Other blood tests offered during pregnancy

You may have more blood tests done. These can be due to medical problems you have or your family history. Extra tests are also done based on your ethnic background or occupation.

Some of the other blood tests offered to pregnant women include:

Oral glucose tolerance test

An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) will check if you have gestational diabetes. This is a type of diabetes that can develop in pregnancy. Some hospitals give all pregnant women the test. Other hospitals will only test you if they feel you are at a high risk of developing diabetes.

Diabetes in pregnancy can cause complications for you and for your baby. There is a reduced risk if you get treatment and an early stage diagnosis.

The test is usually done in the second trimester. It is usually done between 24 to 28 weeks. The test takes about 2 hours.

You will need to fast the night before the blood test. You can usually drink water, but you will need to check with the hospital. After the test you will get a glucose drink. You will have two more blood samples taken. You will give these one hour and two hours after you have the glucose drink.

Sickle cell disease and thalassaemia screening

Sickle cell disease and thalassaemia are conditions people inherit. They can affect the way oxygen moves around the body. You may get a test if you are of African or Mediterranean origin. Tell your doctor or midwife if you or your baby's father have an ancestor who was born outside northern Europe.

Healthy people can be carriers. They can pass them on to their children without knowing. If you are a carrier, you may need more tests. These tests will check if your baby is likely to have one of these conditions.

Immunity to parvovirus

Parvovirus is also known as slapped cheek disease. You can get tested to see if you are immune to parvovirus. You may need to get tested if you are in contact with a person who has the virus. If you are immune to parvovirus, then you should have no concerns. If you have the infection, your pregnancy will be watched closely. You will also have extra ultrasound scans.

Thyroid function test

Blood tests will be familiar to you if you have thyroid gland problems. These tests may become more regular in pregnancy. This is because your thyroid function could affect your baby. You can reduce this risk with treatment. You may need regular tests in pregnancy. You may also need to see an endocrinologist.

Page last reviewed: 26 March 2018
Next review due: 26 March 2021