We offer many types of lab tests, including specific tests needed for pregnancy, blood tests, STD testing, and many more. The 3 most common lab tests for pregnancy are listed below.
At approximately 26-28 weeks of pregnancy you will have a gestational diabetes screening. This test checks to see if you are tolerating sugar well during your pregnancy. Approximately 1-4% of pregnant women develop gestational diabetes due to the body's inability to produce enough insulin to meet the demand. The screening process is very simple. First, you will be given a glucose beverage to drink. You will not be allowed to eat or drink anything after you have ingested the drink. In one hour you will have your blood drawn. Your lab results will be available in our office in three to four days. If your screening test is abnormal, it does not mean that you have gestational diabetes. It simply means that we must do further testing to determine if you are diabetic or not. This test is a 3 hour test, done first thing in the morning after you have fasted all night. We will give you more information in this test if the need arises.
Although there are no restrictions on your diet before the screening test that you will do at 26-28 weeks, we suggest you do NOT eat or drink 2 hours prior to scheduled lab appointment. Consuming cakes, cookies, candy, rice, soda, juice, pasta, rice, bread, or potatoes within three to four hours before the test can cause false positive results.
This test is used to help us identify pregnancies that may be at increased risk for open neural tube defects, Down syndrome, or trisomy 18. This test alerts us to the possibility that the baby may have a certain birth defect. Please keep in mind that if your test result is not normal, it does not necessarily mean that something is wrong with your baby. it only means that further testing may be indicated. This test is a screening tool, not a diagnostic test, and will not guarantee that your baby will be free from birth defects.
This test is done by drawing a specimen of blood between the 14th and 21st week of your pregnancy (the best time is between the 16th and 18th weeks). Simply stop by our office for a lab slip and go to one of the local lab draw sites(The lab you use is determined by your insurance. Ourstaff will advise you.) Fasting is not necessary.
WHAT ARE NEURAL TUBE DEFECTS?
"Open neural tube defects" refers to a group of birth defects involving a development of the brain and spine. These abnormalities occur in one to two of every 1000 pregnancies in the United States. Anencephaly and spina bifida are the major types of open neural tube defects. Anencephaly is a very serious birth defect that occurs when the brain and the skull fail to develop properly. Babies born with this condition do not survive more than a few days. Spina bifida means there is an opening somewhere in the neural tube, exposing the spinal cord. This condition can be relatively mild, resulting in very little handicap. It can also be very serious, with paralysis, loss of bowel and bladder control, and other complications, including mental retardation.
WHAT IS DOWN SYNDROME?
Babies born with "Down syndrome" are mentally retarded and have a variety of other birth defects that may include abnormalities of the heart and digestive tract. Down syndrome affects approximately 1 in every 700 babies, however, the chance that a woman will have a Down syndrome child increases with her age. The reason for this is not understood, but if you will be 35 when your baby is born, it is recommended that you consider genetic amniocentesis (withdrawal of a small amount of fluid from around the baby).
WHAT IS TRISOMY 18?
Babies born with "trisomy 18" are severely mentally retarded and have many other birth defects. It is unusual for a trisomy 18 baby to live longer than one year.
Group B Streptococcus (GBS)
This test is used to determine if the mother is either a carrier or has the GBS infection. Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a type of bacteria that can be found in up to 40% of pregnant women. This bacteria is often found in the vagina, rectum, mouth or lower digestive, urinary, or reproductive tracts. It is different from Group A Streptococcus, which causes strep throat. The places in your body where GBS is found are said to be colonized. A person who has the bacteria but shows no symptoms is also said to be colonized (another name for this is carrier). A person may be colonized at some times and not at others. A person who is colonized can develop a GBS infection, which means that he or she is ill and has symptoms. The infection can be treated with antibiotics and is not usually serious. The best way to try and prevent GBS infection in the baby is to treat the woman with antibiotics during labor.
Being colonized with GBS usually does not pose any danger to a woman's health. If a woman is pregnant, however, she can pass GBS to her fetus during delivery or after birth. Most babies who get GBS from their mothers do not have any problems. A few, though, will become sick. This can cause major health problems or even threaten their lives. Nearly 99.99% of all babies exposed to GBS do not become infected.
This test is done at 35 weeks gestation through cultures. For cultures, samples are taken from the vagina, rectum, or cervix and grown in a special substance. A urine sample may also be used for cultures. It may take up to two days to get the results.