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Pregnant woman in her first trimesterAt around 11 to 14 weeks into your pregnancy, your doctor will see if you want come in for a few optional first trimester screening tests. Read on to find out what these tests are all about!

The screening includes a blood test and an ultrasound to measure the fluid under your baby’s skin behind its neck. It may take an hour for them to do the ultrasound, but it doesn’t hurt. And, you can go back to your usual activities right away. The results from the screening should be available in a week or less. The results of the blood test and ultrasound are united to decide whether other testing is needed. But, a positive result doesn’t necessarily mean something’s going really wrong.

Other tests and screenings done in the first trimester include:

  • Pap smear: to check for STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea.
  • Blood test: to test for hep B, syphilis, HIV, and immunity to rubella and chicken pox.
  • Urine test: to check for UTIs, protein, sugar and ketone levels.
  • Glucose test: this one may be done later on in your pregnancy unless you’re at a high risk for gestational diabetes. In the glucose test, they have you come to have your blood drawn. Then, you’re given a super-sugary drink and they draw your blood again to see how your body handles with the sugar.

Since first trimester screening can be done earlier than other prenatal screening tests, you’ll have the results early in your pregnancy. But remember, it’s up to you whether you want first trimester screening. Check with your doctor to get their recommendation.

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Heather Featherston
Written by Heather Featherston

As the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Lifetime Adoption, Heather Featherston holds an MBA and is passionate about working with those facing adoption, pregnancy, and parenting issues. Heather has conducted training for birth parent advocates, spoken to professional groups, and has appeared on television and radio to discuss the multiple aspects of adoption. She has provided one-on-one support to women and hopeful adoptive parents working through adoption decisions.

Since 2002, she has been helping pregnant women and others in crisis to learn more about adoption. Heather also trains and speaks nationwide to pregnancy clinics to effectively meet the needs of women who want to explore adoption for their child. Today, she continues to address the concerns women have about adoption and supports the needs of women who choose adoption for their child.

As a published author of the book Called to Adoption, Featherston loves to see God’s hand at work every day as she helps children and families come together through adoption.

Read more about Heather Featherston

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