Are there any tests I should have during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy?

Dr. Deborah Raines, MSN
Nursing Specialist

The test commonly performed around week 25 is a glucose screening for gestational diabetes. If this screening test is positive a test diagnostic for gestational diabetes will be ordered by the physician.

Here is a list of tests and procedures common to the second trimester (weeks 13 through 28) of pregnancy:

  • At the beginning of the 2nd trimester, your doctor may be able to use an ultrasound to find out your baby's sex. (Talk with your partner about the benefits of finding out early and the benefits of waiting.) The ultrasound is also used to measure your baby's growth and movements. Problems with bone or organ development may be visible on an ultrasound as well, and your doctor can take a look at other related elements like placenta, the umbilical cord and amniotic fluid.
  • A common blood test in weeks 15 through 22 is the quadruple screen, which tests four different pregnancy hormones; this helps find birth defects like Down's syndrome and neural tube defects.
  • Between weeks 24 and 28 many women get the glucose challenge test (GCT) or the glucose tolerance test (GTT). These tests help to diagnose gestational diabetes and anemia.
  • If you are experiencing excessive swelling in the legs, ankles, hands or face your doctor may test for preeclampsia.
  • Routine blood tests are done to measure sugar and iron levels. A blood test may also be given to check for anemia.
  • A urine test can be used to check sugar and protein levels.
  • Later in your pregnancy (week 28), your doctor may test for certain communicable diseases that could affect your child. These tests commonly look for HIV, syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea.

Make sure to see your doctor if you have any concerns about your condition or have noticed any troublesome changes. You may also want to see your doctor if you're having a great deal of trouble with swelling or acne.

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