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At your first prenatal doctor's appointment, your provider will review your personal and family medical history. A complete physical exam -- including a breast exam, Pap test, pelvic exam and tests for sexually transmitted infections -- is standard as well. You will also have blood and urine tests to check for:
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- bacteria in the urine
- blood cell counts
- blood type
- elevated protein levels, a risk factor for preeclampsia, a dangerous type of high blood pressure that can occur during pregnancy
- high sugar levels, a symptom of diabetes
- infectious diseases
- low iron levels
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At your first prenatal doctor's appointment, your doctor will want to do a variety of tests to assess your overall health and to identify any conditions that may put your baby at risk. First, your doctor will begin with a physical exam that includes measuring your weight, blood pressure, and heart. You will also get a pelvic exam, including a Pap test and an exam of your uterus and pelvis. Your doctor will then take a blood sample that will be tested for immunity against things like rubella and chickenpox, and they will also perform a complete blood count to check for problems with your blood. Urine tests may also be done to look for bladder or kidney problems. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about specific tests that may be performed at your first prenatal doctor's appointment.
Test that are done at the first prenatal visit to the healthcare provider include:
- Urine Tests to look for signs of infection or renal or kidney disease.
- Blood tests to assess for signs of anemia or clotting disorders
- Blood typing to identify the woman's blood type and Rh factor
- Glucose testing to look for signs of hyper or hypo-glycemia
- Metabolic panel to evaluate the levels of electrolytes and other substances in the body
- Antibody screen to identify any circulating antibodies that may pose a danger thedeveloping fetus
- Cervical cultures for identification of infections that need treatment to prevent fetal infection
- PAP smear may be done based on how long it has been since the woman had a PAP smear performed.
Depending on the gestation of the pregnancy some additional tests such as an ultrasoind, a B-Hcg level or maternal serum AFP might be performed.
This first prenatal visit may include a Pap smear to detect changes in your cervix that could be an early sign of cancer. Other tests may be recommended depending on your age and other risk factors. These include routine screenings for genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis and more specialized genetic tests, if your medical history suggests them.
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