The first examination is designed to confirm your pregnancy and to learn more about your state of health and your illness history.
As part of the gynaecological examination, a Pap smear and a smear test to examine bacteria in the uterine orifice are generally taken. In addition, a blood test is taken to provide information about blood content, your blood group and rhesus factor, as well as indications concerning infections you may have had (rubella, toxoplasmosis, etc.).
An ultrasound is made to ascertain whether the embryo is in the correct location, and whether you are expecting more than one child. The embryo’s size is measured in order to more precisely determine the length of pregnancy.
Regular examinations are designed to ensure the early recognition and effective treatment of difficulties during the pregnancy. Particular emphasis is placed on the following factors:
- Discomfort associated with pregnancy
- Infections of both mother and child
- Possible premature birth
- Pre-eclampsia (high blood pressure, protein in the urine)
- Physical malformations in the child
Your doctor will examine each of the following factors at every consultation:
- Examination of the uterine orifice
- Urine test
- Vaginal content
- Blood pressure
- Foetal cardiac frequency
Taken together, these data provide a reliable picture of the course and status of your pregnancy.
Prenatal diagnostics encompass all prenatal examinations designed to detect hereditary diseases or physical malformations in the unborn child. These procedures are of particular relevance to women whose pregnancy displays certain risk factors.
In the case where there is heightened risk of genetic damage, a screening test is conducted in the first instance. Based on the results of this test, a decision will be made as to whether an invasive diagnosis should be recommended.
Today, chromosome disorders can best be discerned by means of the so-called First Trimester Test (the optimum period for this test is between the 11th and the 14th week of pregnancy). This test takes into account the mother’s age, the results of a maternal blood analysis, and the thickness of the unborn child’s neckfold measured by ultrasound.
Even in cases where the tests outlined above produce negative results, your doctor cannot, of course, guarantee the health of your expected child.