Pregnancy and Prenatal Care

Why the ANC Profile Tests Recommended for Pregnant Women?

The health of the growing fetus is directly associated with the mother’s health. Antenatal profile tests help determine whether the mother has anemia, diabetes or any other medical condition that may interfere with the normal growth and development of the fetus. By identifying the factors that require special care, ANC profile tests help protect the health of a pregnant woman and her child.

What Is the ANC Profile Test?

The first trimester is the most crucial phase of pregnancy, and ANC profile tests are recommended during this stage. Ante-Natal Care (ANC) profile tests help assess the general health of the mother, along with testing for diabetes, genetically transferred diseases, and infectious diseases like HIV. ANC profile tests also help the doctor monitor the growth of the fetus and provide treatment if required.

What Are the Benefits of ANC Profile Tests?

ANC profile tests can help in:

  • Determining the health status of the mother and the fetus early in pregnancy.
  • Preventing complications during pregnancy.
  • Promoting the health of the mother and the fetus.
  • Preventing maternal and child mortality.

What Are the Tests Included in the ANC Profile?

The tests included in the ANC profile are:

  1. Hemogram: This is a blood test done to check the hemoglobin levels in the mother’s blood. The mother should have adequate hemoglobin levels to support fetal growth. The recommended level of hemoglobin in pregnant women is 12-16 g/DL; a value below 12 g/DL shows iron deficiency, while a value below 10.5 g/DL shows anemia.
  2. Blood group: Blood grouping of the mother is important to diagnose Rh incompatibility. With a positive diagnosis where the mother has Rh-negative blood and the fetus has Rh-positive blood, treatment is provided immediately to prevent complications during childbirth.
  3. Blood sugar: High blood sugar can complicate any pregnancy. Hence, it is essential to monitor blood sugar levels throughout the pregnancy and take measures to keep them under check.
  4. Urine routine: A urine sample collected early morning is checked for proteins, White Blood Cells (WBCs), and bacteria to detect urinary tract infections (UTIs).
  5. HIV: A blood test is performed to rule out HIV infection early in the pregnancy. A positive test would require monitoring the mother’s health and planning a cesarean section.
  6. HbsAg: The HBsAg test helps detect a Hepatitis B infection. A positive test can pose a risk of spreading the infection to the fetus.
  7. VDRL: This test detects syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease. If the mother tests positive, necessary measures are taken immediately to protect the fetus.
  8. Hemoglobin electrophoresis: Helps detect abnormal hemoglobins such as Hemoglobin C and Hemoglobin E. Women who have Hemoglobin C (Hgb C) suffer from hemoglobinopathy, a blood disorder. Hgb C doesn’t carry oxygen well and may cause a mild form of anemia. Hgb E is an extremely common structural hemoglobin variant. Women who have Hgb E usually have no symptoms or may exhibit mild symptoms of anemia.

It is crucial to undergo ANC profile testing at the right time to monitor the health of both the mother and the baby. These tests can ensure a healthy pregnancy and childbirth.

Conclusion

ANC profile tests have to be carried out in the first trimester of pregnancy to monitor the health of the mother and the fetus. Besides routine medical tests and diagnostic scans, these tests form part of the complete ante-natal care which every pregnant woman has to undergo. ANC profile tests are important as they help the gynecologist plan a further course of action and take the measures during childbirth.

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