Prenatal Tests in the Second Trimester

Prenatal Tests in the Second TrimesterNow that you?re on your second trimester of pregnancy, you can expect routine prenatal tests which you may have already taken during your previous visits.? ?You might still need to have a blood test, a urine sample test, and an ultrasound so doctors can thoroughly assess your condition particularly if there were some suspicions raised in your previous test results. During your second trimester, you will need to visit your doctor around once a month, to evaluate the progress of your pregnancy.

Aside from the regular lab tests, other possible tests during pregnancy that may be requested during the second trimester are amniocentesis, Cordocentesis or Percutaneous Umbilical Blood Sampling (PUBS), Glucose Screening, Fetoscopy, Fetal Doppler Ultrasound, Maternal Serum Alpha-Feteprotein Screening (MSAFP), and Multiple Marker Screening.? It is important to note that you may undergo a number of diagnostic testing if the doctors found out several issues which were seen during your previous prenatal appointments.



Though an ultrasound can be performed at any time during your pregnancy, doctors usually offer it during week 20.? An ultrasound is performed for several reasons such as checking the probability of having multiple fetuses, verifying the expected date of delivery, detecting any malformations such as a cleft palate, and for investigating the occurrence of complications like slow fetal growth and placenta previa or low-lying placenta.


Fetal Doppler Ultrasound

The Doppler ultrasound is a prenatal test used to evaluate the blood flow in the blood vessel with the aid of sound waves.? Through this test, your doctor will be able to tell whether or not the blood flow to the fetus and placenta is normal.


Maternal Serum Alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP)

The MSAFP test is performed to measure the alpha-fetoprotein level. Alpha-fetoprotein is a protein produced by the fetus.? If the result indicates an abnormal level, there could be a possibility of a neural tube defect like spina bifida or Down syndrome.? This suspicion can be validated through amniocentesis or ultrasound.


Multiple Marker Screening

The same blood sample taken for the MSAFP test can also be used to determine the hCG and estriol hormones; this process is called the triple test.? If the inhibin-A marker is added to the blood screening, it is called the quad marker test.? These tests have a higher chance of detecting Down syndrome and neural tube defects (around 75% of the cases).



Amniocentesis is an optional prenatal test which can be done sometime between the 15th and 18th weeks of pregnancy.? This is only applicable for women whose age is 35 and above.? The test can also be done earlier depending on the doctor?s advice.? Usually, this test is conducted if the result of the MSAFP or multiple marker tests is suspicious and there is a higher risk of the fetus acquiring a genetic disorder.? The result of the amniocentesis can accurately determine the risks of genetic disorders and neural tube defects.


Cordocentesis or Percutaneous Umbilical Cord Blood Sampling (PUBS)

Cordocentesis or PUBS refers to a kind of diagnostic testing where the blood from the fetus or the umbilical cord is examined to identify any fetal abnormalities. This test is often performed when other tests such as amniocentesis and CVS are unable to give the diagnostic information that the doctor requires or if the results from these tests are inconclusive.? This procedure is similar to amniocentesis except that blood is used for the test instead of amniotic fluid. This procedure is usually done after the 17th week of pregnancy.


Glucose Screening

One of the routine tests during pregnancy is the Glucose screening test which is performed during the 24th to 28th weeks of pregnancy.? This test is used to determine the occurrence of pregnancy-induced diabetes which can cause several problems such as difficult deliveries, overly large babies, and other health issues for you and your baby.



Fetoscopy refers to the process of examining the fetus using a flexible and thin instrument called fetoscope.? This test is able to detect abnormalities which are not easily detected by chorionic villus sampling, ultrasound, and amniocentesis.? However, unlike the other prenatal tests, this procedure is rarely used because of the high risks for the fetus and the mother.

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