Sexually Transmitted Infection Screening
Every patient at the initial obstetric exam should be tested or at least offered the opportunity to be tested for sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV. Babies born through the birth canal of mothers infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea may be at risk for eye and throat infection. Due to the severity of infection caused by the spirochete of syphilis, serum testing for this infection is mandatory.
Screening for Cervical Change and Cervical Cancer
A Pap smear '- a test for cervical cancer or precancer '- should be collected at each initial obstetric visit unless results are available for one collected within the past year. This test can be performed at any point in the pregnancy, although the cervix may bleed more easily as gestation progresses.
Glucose Challenge Test
Between 24 and 28 weeks, each mother should be tested for gestational diabetes (GDM). Earlier testing may be required for a woman who has had GDM in a previous pregnancy, is obese or has a history of giving birth to babies in the nine-pound range or higher. For this exam, 50 grams of glucose '- about the amount found in two cans of cola '- are administered via a sweet drink. The mother is asked to wait for one hour, without eating, chewing gum or exerting herself. Then a blood sample is taken. If results demonstrate the presence of an abnormally high level of glucose (ranges vary from 130 to 140 mg/dl), a second test, the glucose tolerance test, is requested.