Briefly about screening
Each trimester of pregnancy is accompanied by a series of examinations. They allow the doctor to determine the conformity of fetal development to existing standards. A complex of similar tests, studies and analyzes is called screening.
This is a word of English origin. In translation it means "selection", "sorting". In pregnancy, screening allows you to obtain information about the risk of genetic abnormalities. Each trial is conducted every trimester. Sometimes the doctor appoints a woman in addition to the standard, and additional tests. It is worth noting that they are strongly recommended to go to future mothers from the risk group. This includes such categories of women:
- At the age of 35 years and older.
- Have children born with chromosomal pathologies.
- Have in the past miscarriages.
- Those who took the first trimester of prohibited drugs for pregnant women.
- Pregnancy of which was the result of a marriage of close relatives
- Those who received radiation shortly before the onset of pregnancy.
- Have a long-term threat of miscarriage.
By the way, the World Health Organization recommends that all women undergo perinatal screening, that is prenatal. This is necessary in order, to identify chronic ailments, hidden infections, to correct the state of health so that conception occurs in a healthy body.
Unfortunately, many gynecologists do not explain to their patients what the tasks and functions of such studies are, what is their necessity. But the right of every pregnant woman to know whether such checks are really necessary, are not they dangerous to health.
So, in the first trimester, that is, up to 12 weeks, the future mother passes her first screening. This is an ultrasound and biochemical blood markers. The task of the first ultrasound is confirmation of a normally developing pregnancy, determination of its term and heart rhythm, detection of multiple pregnancy and ectopic pregnancy, threat of miscarriage. The first ultrasound examination reveals problems of the uterus, placenta, and pelvic organs. It determines the size of the collar zone of the fetus. Its increase can be a sign of the developmental defects of a future child. Also the task of the first ultrasound is to determine the expected date of delivery (PDR).
The second screening for a future mother is scheduled for a period of 16-21 weeks. It includes ultrasound and biochemical markers of blood with the study of the amount of AFP, hCG and free estradiol in the mother's blood. The task of the second ultrasound is to estimate the amount of amniotic fluid, determine the parameters of the fetus, assess its condition, identify developmental defects, placental and uterus problems. Also, the study confirms the normal development of fetal systems. The observing gynecologist compares the results of the first and second ultrasound.
Many future mothers are looking forward to the second planned ultrasound to find out the sex of the child. But sometimes a specialist in ultrasound can not do this, because the fetus at the time of the study seems to turn away - and his genitals are not visible.
The third screening for the future mother is scheduled for a period of 32-36 weeks. It includes dopplerometry, cardiotocography, ultrasound. The latter makes it possible to measure the parameters of the future baby, to identify the defects of its development, the problems of the placenta and uterus. During the second screening, the structure of the lungs of the future baby is studied, the blood flow in the uterus, the umbilical cord, the vessels of the fetal organism is estimated.
The results of planned studies are always studied and commented on by the patient observing her obstetrician-gynecologist. It is he who, if necessary, makes decisions about the appointment of treatment or hospitalization of a pregnant woman.