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Key facts by Prenatal Expert

Trimester-Wise Pregnancy Test Manual

5 minute read, Written By: Momly

As soon as you know that you are pregnant, there are barrage of tests that follows after. With advancement in science and medicine, these tests are significant and vital in detecting the risks early on and help the doctors to take adequate measures to avoid the complications. Starting from home pregnancy test, routine blood tests, to triple markers and other genetic screening, all prenatal tests and scans are significant while you embark on your pregnancy journey. Momly spoke to prenatal expert to plumb the depth of these prenatal tests and scans to get a sense of a trimester-wise testing guide.

Prenatal testing: Plumbing the depth

Early conception test:

  • Home Pregnancy test: It is a routine test to confirm the pregnancy symptoms. It will provide you a clarity on the symptoms you are having and tell you whether you are pregnant or otherwise. To take this test, you can buy pregnancy home testing kit and conduct this test at home in the morning time.

  • Maternal blood test: After the pregnancy urine test, you need to go to the doctor to take a blood test. This blood test is required to check the hcg levels in your blood.


  • First Trimester Test:
    • Nuchal Translucency Test – This screening test will open doors for many aspects, one of chief being chromosomal abnormalities in a developing baby. It is carried out between 11th and 14th week of pregnancy. Here, the ultrasound scan is performed on an expecting mother and assessment of fluid-filled space at the back of baby’s neck is done.

  • Nasal bone screening – Again a test to rule out the chances of down syndrome, one of the chromosomal disorders that affects babies. The test is done between 11 to 13 weeks and gives an access to baby’s nasal bone.

  • Second Trimester Test –
    • Maternal AFP – Abnormal levels of AFP levels in your blood can signify Down syndrome or other neural defects. Your doctor may recommend Amniocentesis if they detect any risks in the initial screening that is maternal AFP test.

  • Third Trimester Test:
    • Fetal movement – Fetal movement is very vital in pregnancy. Generally, third trimester involves lot of movements by babies. A cause for concern arises when the fetal movements are reducing.

  • Anomaly scan – Anomaly scan is generally done to see if growth and development of babies is at par and whether all the parameters are fine.

  • Glucose test – Gestational Diabetes is a major concern and glucose test will let you know about the glucose levels in your blood. Gestational diabetes in pregnancy can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in mothers post pregnancy. Also, increased sugar levels can affect the fetus.

  • Fetal eco – Fetal echocardiogram is performed to check the baby’s heart in pregnancy. This test is done in the later stages of pregnancy. Any structural abnormalities and functional issues can be detected and timely medical interventions after delivery can be accommodated with this test.

  • Blood pressure – Blood pressure is checked regularly to avoid pregnancy risks such as preeclampsia.

  • Other tests such as growth ultrasound to check baby’s weight and size and NST test to check baby’s heart rate in response to baby’s movements are some of the tests that radiologist conducts in third trimester of pregnancy.

  • Some special cases or high-risk pregnancies will need more further screening or timely monitoring using other crucial tests to keep the baby and mother safe all through the pregnancy. Keep a watch on your baby’s moments and be present for all the tests and scans without fail to be certain that your pregnancy is going in a right direction.


A Word from Expert on Pregnancy Tests and Scans: Reasons and significance

  • First trimester tests are generally carried out to check the heartbeat of babies, see if the mother is pregnant with multiple babies, say for example – twin babies etc.

  • Second trimester screening is done to check for genetic disorders in babies.

  • 5th month scan in pregnant mothers will help detect structural abnormalities and congenital defects. The radiologist will examine birth defects in various regions like skull, eyes, intestines, kidney, lungs, liver, upper limbs etc.

  • The 25 weeks scan is known as fetal eco which is to check congenital defects in baby’s heart. It is not a mandatory scan though.

  • 3rd trimester pregnancy tests and scans are done to check if the liquor level is okay. A recommended level will avoid pregnancy risks like preterm labour etc.

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