Second-Trimester Exams and Tests
Routine exams and tests
At each prenatal visit, you can expect to be weighed and have your urine and blood pressure checked. Your doctor will monitor your fetus's growth and position by measuring the size of your uterus (fundal height) and gently pressing (palpating) your abdomen. Up to the 36th week of pregnancy, your fetus can regularly change position, varying from head down (vertex lie) to feet down (breech lie) or even sideways (transverse lie).
During your second trimester, expect the following routine tests:
- Reference Glucose tolerance test (GTT), usually between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy, monitors for Reference gestational diabetes Opens New Window.
- Reference Complete blood count (CBC), which includes Reference hemoglobin Opens New Window and Reference hematocrit Opens New Window to make sure you don't have iron deficiency anemia.
Your doctor may also recommend:
- A Reference fetal ultrasound in the second trimester before 20 weeks. An early ultrasound is commonly used to accurately date a pregnancy and identify fetal problems.
- Reference Electronic fetal heart monitoring (non-stress) any time after 20 weeks of pregnancy to monitor how your fetus is doing.
Pregnant women and their partners can choose whether to have Reference tests for birth defects. It can be a hard and emotional choice. You need to think about what the results of a test would mean to you and how they might affect your choices about your pregnancy. You and your doctor can choose from several tests. What you choose depends on your wishes, where you are in your pregnancy, your family health history, and what tests are available in your area. You may have no tests, one test, or several tests.
Second-trimester tests for birth defects can be done between 15 and 20 weeks of pregnancy. Reference The triple or quad screening checks the amounts of three or four substances in a pregnant woman's blood. They can also be done as part of an Reference integrated screening test Opens New Window. Reference Amniocentesis may also be done to find certain birth defects.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference July 23, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Kirtly Jones, MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology