any abnormality.
- A blood test helps a doctor to analyze the overall health and find out about the possibility of an issue later during pregnancy.
- To check if Rh is positive or negative.
- To check the levels of glucose, iron, and hemoglobin.
- To check if one is immune to rubella, hepatitis B, syphilis.
- Additional blood testing may be required to monitor potential complications, like anemia or diagnosis of possible infections, such as toxoplasmosis.
- If the mother has gestational diabetes.
Given below are the different types of blood tests conducted during pregnancy. (3)
1. Test To Confirm Blood Group
A blood test is done to confirm a person’s blood group. There are four types of blood groups A, B, AB or O. This test is useful in case of blood transfusion during pregnancy or delivery. (4)
2. Rhesus Factor Test
After blood group is confirmed, the next step is finding out the Rh type. This test is done to determine the presence of ‘D’ antigen on the surface of red blood cells. If the antigen is present, the mother is Rh-positive and if absent then she is Rh-negative. A positive blood group of both baby and mother is favorable. In case the mother’s blood group is negative, her body can produce antibodies against the baby’s blood. This may not affect the current pregnancy but may affect any future pregnancies in a negative way. If the Rh types of both the parents do not match, the doctor administers a shot of Rh immunoglobulin. This shot prevents mother’s body from producing antigens for the current as well as for future pregnancies. (5)
3. Hemoglobin Levels
Hemoglobin levels are checked during the 28th week of pregnancy. A blood test can tell whether hemoglobin levels are less, which is a sign of iron-deficiency anemia. The expected level of hemoglobin should be between 12 to 14 grams. If you are anemic due to iron deficiency, the doctor may prescribe iron supplements and advise you to eat iron-rich foods. Treatment for anemia can be prescribed, if the level falls below ten grams. Blood test for hemoglobin can also check the platelet count. Increased white blood cells could be signs of an infection. (6)
4. Rubella Test
This test is conducted to check the level of antibodies present against the rubella virus in the blood. If rubella virus is contracted during pregnancy, it can cause serious health issues like miscarriage, stillbirths, birth defects and premature births. Most women are immune to rubella, either because they were vaccinated before or contracted rubella as a child. If the mother is not immune, she can get a vaccination called Measles Mumps Rubella (MMR) to prevent problems in future pregnancies. (7)
5. HIV Test
One of the most important tests during pregnancy is for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) that causes AIDS. HIV affects the body’s ability to fight against infection; it passes on to others through blood or sexual intercourse. If the blood test shows a positive sign, the doctor can prescribe a treatment to help the mother to fight infection. New medicines can also reduce the chances of the virus from transmitting to the baby during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding. (8)
6. Hepatitis B Test
Hepatitis B can cause significant health problems and mainly affects the liver. Many women do not realize the symptoms of this disease and unknowingly pass it to their baby during labor. Hepatitis B test is conducted to check if a mother is a carrier of Hepatitis B. (7)
If the blood test indicates a positive sign, the doctor gives the baby a Hepatitis B immunoglobulin injection. The first shot of Hepatitis B vaccine is given within 12 hours of birth, followed by the second shot in the first month and third shot in the sixth month.
7. Test for Gestational Diabetes
Gestational Diabetes occurs during pregnancy and it is caused due to high levels of sugar present in the blood. Gestational diabetes happens during the 28th week of pregnancy and disappears after delivery. Diabetes testing is usually done twice during pregnancy. The first test checks if a mother has diabetes or if she is prone to develop diabetes. Doctors conduct the other test to determine the development of diabetes during pregnancy. A blood test is necessary to assess the body’s ability to metabolize sugar and screen for gestational diabetes. It is hard to tell if a mother is suffering from gestational diabetes because there are no symptoms. If left untreated during pregnancy it can affect the baby’s growth. If glucose level is between 130 to 140 milligrams per deciliter of blood, the doctor might request a glucose tolerance test. (8)
The result of the blood test can mean a variety of things. Normally there is very little risk associated with a blood test. Apart from some bruising at the site of the injected needle, there are no other side effects from having blood drawn. These blood tests are less expensive and pose no risks to the mother or developing a fetus. It gives a clear picture of the baby’s growth and can medically intervene if any defects are discovered. Before having any blood tests, the health center provides adequate information about the tests. This allows one to make a decision to have these blood tests. (9)
In case of the experience of having issues with giving blood samples, consult a doctor before going for a blood test.
Make sure to select a reputed diagnostic center before you go for a blood test. Make sure that the center has a trained and experienced staff that knows how to collect and store blood appropriately in a safe tamper-free manner. Blood tests and other pregnancy-related tests are mandatory for all pregnant women to check the well-being of both the baby and the mother. (10)
If you would like more information about pregnancy-related articles, you can follow OVO Fertility blog. With OVO Fertility, you can find the best blood test centers. OVO fertility also provides medical loans at zero percent EMI to patients who require financial help. For more information, call us at +918268260808.
SOURCES AND REFERENCES:
- ^ Blood Tests | National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) Nhlbi.nih.gov, 24 August 2019
- ^ First Trimester Tests During Pregnancy | Webmd Webmd.com, 24 August 2019
- ^ Prenatal Tests You Need for Your Baby's Health | WebMD Webmd.com, 24 August 2019
- ^ Blood Typing: Medlineplus Medical Encyclopedia Medlineplus.gov, 24 August 2019
- ^ Rh Factor Blood Test | Mayo Clinic Mayoclinic.org, 24 August 2019
- ^ Hemoglobin Test | Mayo Clinic Mayoclinic.org, 24 August 2019
- ^ Hepatitis B Blood Tests | Hepatitis B Foundation Webmd.com, 24 August 2019
- ^ Tests & Diagnosis for Gestational Diabetes | NIDDK Webmd.com, 24 August 2019
- ^ Blood Testing for Allergies | WebMD Webmd.com, 24 August 2019
- ^ Arthritis Lab Test Guide | Arthritis Foundation Arthritis.org, 24 August 2019
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