Second Trimester Exams

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Second Trimester Exams
Percutaneous Umbilical Blood Sampling, or PUBS (optional)
Also called cordocentesis. This newer test detects blood disorders, genetic disorders, Rh-incompatibility, and infections.
Fetal Fibronectin (fFN) Test (optional)
This new test, still being studied, may help predict wether preterm labor is likely. Performed in a doctor's office after 23 weeks, it's similar to Pap smear.
Amniocentesis (optional)
This procedure is typically performed at 15 to 18 weeks, although it can be done earlier or later. It's more than 99 percent accurate in diagnosing chromosomal problems. It can also reveal the gender of the fetus.
Ultrasound (optional)
A second-trimester sonogram may be used to verify the due date or check for multiple births, and to check the progress of fetal growth. The sonologist will evaluate the anatomy of the fetus, look for birth defects, and check the location of the placenta.
Glucose Screen (routine)
Around 24 to 28 weeks, sometimes later, you will be tested for gestational diabetes. The risk of gestational diabetes is that you may have an unusually large baby, which could lead to a difficult delivery or related health problems in you or your newborn.
HBV Screening (routine)
This blood checks for the presence of the hepatitis B virus (HBV), which can be transmitted to your baby, usually at birth.
Multiple-maker Screening Tests (routine)
When the blood drawn for the AFP test is also used for other tests, it's called a multiple-marker screening. One common combination is the triple-screen. The triple-screen offers the advantage of screening for Down's syndrome when amniocentesis is not performed and is a more accurate predictor of Down's than AFP alone.
Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) Test
Offered between 15 and 20 weeks, this blood test measures the level of AFP (a protein produced by the fetus) in your blood. A high reading indicates the possibility of a neural tube defect. A lower reading indicates that the fetus has Down's syndrome.

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