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Pregnancy – 1st Trimester

First trimester begins at day 1 of your last period and ends on week 12 of pregnancy. During this trimester, the fertilized egg gets implanted on the wall of your uterus and starts developing. The baby during the 1st trimester is referred to as an embryo. By the end of week 12, the embryo looks like a tiny human being with muscles, bones and all the other body organs nearly formed.

Changes you experience during 1st trimester

The bodily changes experienced during the first trimester is different for every woman. The following are the symptoms associated with the first trimester

  • Morning sickness
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent urination
  • Swollen breasts
  • Food cravings
  • Headaches
  • Emotional ups and downs
  • Constipation
  • Changes in libido
  • Heartburn

First trimester tests

Tests for detection of pregnancy:

Pregnancy is detected by checking the presence of Human Chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) (also referred to as the pregnancy hormone) in your urine or blood. This hormone is produced by the placenta when the embryo gets implanted in the uterus.  If you have a doubt that you may be pregnant, your doctor would advise you to take these tests to confirm pregnancy.

  • Blood test: This is a lab test in which the levels of HCG in the blood is analyzed. It is an extremely sensitive test and yields accurate results. This test can confirm pregnancy earlier than the urine tests. The level of HCG above 25mIU/mL is considered positive for pregnancy.
  • Urine/ Dipstick Test: This test detects the presence of Hcg in the urine. The dipstick test most commonly used test to detect pregnancy as it is easy to perform, can be done at home The test kit is commercially available in the pharmacies. Read the instruction manual given in the test kit to interpret the result properly.

Other tests performed during the first trimester:

Blood tests: A sample of your blood would be taken to assess the following

  1. Blood type and rhesus factor: Determination of blood group and Rh factor is important for rule out materno-fetal Rh incompatibility.
  2. Complete blood picture (CBC): This test is done to observe the levels of blood components (RBCs, WBCs & platelets). Low levels of white blood cells indicate infection. Hemoglobin levels and red blood cell levels are regularly checked throughout pregnancy to detect anemiad. Testing for genetic disorders: Based on your racial, family and ethnic background, your doctor may ask you to undergo tests to assess for genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia
  3. Thyroid test: A woman with hypothyroidism is at a great risk of miscarriage in the first trimester. The thyroid test measures the levels of thyroid hormones- T3, T4 and TSH. Low levels of thyroid hormones indicate hypothyroidism.
  4. Blood sugar test: Diabetes can pose great risk to the health of the mother and the fetus. Your blood sugar levels would be measured when you are fasting and after having a meal (post prandial) to detect diabetes.

Urine Tests: You would be asked to give a sample of urine to assess the following:

  1. Urine glucose levels: Maternal diabetes can result in adverse complication in the fetus as well. Owing to high sugar, the fetus grows larger than normal, may have jaundice and may be delivered preterm. Therefore, urine glucose checks are necessary to maintain healthy sugar levels.
  2. Assessment of albumin levels- Increased levels albumin in urine would indicate pregnancy induced hypertension. Pregnancy induced hypertension is a life-threatening condition for the mother as well as the fetus. It may cause growth retardation in the fetus and premature delivery.
  3. Assessment of kidney infection: Presence of pus, WBC or blood in urine is indicative of kidney infection.

Ultrasound scanning: During the first trimester, you would be taking your first sonogram at around 6-8 weeks. The purpose of this scan would be: to confirm pregnancy, to rule out ectopic pregnancy and to assess for fetal heart-beat.

At 11- 14 weeks of pregnancy, you may be asked to take a scan in combination with the blood test to screen for Down’s syndrome.

Dos and Don’ts during 1st trimester:

Here are some precautions that you need to take for a healthy first trimester.

Dos:

  • Consume a healthy and balanced diet: Consume the foods which are rich in fibre, proteins and folic acid. Taking small meals frequently would keep you high on energy the entire day.
  • Do Exercise regularly: Exercise strengthens your musculoskeletal system and alleviates stress during pregnancy. Walking and yoga are most recommended exercises for pregnant women.
  • Improve your Sleep duration and quality: Increase sleeping hours to adjust yourself to the physical and hormonal changes happening in your body.
  • Increase your Water intake: Drink 8-10 glasses of water per day to keep yourself well hydrated.

Don’ts:

  • Avoid consuming coffee excessively: Coffee contains caffeine which when consumed excessively may causes birth defects in baby. Caffeine may also cause anxiety and heart burn in the mother.
  • Limit Alcohol intake: Overconsumption of alcohol leads to abnormal fetal growth and may cause birth defects in the fetus.
  • Quit Smoking: Smoking can cause low birth weight and lung disorders in the baby.
  • Avoid Lifting heavy weights: Lifting weights more than 25kgs is not advisable as it may overstress your joints and may cause joint injury.

Why choose Apollo Diagnostics?

We have the expertise of 34 + years in healthcare. Our labs are equipped with EQUAS (External Quality Assurance System) and loaded with full automated machines to ensure error free reports, with a quick turnaround time, and at an affordable price. For your convenience, we offer free home collection of samples.

For appointments, please call 4444 2424.

References:

  1. http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/first-trimester-tests#1
  2. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/pregnancy-calendar/first-trimester-weeks-1-12

Patient Testimonials

“Finding the best place for a diagnostic test is as important as consulting the best doctor. The Apollo name was what guided me to Apollo Diagnostics and I am indeed glad that I came here. From attending us on time to sample collection, everything flowed so smoothly. I was particularly impressed by the hygiene. It was definitely a value for money experience. Thanks a lot Apollo Diagnostics…keep up the good work!”

Mrs. Ferha Jabeen, Old Bowenpally, Secunderabad

“I Have heard a lot of good things about Apollo Diagnostics from our family physician as well as from relatives and friends. So then next time I needed a diagnostic centre, I visited Apollo Diagnostics and I was really glad I did. For one, I didn’t have to wait. The technician was extremely good, and the place was really clean. It was certainly a value for money experience. Great job Apollo Diagnostics!”

Ms. T. Jaya, Nakkalagutta, Hanmakonda

“I must say Apollo Diagnostics places a great value on time and patient comfort! I am a fan of their home collection service which is not only on time and technically sound, but the hygiene and cordiality of the visiting technician is also commendable. Hats off! I’ll continue to recommend Apollo Diagnostics to my family and friends.”

Mr. B. Pochaiah, Mallikarjuna Nagar Colony, Old Bowenpally, Secunderabad

“I have always had a great experience with Apollo Diagnostics. The calls are unfailingly answered. The scheduled appointment is kept to the minute. The phlebotomist is well-trained in both technique and putting the patient at ease. Apollo Diagnostics undoubtedly delivers value for money. They will always be my top option for all the diagnostic needs of my family.”

Mr. Prasanta Kumar Jena, JP Nagar, Bengaluru

“I came to know about Apollo Diagnostics from my relatives and friends. So, when I required a check up to be done, I thought about trying their service once. From sticking to the appointed time to accuracy of technique, it was really a great experience overall. Hygiene of the technician and the centre as well, was also quite admirable. I certainly felt it delivers value for money service. From now on, I’ll always visit Apollo Diagnostics for all my checkups.”

Mr. Venkateshwar Rao, Hanmakonda

“I was looking for a good diagnostic centre to get some checkups done. I was confused as there are so many of them all over the city. Some of my friends recommended Apollo Diagnostics as the best one. I’ll always remain thankful to them. The technician at Apollo Diagnostics was not only punctual but his competency was certainly praiseworthy. I never felt any discomfort as he was so confident and compassionate. Great job Apollo Diagnostics!”

Mr. T Radhakishan Rao, Hanmakonda

“My experience with Apollo Diagnostics has been consistently good. Securing the appointment was very easy and the schedule was maintained to the dot. The behaviour of the technician was pleasant and he was well–versed with his job. The place was noticeably clean and I did not face any discomfort during the process. The reports were delivered as promised and surprisingly, the service was pretty affordable. I would recommend Apollo Diagnostics to my circle without any hesitation!”

Mr. Arif Ameer, JP Nagar, Bengaluru

“Apollo Diagnostics came highly recommended by my friends. I was particularly impressed by their cordiality, time management and process competence. Another must mention is the hygiene factor that is impeccable. Given the quality delivered, this is certainly a value for money experience. Thanks a lot Apollo Diagnostics…keep up the great work!”

Ms. A.Madhavi, Warangal

“Our family physician strictly instructed me to get the checkup done at Apollo Diagnostics. I am glad I respected his opinion. I was attended to as soon as I went in. The technician was a true expert at his job and made it a painless experience for me. I also observed that the centre was spotless and all the staff members were particular about maintaining hygiene. Apollo Diagnostics certainly delivers value for money. I’ll always recommend Apollo Diagnostics to my family and friends.”

Ms. Vimala, Hanmakonda

“My Apollo Diagnostics experience has thus far been truly amazing. Besides unfailingly maintaining the schedule – be it sample taking or report delivery, their sense of cleanliness is also tops. The technicians are well-trained and do their job with diligence and in a friendly manner that puts patients at ease at once. Apollo Diagnostics is setting a very high standard indeed! Now that’s what I call a fine job!”

Ms. G. Jyothi, Warangal