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VNA of Care New England

Diagnosis of Infection in Pregnancy

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.
The tests you will have depend on your symptoms, medical history, and how far along you are in your pregnancy. Your doctor may do the following tests to find out whether you or your developing baby has an infection:
  • Blood test—Your blood is checked for the number of white blood cells and the presence of antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that your body has made to fight an infection.
  • Culture—The doctor will gently swab your rectum and/or cervix and vagina to see if an infection is present. The swab will then be examined under a microscope.
  • Ultrasound —A device held over the abdomen will bounces sound waves off the uterus and your developing baby. The sound waves make electrical impulses that create a picture of the baby on a video monitor. This helps the doctor check for any fetal abnormalities that might indicate an infection (usually viral) in the mother.
  • Urinalysis—This is a test to check for bacteria in the urine. After you urinate into a cup, your healthcare provider will use a specially treated paper strip to check for bacteria in the urine. Urine can also be sent to a laboratory for identification of specific bacteria.
  • Chest x-ray —A test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the chest. An abdominal shield is used to protect your developing baby
  • Amniocentesis—A test that removes a sample of the fluid surrounding your baby. Rarely, this fluid may be examined to determine if you have chorioamnionitis.

References

Bacterial vaginosis during pregnancy. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/bacterialvaginosis-2.html . Updated May 2005. Accessed July 29, 2013.

Chorioamnionitis. Cleveland Clinic website. Available at: http://www.clevelandclinic.org/health/health-info/docs/3800/3857.asp?index=12309 . Accessed July 29, 2013.

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and congenital CMV infection. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/cmv/index.html . Updated July 28, 2010. Accessed July 29, 2013.

Group B Strep (GBS). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/groupbstrep/index.html . Updated May 23, 2012. Accessed July 29, 2013.

Listeria and pregnancy. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/listeria.html . Updated June 2011. Accessed July 29, 2013.

Pregnancy and fifth disease. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/parvovirusB19/pregnancy.html . Updated February 14, 2012. Accessed July 29, 2013.

STDs and pregnancy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/std/pregnancy/default.htm . Updated July 10, 2013, Accessed July 29, 2013.

Toxoplasmosis. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/toxoplasmosis.html . Updated January 2011. Accessed July 29, 2013.

Urinary tract infection during pregnancy. American Pregnancy Association website. Available at: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancycomplications/utiduringpreg.html . Updated April 2006. Accessed July 29, 2013.

Varicella. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated April 13, 2013. Accessed July 29, 2013.

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