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Investigations in later pregnancy

After your initial first Blood tests, ultrasound and screening that are attended in early pregnancy, there are further investigations throughout pregnancy that will also occur.

  • FBE & Ferritin (Iron levels) rechecked at 28 & 36 weeks

    A full blood count checks for general health and can indicate the presence of anaemia. Making the extra blood cells during your pregnancy requires plenty of iron, vitamin B12 and folate to make all the extra haemoglobin needed. Your iron levels will also be checked and supplements recommended if necessary. Symptoms of low iron include dizziness/light headedness, fast heart rate, palpitations and fatigue.

    Iron in pregnancy


  • Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT)

    OGTT tests for diabetes occurring in pregnancy (gestational diabetes mellitus -GDM) at approx. 28 weeks or earlier if you have risk factors. It requires fasting for 8 hours beforehand and takes 2 hours to complete. If you are diagnosed with GDM, you will be referred to the SWH dietician and diabetic educator for additional care and information about diet, exercise and how to test your blood sugar levels during pregnancy.

    For more information Gestational Diabetes Mellitus

  • Syphilis

    Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection which may have no obvious symptoms. In pregnancy, it can result in spontaneous miscarriage or stillbirth or cause congenital syphilis infection. Syphilis in pregnancy can be safely treated with antibiotics, which can prevent these complications.

  • Group B streptococcus (GBS) infection

    GBS is tested via a low vaginal and rectal swab.

    It is a common fleeting bacteria that usually causes no symptoms in healthy adults, but during the birth process GBS can possibly infect babies causing serious illness. Women with GBS are treated with IV antibiotics during their labour.

    For more information on Group B Streptococcus 

  • Ultrasound - 19-22 week morphology

    This routine ultrasound provides a detailed scan of your baby’s body looking at their size and checking their organs to assess for abnormalities. The scan also looks at the position of the placenta, umbilical cord, your cervix and the amount of amniotic fluid present around your baby. In cases where an ultrasound reveals an unexpected problem, you may be referred to a tertiary centre for further testing.

  • Ultrasound - Growth Scans

    Depending on certain circumstances throughout your pregnancy it may be recommended by the obstetric staff to have growth ultrasounds to check on your baby’s size and wellbeing.

  • Screening for Chromosomal and Genetic Conditions

    First trimester screening is discussed previously in early investigations in pregnancy tests, however if you are further along with the pregnancy and would still like the option of prenatal screening then Second trimester screening or NIPT testing can be arranged.
    More information on prenatal testing.

Page last updated: 1 August 2022

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