Scans & Tests
Written on 14 August 2018
Yes! Pregnancy can indeed turn out to be a memorable as well as the most beautiful part of your life. Before you start preparing yourself for a new beginning, it may be vital to make a few changes in your lifestyle and daily routines. You may have to change numerous things for the healthy development of your baby. However, to make such changes, one will need to analyze the condition of their body and undergo a few tests and scans during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, every woman’s body functions in a different manner. Therefore, to track the constant changes happening in a pregnant woman’s body, she may have to undergo a few pregnancy tests. These tests help to ensure the baby’s good health. Apart from that, these pregnancy tests also help to detect the presence of any underlying health problems. Therefore, it thus becomes essential for you to undergo tests and scans during pregnancy.
Although most of the tests may be optional, it is a recommendation that you do not skip any of them. As you move forward in the beautiful journey of your pregnancy, your doctor will recommend several scans and tests for the well-being of you and the baby. Towards the end of the second trimester, you must not miss some crucial tests. Let's learn more about them:
An anomaly scan helps have a close look at your cervix, uterus, and baby. It helps to observe the baby’s growth and development and detect any congenital disabilities or structural problems. Usually, this test takes place when you are 20 weeks pregnant. It is also known as a Morphology scan, and the sonographer can check the position of the placenta besides looking at the baby's movements.
The doctor will advise you to drink lots of water and avoid passing urine before the scan. The doctor will allow you to enjoy the view on the screen and will later hand over the video recording on a CD also. Seeing your baby on screen is a treat for the eyes.
You will undergo blood tests, urine tests, fetal anomaly scan, sugar tests, blood pressure levels, and other ultrasound scans several times during your pregnancy. Don't get anxious because all these tests are for your safety and the unborn child's well-being. The doctors monitor and track the growth and development of the baby, and if there is something fishy, they inform the parents and counsel them for treatment or termination of the pregnancy if required.
Besides regular check-ups at your gynecologist's clinic, the doctor will examine and check your belly size, the heartbeat of the baby, protein levels, urine glucose levels, weight, edema (swelling on your hands and feet if any), levels of amniotic fluid, and the bones of the baby, etc.
The doctor will check the structure and shape of your baby’s head (HC), neck, cleft lip, baby’s spine, baby’s abdominal wall (AC), thigh bone, baby’s heart, baby’s kidneys, feet, legs, arms, and hands. It is imperative to monitor the position of the baby in the womb.
Your doctor will ask you several questions about the medical history of your family, any medications, or supplements that you are taking, fetal movements, sleep patterns, your diet, workout routine during pregnancy, symptoms of preeclampsia, and preterm labor, if any. You must immediately seek medical help if you experience these symptoms during pregnancy:
If you experience any vaginal bleeding during your late pregnancy months, it may be a life-threatening case. Such a condition is termed Abruptio placentae. Although such a condition may happen at any time, it is usually quite common during the months of your third trimester. Make sure to undergo a 20 week scan immediately if you experience this symptom.
Abdominal pain may be due to gas, false labor, or even due to constipation. Although these conditions may cause a bit of discomfort, they should not cause too much pain. However, if you experience severe pain, it may be due to a urinary tract infection or other underlying problem. Consult your doctor as soon as possible if you experience severe pain during your late pregnancy months.
Experiencing fever or shivering during pregnancy may be caused due to the constant changes happening in your body. However, if you have a temperature of more than 100°F, you must immediately seek medical help. Fever during these stages may indicate an issue with your baby’s health. In fact, if unusual symptoms accompany your fever, then it is high time you got a check-up done!
You may feel nauseous or sick two days or one day before your labor pain begins. However, others may experience this condition during active labor. Thus, this is because the digestion flow halts during labor. If a mother has just eaten and is already feeling full during the beginning of labor, she may feel nauseous. However, extreme nausea may also indicate other underlying problems. Make sure to get in touch with your doctor before the situation worsens!
Experiencing a blurry vision can turn out to be quite common during pregnancy. Although this is not a sign of miscarriage, an unexpected or a sudden change in your vision, primarily during pregnancy, can signify a grave issue. A few of the problems include gestational diabetes. Apart from that, the risk of experiencing a condition known as preeclampsia may also be increased. Therefore, consider seeking an appointment if you observe such sudden changes.
This condition may indicate the presence of a urinary tract infection. The constant discomfort and pain may range from mild to severe. Therefore, it is recommended that you visit your doctor and get the condition treated as soon as possible.
A fluid discharge is usually normal, and it may seem to get a bit heavier as your pregnancy phase slowly progresses. In fact, a heavy discharge during your third trimester could mean early labor. Therefore, it is usually best to seek medical help before your labor pain worsens.
As your delivery date comes nearer, you may experience swelling in your ankles or legs. In fact, a few of your body parts may appear puffy or swollen. Such a condition is termed edema. You may also experience swelling on your face or hands. However, if you experience any sort of pain in the swollen regions, it could indicate a grave health condition. If the swelling or pain does not seem to go away, get it checked immediately.
Usually, a pregnant woman may experience headaches due to stress or poor posture. Since you will be carrying additional weight on your tummy, your posture may change. However, more prolonged and severe headaches may indicate the presence of preeclampsia, a condition that can raise your blood pressure to extreme levels, especially during pregnancy.
Undergoing a list of scans during pregnancy during a stage where your body may be vulnerable to numerous health problems can help you prevent many life-threatening conditions. Early treatment can ensure the healthy delivery of your baby. Besides, it may also help you avoid any issues post-partum.
It is usual for you to be anxious at the time of tests or scans during pregnancy. However, this is undertaken only for the healthy development of your baby. Your doctor may suggest a few supplements or medicines that can help you keep your health in check. It is advised that you go for a check-up once every four to six weeks!
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