Women's Health

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Second-Trimester Exams and Tests

Overview

At each prenatal visit in the second trimester, you'll be weighed and your blood pressure will be checked. Your urine may be checked for bacteria, protein, or sugar.

Your doctor or midwife will listen to your baby's heartbeat and measure the size of your uterus (fundal height) to track your baby's growth and position.

Second-trimester tests

During your second trimester, you can expect to have:

  • A glucose tolerance test (GTT) to check for gestational diabetes. This test is most often done between the 24th and 28th weeks of pregnancy.
  • A complete blood count (CBC) to make sure you don't have iron deficiency anemia.

Your care provider may also suggest a fetal ultrasound. This test is often used to confirm your due date and look for problems with your baby.

Depression screening

Your doctor or midwife may continue to check in with you to find out if you're depressed. Depression is common during pregnancy and after giving birth (postpartum). Experts recommend that all pregnant women be screened for depression. Untreated depression can cause problems during pregnancy and after birth.

Testing for genetic conditions and birth defects

You can choose whether to have tests for certain conditions, such as Down syndrome. Second-trimester tests can be done between 15 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. Options include:

  • Quad screening. This checks the amounts of four substances in your blood. These tests can also be done as part of an integrated screening test.
  • Amniocentesis. This test can be done to find certain genetic conditions and neural tube defects.

If you have your first prenatal visit during your second trimester, you'll have more than these tests. Other tests you may have include tests for blood type, anemia, and HIV. You may be screened for hepatitis B, sexually transmitted infections, or thyroid disease. You'll also be checked for past infections, such as syphilis or rubella (German measles).

Related Information

Credits

Current as of: October 8, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Sarah Marshall MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kirtly Jones MD - Obstetrics and Gynecology
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