Do you think Blood Tests can reveal the details that Ultrasonographic Scans cannot detect? Is a scan enough to tell everything necessary? Read on to know all about it?
Pregnancy is the gift of nature and responsibility. It involves taking care of the woman as well as protecting the unborn baby from any harm. To ensure the Good health of the mother and her unborn child, the doctor recommends several screening tests to take necessary actions or timely decisions.
Why blood tests when there are Ultrasonographic tests?
First Trimester Screening
- Doctors Recommend Mandatory Ultrasound checkup at 10th to 13th week of pregnancy. It confirms pregnancy and number of fetuses and to date the pregnancy. It screens the Nuchal Translucency (NT) measurement, which is crucial. Also, It aids in determining risk for complications like Neural tube defects (NTDs).
- Diseases and disorders that can affect the carrying mother and also, the fetus can be aptly detected via blood tests. It includes complete blood count test, diabetes screen, thyroid function tests as well as typing blood group and RH factor; as a mismatch of RH factor of the mother with fetus has the potential to cause severe complications.
- Blood tests can also identify infections like Hepatitis B or C, STDs, HIV, TORCH (Toxoplasma, Other infectious diseases, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus, Hepatitis) etc., that a fetus might contract while in mother’s womb.
- Doctors measure different types of serum markets, to understand the possibilities of developmental or chromosomal abnormalities in the fetus. Double marker screening is done at 10th-13th weeks of pregnancy and measures Pregnancy-Associated Plasma Protein-A (PAPP-A), and free beta human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (B- hCG) to estimate the risk of having Down’s syndrome or Edward’s syndrome in the fetus.
Second Trimester Screening
- To Detect any kind of abnormalities in a growing fetus, doctors perform an ultrasound test between 18th and 20th week. The test confirms the growth of the fetus in the mothers womb.
- A complete blood count is a must-have report for mothers having a history of anaemia or infections.
- Serum Markers like Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), B-hCG, unconjugated Estriol (E3) and Inhibin-A is important For the screening of chromosomal/genetic abnormalities triple or quadruple serum screening. These markers screen for risks of syndromes like Down, Edward, and Neural Tube Defects, etc. Specifically, USG reports, as well as the age of the pregnant lady, is necessary.
- The latest test called Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening (NIPT/NIPS) allows screening for risk of trisomies of the chromosome 21, 18 and 13 as well as the sex chromosomes. This test stands out from the serum-based as well as invasive confirmatory tests. For example, the amniocentesis and chorionic villi sampling tests. This test aids in filtering in high-risk pregnancies who definitively need an invasive confirmatory test. In the first 10 weeks of gestation, doctors recommend performing NIPT/NIPS tests. It has high accuracy as it directly checks the fetal DNA for any deformities.
Third Trimester Screening
In the third trimester, screening for gestational diabetes and other infections is important. The gynaecologists suggest screen to avoid further complications.
Blood tests during pregnancy – A wise mother’s choice