What Do Doctors Test For During Pregnancy?

If you've recently found out you were pregnant, you may have a lot of questions on your mind. For example, what exactly are doctors testing for when you visit the office for your appointments? Between blood and urine tests, it can begin to feel overwhelming.

If you're uncertain what you'll be tested for during pregnancy, these are some of the common tests.


Your blood pressure will be taken at each prenatal visit. High blood pressure is one sign of preeclampsia, a serious condition that can occur during pregnancy and needs to be monitored.

If you are diagnosed with preeclampsia, the doctor may order additional tests to ensure the health of you and your baby.


You may be tested for diabetes during the first trimester. Doctors use this test to monitor glucose levels and diagnose gestational diabetes, which can occur during pregnancy due to hormonal changes in the body.

Gestational diabetes is extremely common, and managing it throughout your pregnancy may include dietary changes and regular check-ups.

Rh-Negative Blood Type

If you have Rh-negative blood, your doctor will watch closely for signs of anemia as well as antibodies that might indicate the need for treatment. You may need a blood transfusion to help protect your baby from health problems related to Rh incompatibility.

Urinary & Kidney Issues

Urine tests are often done to monitor your kidney function and check for infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs). It's important to keep UTIs in check during pregnancy since they can be dangerous for both you and your baby.

Genetic Testing

Certain genetic tests may be done at certain times throughout your pregnancy. For example, you may be tested for chromosomal abnormalities like Down syndrome or neural tube defects. These tests can help you make important decisions and prepare.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Your doctor will likely screen for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) during early pregnancy and again in the third trimester. It's important to get screened, as STDs can be passed on to your baby. For instance, HIV can cause serious health problems in newborns and can even be fatal.

Talk to Your Doctor About Additional Tests

Overall, the tests you receive will depend on several factors including your age, health, and family history. It's important to discuss any concerns with your doctor so they can provide the best care for you and your growing baby. With early detection of any potential issues, you can increase your chances of having a healthy child.

For more information on pregnancy care, contact a professional near you.