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Planning for a baby :5 tests you must do
There are several blood tests which are important if you are planning to have a child.
#1 Thyroid Function test
Thyroid dysfunction is a treatable cause of primary infertility .
Hypothyroidism and hyperprolactinemia are seen to coexist.
In endemic goitre zones this is one of the most common causes of infertility.
What to do if you have hypothyroidism and unable to conceive?
Start treatment for hypothyroidism. Thyroid replacement hormone is started with proper diet.
TSH is checked every 6 weeks.
Normal thyroid status in mothers help to develop normal thyroid in foetus and plays a very important role in brain development.
Nath C, Chutia H, Ruram AA et al. Association of thyroid disorders in females with primary infertility attending a tertiary-care hospital in northeast India. Int J Med Sci Public Health. 2016; 5(8). DOI: 10.5455/ijmsph.2016.16112015261.)
#2 Test for German measles: Rubella Test
What does the test tell you?
What’s the risk if this is not done?
It can cause:
- Still birth
- Birth defects
#3Haemoglobin with Packed cell volume-Test for Anaemia
Anaemia in pregnancy should be managed proactively to give best chances to the baby.
Anaemia in pregnancy may cause:
- Higher risks of postpartum haemorrhage
- Low birth weight baby,
- Small-for gestational age babies
- Perinatal death.
What can worsen the problem ?
Infections like malaria, urinary tract infections, helminthic infections(worms) make anaemia worse.
How to treat?
While planning to conceive check your Complete blood count (Haemoglobin,TC,DC,ESR )and PCV
If anaemic ,start increasing the amount of animal protein and green veggies in diet.
Iron from animal proteins is more easily absorbed and used by your body then that from plant sources.
Take iron supplements.
If found anaemic during pregnancy ?
- Treat Anaemia under doctors supervision.
Iron supplements must for all from second trimester onwards .But in case of Anaemia you may need to take it throughout pregnancy.
- Treatment of infection if any .
Related:Brain development in Early childhood . Do you want this ?
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Nair M, Choudhury MK, Choudhury SS, et al. Association between maternal anaemia and pregnancy outcomes: a cohort study in Assam, India. BMJ Global Health 2016. DOI: 10.1136/ bmjgh-2015-00002)
# 4 Antenatal test you should never miss while family planning
Getting tested is easy
You need to give a blood sample Which will be screened.
A)Hemoglobin electrophoresis is done with quantitative hemoglobin A2 and hemoglobin FCBC testing.
B)Complete Blood Count
C)Iron Studies (free erythrocyte proto porphyrin, ferritin, and/or other iron studies.
What will be the report ,when you have the Thalassemia trait?
Individuals with beta thalassemia trait usually have evidence of microcytosis and increased levels of hemoglobin A2.
Hemoglobin F is sometimes elevated as well.
People with thalassemia trait do not have the disease .
They are not ill.
But this genetic trait, in their genes, is inheritable through the generations, from parents to children.
If your partner doesn’t have the trait,your child will inherit this trait from you.
This needs to be present in medical records for family planning of future generations.
If both you and your partner have this trait,there’s a 25% possibility of your child having the disease (in every pregnancy ).
Chorionic villus sampling at 10 -11 weeks help in Antenatal diagnosis of thalassemia .
Rate of foetal loss in this procedure is 1%.
Social awareness about the prevention of this disease is important .
#5 Rh Typing
It’s important to know your RH type before you conceive.
Rh or rhesus factor is a type of protein on the surface of red blood cells.
Most people are positive for this factor
- 85 percent of Caucasians are Rh-positive
- 90 to 95 percent of African-Americans
- 98 to 99 percent of Asian Americans
Around the world on an average 85%are Rh positive and 15 %is Rh negative.
If you are Rh negative and have never been pregnant before or never had a blood transfusion .Don’t worry.
It’s likely your baby is Rh positive
You will be given an injection with Rh immunoglobulin to protect against your blood becoming sensitization to the Rh antigen.
If you are Rh negative and had a previous Rh positive baby ,miscarried,underwent an abortion ,ectopic pregnancy,but no Rh immunoglobulin was given.
Then a test to check your blood for Rh antibodies is important before planning a pregnancy.
Not knowing your Rh status and Rh antibody status can have serious complications.
Your doctor will help you.
Always plan your pregnancy after consulting with your doctor.
Other tests which you must do as a part of Pre-Pregnancy Checkup is written in this checklist .
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Disclaimer :This is an attempt to empower you to take more informed decisions and is not to be considered as replacement for professional medical advice.