The purpose of screening is early diagnosis and treatment of an infection. Screening tests are given to people without current symptoms, but who may be at high risk for certain diseases or conditions.
You will get several screening tests as part of your routine prenatal care. Screening tests can help your doctor know if you are at risk for certain infections during pregnancy. Tests may include:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant women are screened for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) on their first prenatal visit. Screening will look for the following STDs:
In some cases, your doctor will also screen you for Hepatitis C and bacterial vaginosis.
The CDC also recommends that you are screened for Group B streptococcal disease (GBS) at 35-37 weeks. If the test is positive, you will be given antibiotics to treat this infection during labor.
A pre-pregnancy checkup can help you avoid infection in pregnancy and improve the chances of having a healthy baby. At a pre-pregnancy visit, your healthcare provider will ask about your medical history, past pregnancies, and lifestyle. You can ask questions and discuss concerns, such as whether work or hobbies expose you to potential hazards.
Blood tests measure immunity to certain infections. If you have immunity, you cannot get the infection again. If you do not have immunity, you may be able to get a vaccine to protect you from the infection. During a pre-pregnancy visit, you can be checked for:
Apgar BS, Greenberg G, Yen G. Prevention of group B streptococcal disease in the newborn. Am Fam Physician. 2005;71(5):903-910.
Bacterial vaginosis—CDC fact sheet. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/BV/STDFact-Bacterial-Vaginosis.htm. Updated February 2, 2016. Accessed May 17, 2016.
Chickenpox. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116084/Chickenpox. Updated September 8, 2015. Accessed October 6, 2016.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and congenital CMV infection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/cmv/index.html. Updated July 28, 2010. Accessed May 17, 2016.
Group B Strep (GBS). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/groupbstrep/index.html. Updated May 23, 2016. Accessed May 17, 2016.
Pregnancy and fifth disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/parvovirusB19/pregnancy.html. Updated November 2, 2015. Accessed May 17, 2016.
Routine prenatal care. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114252/Routine-prenatal-care. Updated June 22, 2016. Accessed October 6, 2016.
Schrag SJ, Arnold KE, Mohle-Boetani JC, et al. Prenatal screening for infectious diseases and opportunities for prevention. Obstet Gynecol. 2003;102(4):753-760.
STDs and pregnancy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/pregnancy/STDFact-Pregnancy.htm. Updated May 20, 2016. Accessed May 17, 2016.
Urinary tract infection during pregnancy. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-complications/urinary-tract-infections-during-pregnancy. Updated August 2015. Accessed May 17, 2016.
Last reviewed May 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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