First-Trimester Exams and Tests

Overview

At each prenatal visit during your first trimester, you'll be weighed and have your blood pressure checked. Your urine may also be checked for bacteria, protein, or sugar.

As early as weeks 10 to 12, you may be able to hear your baby's heartbeat using a Doppler ultrasound. By the 20th week, the heart tone is strong enough to hear with a special type of stethoscope.

Depression screening

Your care provider may ask questions about your health and your feelings to find out if you're depressed. Depression is common during pregnancy and after giving birth (postpartum). Experts recommend that all pregnant women be screened for depression. If it isn't treated, depression can cause problems during pregnancy and after birth.

Testing for genetic conditions and birth defects

You can choose whether to have tests for certain conditions, such as Down syndrome. First-trimester tests can be done around 10 to 13 weeks of pregnancy. Options include:

  • First-trimester screening. This includes blood tests and a certain type of ultrasound. These tests can also be done as part of an integrated screening test.
  • Chorionic villus sampling (CVS). This test can be done to find certain genetic conditions.

If you have your first prenatal visit during your second trimester, you'll have more than these tests. Other tests you may have include tests for blood type, anemia, and HIV. You may be screened for hepatitis B, sexually transmitted infections, or thyroid disease. You'll also be checked for past infections, such as syphilis or rubella (German measles).

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