Screening Test For Maternal Infections

Screening a woman before or during her pregnancy helps a doctor identify the conditions that might have the potential to impact her health or the health of the baby adversely. This has become a fundamental component of health care during pregnancy.

Screening for maternal infections is a crucial screening test to help prevent the spread of infection from viruses like HIV, Hepatitis B or C, and Syphilis from the mother to the child. Read on to gather more information about screening for maternal infections.

What is maternal infection screening?

Screening for maternal infections is an important procedure for all pregnant women, who are tested for Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV), HIV, and Syphilis during their pregnancy. The process of screening is crucial and necessary, to access medical services for the particular infection and receive the proper treatment to prevent the transmission of the viruses to the infant. The very reason for maternal screening is to reduce the chances of you and your baby being affected by infectious diseases.

Risks or complications associated with maternal infection screening tests

The process of taking a blood sample for screening for maternal infection is not at all risky. There are no risks associated with the test, either for you or your baby. There might be risks associated with specific screening tests—not physical, but such as anxiety over knowing the results and pain during the taking of blood samples for a possible miscarriage. Also, if you have syphilis, there are fair chances of it being passed on to your child. There can also be a risk of inaccurate results, which can impact the mental health of pregnant women.

How should you prepare for a maternal infection screening test?

Before any screening test, the pregnant woman is properly counselled by her health provider about the importance of screening tests for infections such as HIV, HBV, HCV, and syphilis. You need to mentally prepare yourself for going through such a screening test, keeping in mind the advantages that these tests have for you and your child.

What should I expect from the screening?

Some of these tests detect problems that can be treated during pregnancy, and some other tests screen for maternal infection, which alerts your healthcare supervisor about a condition that is treated as early as possible after birth.

You can expect a standard test result that will reduce your anxiety. These screening tests will reduce the chances of the baby being affected by any infectious disease such as HIV, HBV, HCV, and syphilis. But at times, these screenings might not give perfect results and give something called false-negative or false-positive results, which vary from one test to another.

Possible results of screening for maternal infections

There are two possible outcomes from the results of the screening for maternal infections. If your results are negative, you have nothing to worry about. If you test positive for any of these results, then you have to follow different steps for the cure of different infections. 

If you test positive for Hepatitis B, then you will receive specialist care throughout pregnancy and after the baby is born. To prevent your baby from getting Hepatitis B, you will need to vaccinate the child during the following intervals: within 24 hours of birth, at 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, 16 weeks, and 1 year with a blood test. The bay needs to get all six doses of vaccination done.

If you tested positive for HIV, the risk of the baby being affected can be reduced by providing specialist care and treatment, taking proper medication, planning your birth, and avoiding breastfeeding. If you are tested for syphilis, you need an urgent referral to a doctor. Antibiotics are the common treatment for syphilis. Your baby may be examined even after birth and will be given antibiotics.


Screening a woman before or during her pregnancy helps a doctor identify the conditions that might have the potential to impact her health or the health of the baby adversely.

Request an appointment at Apollo Cradle, Bengaluru - Koramangala. Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.

1. What infections are screened for during pregnancy?

Hepatitis B, HIV, syphilis, etc. are a few infections that women are screened for during pregnancy.

2. What are the main screening tests used during pregnancy?

Some of the main screening tests used during pregnancy include Amniocentesis, Ultrasound scanning, Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test, etc.

3. How is maternal screening done?

A blood test is performed between 9 and 13 weeks of the gestation period. In addition, an ultrasound is performed between 11 and 13 weeks of the gestation period.

4. Why is urine screened for infection in pregnancy?

Urine is screened for infection in pregnancy to detect bacteria and avoid future complications. Bacteria can be a symptom of high risk, including premature birth, low birth weight, etc.

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