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Your First Trimester - Medical Checks

Congratulations – you’re in your first trimester of pregnancy! You’re about to experience one of the most complete physical examinations a healthy person will ever have. At your first visit, your doctor will take your history and perform first trimester screenings and tests. Here’s what you can expect at the checkup.

Learn more about the first weeks of pregnancy.

3 mins
to read Mar 3, 2016

First trimester – at your doctor

Your due date
At your first visit in the first trimester of pregnancy, your doctor will ask the date of your last period to work out when your baby is due. Learn more with our due date calculator.

Your medical history
You’ll discuss any illnesses or pre-existing medical conditions, and if you know of any inherited disorders that might be passed on to your child.
The exciting 12th-week visit 
At your 12-week visit, you should be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat. The heartbeat can’t be heard with a regular stethoscope until approximately 20 weeks, so your doctor will place a Doppler machine on your abdomen. This machine uses ultrasound waves to detect the baby’s heartbeat. You’ll hear an earnest little heart pumping at about 120-160 beats per minute – and if you ever doubted you’ll now know for sure your baby is real.

Be prepared

Vital statistics
Your doctor or nurse may record your height, weight, blood pressure and pulse and give you a general physical examination, paying special attention to your heart, lungs, abdomen and pelvis.

Blood test
Your blood may be tested to confirm your blood group in case you need a transfusion. It will be checked for anaemia, sexually transmitted infections and immunity to rubella (German measles), a disease that can be serious if contracted early in pregnancy. You may also be screened for other conditions and risk factors - this testing is normal.

Urine test
Protein and sugar levels in your urine may also be checked.

Cervical swab
For those who have had herpes, your doctor will check if the herpes virus is active. Herpes virus may be passed onto the baby during delivery however this is not common. Speaking to your doctor about your history of herpes will help with planning precautionary measures to prevent this from occurring.

Pap smear
Your doctor will take some cells to check for early signs of cervical cancer.

Learn more about another topic: Pregnancy Emotions