Preventive medical checkups
At each check-up appointment the body weight is determined and the blood pressure is measured. Excessive weight gain may indicate water retention in the legs, as may occur in pre-eclampsia. Pre-eclampsia is a disease in pregnancy that is associated with high blood pressure and can complicate both the pregnancy and the puerperium.
For this reason, blood pressure is also measured regularly so that high blood pressure is not overlooked, as it can harm the unborn child. In addition, a physical examination is carried out to determine, among other things, the height of the upper edge of the uterus. In the 6th week of pregnancy, this protrudes just above the pubic bone.
At the time of birth, the upper edge is below the costal arch. From the 20th week of pregnancy onwards, a further palpation examination can determine how the child is lying in the uterus and on which side the back is located. In addition to these specific examinations, a conventional physical examination of the other organ systems is also performed.
Ideally, this is done during the initial examination. Furthermore, the physique of the pregnant woman is also of interest, as this can give an indication of whether there will be any difficulties, for example with contractions. Between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy, the glucose tolerance test is still carried out to detect possible gestational diabetes.
You can find detailed information on this topic at Preventive examinations during pregnancyIn addition to the physical examination, a urine test is carried out at each preventive appointment. This is checked for proteins, glucose, blood components and nitrite using a test strip. Proteins in the urine can indicate pre-eclampsia, a pregnancy disease with high blood pressure.
The proteins in the urine show that there is damage to the kidneys. Glucose, i.e. a sugar, is found in the urine when the kidneys are no longer able to filter it sufficiently due to the high levels of sugar in the blood. Sugar in the urine could therefore be indicative of gestational diabetes and must be confirmed or ruled out by further tests.
If blood components such as white or red blood cells and nitrite are present in the urine, there is a suspicion of a urinary tract infection. A urinary tract infection should be treated even if the pregnant woman does not notice any symptoms. Before antibiotics are administered, the pathogen should be identified in the laboratory by means of cultivation, so that a targeted antibiotic administration can be carried out. You can find detailed information on this topic at Urine examination during pregnancy