During the second trimester of pregnancy, your doctor may recommend several important tests and screenings to monitor your health and the health of your growing baby. The following check-ups are performed to ensure this crucial phase of your pregnancy passes off smoothly.
- Ultrasound – An ultrasound is typically performed around 18-20 weeks of pregnancy to assess the baby’s growth and development, check the placenta and amniotic fluid levels, and detect any potential abnormalities. The heartbeat of the foetus is checked with a Doppler ultrasound, which uses sound waves for checking the heartbeat of the foetus.
- Oedema or swelling – The doctor will look for swelling in your feet, ankles or legs. Swelling of the feet is a very common phenomenon observed during pregnancy. This is to check for signs of complications such as preeclampsia (dangerously high blood pressure), blood clot or gestational diabetes.
- Blood pressure – Blood pressure decreases during pregnancy in response to changing hormones and blood volume. The doctor checks whether blood pressure has dropped as expected. In the case of very low blood pressure, you need to be careful in standing up from a sitting or lying position and avoid abrupt movements.
- Urine Test – Urine is screened for the presence of glucose and protein. It is also tested for the presence of bacteria. If you have a urinary tract infection, you would get burning sensation while passing urine and may have fever.
- Glucose Screening – This test screens for gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that can develop during pregnancy. It typically involves drinking a sweet drink and then having blood drawn to measure glucose levels.
- Anaemia Screening: This test measures the levels of red blood cells and haemoglobin in the blood to screen for anaemia, a condition that can cause fatigue and other symptoms.
- Multiple Marker Screening – This blood test measures the levels of certain proteins and hormones to screen for potential genetic abnormalities and chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome.
Your gynaecologist and healthcare provider may also recommend additional tests or screenings based on your individual health needs and medical history. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider about any questions or concerns you may have about prenatal testing during the second trimester.