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Pregnancy testing is there a real need

This month we feature the topic of pregnancy and look at every aspect of being pregnant from tests needed and tests you dont body changes problems and complications.

today we focus on pregnancy tests 

Usually when a woman wants to be pregnant she eagerly gets a pregnancy test kit from the chemist.Some points to note  is a negative pregnancy test can some times be a false reading but  a possitive test will never be a negative result. So if its possitive it is possitive !

The other tests in pregnancy are blood tests A triple test or marker test in pregnancy is done between 15-18 weeks gestation.looks at alpha-fetoprotein, human chorionic gonadotropin and unconjugated estriol and inhibin A.

2 scans are usually offered unless the pregnancy needs extra monitoring, a dating scan and a fetal anomally screening scan.

1st scan in pregnancy, the Dating scan or viable pregnancy scan: during first trimester varies per hospital between 7-14 weeks gestation of pregnancy. Gives an idea when baby is due can detect in threatened miscarriages if baby’s heart beat is still beating,if baby has passed away or other problems such as ectopic pregnancies in cases of bleeding and pain. In this scan the sonographer looks for the gestational sac detected from 5 weeks into the pregnancy.Scan reveals Fetal heartbeat detected from 6 weeks.Measures Crown to rump of baby for an estimated due date of delivery.The first anomaly scan can reveal certain anomalies this scan looks at Nuchal translucency test and nasal bone scan.

2nd scan in pregnancy Fetal Anomaly screening scan between 18-23 weeks gestation.

Using a 10 point system the sonographer will record measurements of growth and development of baby. The Scan will look at the Head, Spine, Chest,Heart, Stomach, Abdomen,Bladder,Limbs,Sex of baby, Activity in womb and baby’s behaviour. The Scan also checks the activity and placing of Placenta, Cord function and Amniotic Fluid.

when test indicate a severe problem the consultant may want to do invasive tests such as  you do not have to have these tests as an abortion can be offered determining results. You do not have to make a hasty decision.

The thing about invasive pregnancy tests and poor outcomes is if you feel you can kill the baby in the womb if results were not very good.Abortions are offered as soon as tests results are in so a termination of pregnancy would be done usually before 24 weeks.Invasive tests can cause a miscarriage. You do not have to have a more invasive tests such as CVS or an Amniocentesis.Tests can be wrong.Parents are not always given time to think as shock horror results are in bringing devasting news that no one wants to hear or is prepared for.

Its a time of confussion,numbness, pain then on top of that you are put into a position to terminate quickly.

So what is involved with invasive pregnancy tests?

Amniocentesis- A needle is passed through the wall of the pregnant mum to be directly into the amniotic fluid this fluid is then tested for fetal anomalies from cells produced by the baby.Miscarriages can happen

 chorionic villus sampling tests in pregnancy –

Tissue is obtained by passing a catheter through the cervix into the placenta.this test is to obtain fetal cells for the prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal abnormalities.miscarriages can happen.

Cordocentes tests in pregnancy -fetal Blood sampling taken from the babys cord in the womb to test for infections and fetal anomalies.A higher risk of miscarriage from this test can happen. 

 

At each antenal visit the midwife also keeps an eye on the pregnancy by testing the urine,blood pressure,weight gain,tummy measurement and listening to baby’s heart beat .A consultant will also be allocated to see if any issues arise such as a small pelvis and the need for a c section or multiple births more regular monitoring etc.

Towards the end of the pregnancy more frequent visits will be necessary as birth becomes more iminate.

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Sheila


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