I'm pregnant! Now what?
Calculation of duration of pregnancy
Pregnancy is measured in weeks - with the first week starting on the first day of the last period - and lasting forty weeks. It is divided into three trimesters. The first trimester lasts until the twelfth week, the second until the twenty-fourth, and the third trimester until delivery.
First visit to the gynecologist
The first visit is done during the sixth week, and the gynecologist will confirm the pregnancy, ascertain the position of the pregnancy (intrauterine or ectopic) as well as the number of embryos (one or more). If everything is OK, she/he will do an ultrasound to see the amniotic sac and the fetus which, at this stage, will look like a tiny white dot. By the seventh week the expectant mom will be able to see and hear the fetal heart.
At the first visit, the fetus will be measured to determine the age of the ultrasound and thus determine the Estimated Date of Delivery (EDD).
Also, the gynecologist will assess the health of the expectant mum and will indicate a series of tests on prenatal screening.
• A complete and detailed history will be obtained.
• The expectant mother will be asked about her periods, her sexual intercourses, for any sexually transmitted diseases, for contraception, any miscarriages or abortions, for gynecological or other surgical procedures as well as previous full-term pregnancies.
In most cases, the breasts will be palpated to determine if there are any tumors. Weight and pressure will also be measured (these will be measured at each monthly visit). The total weight gain should be 9-12 kg throughout the pregnancy.
A slight weight loss in the first trimester is normal due to morning sickness and vomiting. But if the pregnant increases her weight beyond normal, this may lead to the development of diabetes mellitus, a particularly dangerous condition in pregnancy.
A gynecological examination will examine the vagina to determine any anatomical abnormalities of the vagina or cervix. A PAP test will be performed, if none has been performed for more than one year.
• Complete blood test
• Complete urine test
• Sugar levels
• Blood type and Rhesus group
• Iron and Ferritin
• Hemoglobin Electrophoresis
• Cytomegalovirus (CMV)
• Scarlet Virus
• Hepatitis Β and C
• Vaginal fluid culture
• Cardiological examination (not always)
From then on, the pregnant woman will have blood, urine and sugar levels checked every month until the end of pregnancy.
• During the 12th week of pregnancy the Nuchal Translucency Ultrasound will be performed.
• The 16th week of pregnancy the A-test will be done.
• During the 16th week, and only in some cases, some specialized tests will be required such as amniocentesis for amniotic fluid collection, fetal blood collection from the umbilical vein, and blood flow control in the mother and fetal vessels with a Doppler system.
• A glucose tolerance test (sugar curve) will be performed during the 20th to 26th week of pregnancy.
• The cardiac function of the fetus will be monitored in the last weeks of pregnancy by cardiogram.
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