Booking Blood Tests
If your bloods have not been taken before your booking visit in the hospital, these will be performed as part of your consultation. A full blood count (FBC) is performed in order to get a baseline level of Haemoglobin; this is repeated again at 28 weeks and if necessary during your pregnancy.
A blood group is performed to determine your blood group status, and most importantly your Rhesus status. Infectious disease bloods, i.e. HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, Syphilis are performed to screen for the most common infectious diseases in pregnancy. Although these are rare, if diagnosed early, treatment can be given to prevent transmission from mother to a baby.
Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG)
Blood HCG is a test performed in pregnancy. The HCG levels do not always correspond with the viability or location of the pregnancy. Therefore, two or more test are required, 48 hours apart in order to accurately interpret the results.
Blood HCG level is used to give medical professionals an indication of a current pregnancy. If the HCG level is above 1500mlIU/ml, a trans-vaginal or trans-abdominal ultrasound scan may identify a pregnancy.
The HCG test may be performed when an ultrasound scan is inconclusive and the gestation of a pregnancy is unknown.
HSE RCPI Guidelines: Ultrasound diagnosis of early pregnancy
Additional Blood Tests
Other bloods such as Thyroid Function Tests or Liver Function Tests may be performed depending on your medical history and after consultation with your doctor. These are not routinely preformed on every pregnant woman.