Must-do pre-pregnancy tests 

Are you planning to conceive? Stick to these mandatory tests to ensure health and happiness of the mother and baby.

Published: 17th May 2022 06:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th May 2022 06:48 AM   |  A+A-

pregnancy, maternity leaves

Representational Image. (File Photo)

By Express News Service

KOCHI:  Becoming a mother is an indescribable feeling. A positive pregnancy test often raises a million questions and challenges. If you just decided to take the plunge or have been trying to conceive for the past few years, there are certain things that you need to remember. The period before conception is a vital time to assess and identify various risks that could have adverse maternal and foetal outcomes. 

When a couple is planning to conceive, they need to test for viral markers, baseline haemoglobin, blood group, thyroid profile and blood glucose levels. But contrary to popular belief, there is no right time to have a baby — you can do it at any age and it would be fun and exciting nevertheless. 

However, most women prefer to delay it till their mid-thirties or early forties. There are many tests available in the market now to monitor your fertility status. Women over 35 years need to get their FSH, LH, oestrogen and AMH levels checked. If these are fine, conceiving shouldn’t be a problem.

Age and risk
Studies have shown a gradual rise in birth defects with an increase in maternal age. Hence prenatal counselling and testing are offered to women over the age of 35. A thorough history of hereditary disorders, presence of birth defects and recurrent pregnancy loss needs to be put together. Blood workup for hereditary disorders such as haemophilia and karyotyping of parents who have had three or more previous miscarriages should be done.

Regular antenatal visits are essential to ensure the right diagnostic tests at the right time to ensure a healthy pregnancy. A variety of tests from nine weeks to nine months of pregnancy are available at healthcare centres including PREGA-PRO, and PREGA-PLUS which include routine CBC, urine tests, routine infection screening, thyroid tests, vitamins, and diabetes and thalassemia screening.

There are also tests for women with increased maternal age like dual markers in the first trimester and quadruple markers.  The most recent and advanced test in this category is NIIPT, which is a non-invasive test to screen maternal blood for chromosomal abnormalities.

Don’t just look up information online or get carried away by social media while deciding on the right diagnostic tests for yourself. You need to discuss this with your doctor, trust his/her judgement and follow these instructions to ensure a healthy pregnancy. 

The author is a consultant pathologist at Metropolis Healthcare Ltd.

Dr Pooja Trehan

Got health concerns you want to share with a doctor? Are you looking for credible answers regarding symptoms, medicines or lifestyle disorders? Write to us on cityexpresskoc@newindianexpress.com, and we will get healthcare professionals to answer them.



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