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Video:Second Trimester Tests

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In your second trimester, your Doctor will perform some simple tests to assess your progress and an anatomy ultrasound to determine your baby's gender. Learn what to expect and make an appointment with your healthcare provider for more information.See Transcript

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Transcript:Second Trimester Tests

Hi! I'm Dr. Alyssa Dweck.  I am a board certified OB-GYN here in New York and I am here for About.com today to talk to you about second trimester pregnancy tests. 

When is the Second Trimester?

The second trimester of pregnancy is from the 13th to 26th week.  During this time, your visits with your healthcare provider will be approximately every 4 weeks barring any complications.

Simple Blood Tests & Evaluations

Typically at 16 weeks, you will be offered ablood test that has various names.  One of those names is ultrascreen.  Another is quad screen and this is a blood test that screens for neural tube defects.  One neural tube defect that you may have heard of is called spina bifida. 

Anatomy Ultrasound

Another test that gets done in the second trimester is an anatomy ultrasound.  This is also referred to as a level 2 ultrasound.  This is a detailed ultrasound where we look at your baby and check your baby's anatomy.  

Various anatomic structures are evaluated such as the brain, the heart, the limbs, the stomach, the kidneys, and this is a good time to find out the sex of your baby if you'd like to know.  Your anatomy ultrasound will also evaluate your baby's spine, look at the location of the placenta and also check your baby's umbilical cord.

The anatomy ultrasound will also evaluate the amount of fluid around your baby.  At times you may be offered a more invasive test called amniocentesis which can take place from 16 weeks on.  This is an invasive test that allows us to check the actual chromosomes of your baby. 

Fetal Echocardiogram

Occasionally, your healthcare provider may recommend that you have a test called a fetal echocardiogram.  This is a special ultrasound of your baby's heart to rule out any abnormalities.  This will typically be done if you personally have a history of heart abnormality. 

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