During your pregnancy, we recommend various tests to check on your health and the health of your baby. Among the tests you typically receive are lab tests, when we send a sample of your urine or blood to a laboratory for analysis.
Lab tests, or “labs,” as they are sometimes called, give us important information. If the results of your labs suggest the presence of a medical issue, we determine whether you need treatment, follow-up care, or additional testing.
At Westover Hills Women’s Health in San Antonio, Texas, our experienced obstetrical care providers — including our skilled doctors and certified nurse midwives — use labs as just one of many ways we look after you during your pregnancy.
Here, we explain five things your pregnancy labs tell us about your health and your pregnancy.
Iron-deficiency anemia is a condition that occurs when you lack enough red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body. Having anemia during pregnancy can rob you and your baby of the oxygen you both need to be healthy.
Iron-deficiency anemia is fairly common in pregnancy, affecting about 1 in 6 expectant mothers. Typically, treatments for anemia include eating an iron-rich diet and taking iron supplements.
Diabetes occurs when the level of sugar (glucose) in your blood is too high. A woman may have diabetes before pregnancy, or she may develop it during pregnancy (gestational diabetes).
High blood sugar during pregnancy can lead to complications such as:
- Preterm birth
- High birth weight
- Breathing problems in your baby
- The need for a C-section
Treatments for diabetes during pregnancy include healthy eating, activity, and in some cases, diabetes medication or insulin injections.
Urinary tract infection
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) may develop when there is an excess of certain types of bacteria in your urinary tract. Without treatment, UTIs can increase your risk of delivering early or having a low birth weight baby.
We can treat UTIs with antibiotics. A UTI often causes such symptoms as itching and burning, but in some cases, UTIs can cause no symptoms, which is why testing is essential.
Hepatitis B and C
Hepatitis B and C are the result of a viral infection. They can affect your liver, and you can pass the virus along to your baby. If you have hepatitis B or C, you and/or your baby may need treatment before and after delivery.
Sexually transmitted infections
Having a sexually transmitted disease (STD) during pregnancy can be harmful for you and your baby. For example, according to the March of Dimes, STDs can raise the risk of complications such as preterm birth, low birth weight, premature rupture of your membranes, miscarriage, or stillbirth.
There are several kinds of STDs, and each carries different risks and treatment regimens. If we determine that you have an STD, treatment can help protect you and your baby.
A full range of care
Our doctors and midwives offer comprehensive care for all of your pregnancy needs. They also provide a full range of gynecologic care, from well-woman checkups to GYN surgery.
To schedule a visit at one of our two San Antonio, Texas, offices, call us today or use our online tool to book an appointment.