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Pregnancy: First Prenatal Visit - Topic Overview

Your first prenatal visit is likely to be more extensive than later prenatal checks. Your doctor will take your medical history and do a complete physical exam.

Medical history

Your medical history helps your doctor plan the best possible care for your pregnancy and childbirth. It includes:

  • Your menstrual history, including your age when menstruation started, whether your cycles are regular, and the date of your last menstrual period.
  • Your reproductive history. This includes:
    • Any previous pregnancies, abortions, miscarriages, or stillbirths.
    • Problems with previous pregnancies.
    • Any problems with reproductive organs.
  • Family health conditions, such as heart disease or genetic defects.
  • Your general health, including vaccinations, surgeries, and serious illnesses you have had.
  • Tobacco or other substance use.

Physical exam

Your complete physical exam will include:

Urine tests

A urine test can check for:

Blood tests

Blood testing may include:

You may also be screened for:

  • Hepatitis B. If you have a hepatitis B infection, your baby will receive the hepatitis vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) within 12 hours of birth.
  • Diseases that are passed down through your family (genetic disorders). You may want to have a screening test if you or your partner has a family history of genetic disorders or if certain genetic disorders are more common among people of your racial or ethnic background. Screening tests for genetic disorders include those for:5
    • Sickle cell disease, which is most common in people of African descent.
    • Tay-Sachs disease, which is most common in people with an Ashkenazi Jewish, Cajun, or French Canadian background.
    • Cystic fibrosis, which is most common in people with a Caucasian, European, or Ashkenazi Jewish background.
  • Sexually transmitted infections (STIs). STIs during pregnancy have been linked to miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, and stillbirth. Many doctors routinely test for the sexually transmitted infections gonorrhea and chlamydia. If test results show that you have an STI, your doctor will discuss treatment with you.
  • Thyroid disease. Many women have thyroid tests done if they have a personal or family history of thyroid problems.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 16, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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