The Pre-pregnancy tests include various forms of Physical examination and test carried out before planning a pregnancy. There are of various forms and are arranged to cover the common health conditions that affect people in that environment. The socio-economic condition of the client is also taken into consideration. In sub-Saharan Africa, individuals are resource constrained and as such, the most relevant test that can influence the outcome of a planned pregnancy should be done prior to the collection of blood samples for investigations, a history of genetic or familial conditions should be obtained from the couple. In our environment in Sub-Saharan Africa, common genetic and Familial conditions include Sickle cell disease, Hypertension, Diabetes mellitus, asthma. The possibility of an existing chronic medical condition should be ascertained. Some chronic medical conditions that can influence pregnancy include Heart disease, Kidney disease,Diabetes mellitus. HIV/AIDS can also influence the outcome of pregnancy.
Physical examination is conducted to evaluate the current health status of the couple. This will include a general physical exam and in some cases examination of various organs and systems of the body.
The blood investigations that are done include the following:
- Blood test for blood group and Genotype
- Antibody test
- Hepatitis B and C screen
- HIV screen
- A screen for sexually transmissible infection is also performed in some centers
- A complete blood count that will include a heamogram. This is done to determine the level of blood cells in your circulation. When the level of blood cell is low, you are said to have anemia.
- Genetic screen will be indicated if there is a family history that suggest a genetic condition.