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As part of your antenatal care, you'll be offered several blood tests and scans. Some are offered to everyone, while others are only offered if you might be at risk of a particular infection or condition.
All the tests are done to make your pregnancy safer or check that the baby is healthy, but you do not have to have them if you do not want to.
During your pregnancy, you'll be offered a blood test for 3 infectious diseases: hepatitis B, HIV and syphilis. This is part of routine antenatal screening, which is recommended for every pregnancy.
You will usually be offered the blood test at your booking appointment with a midwife.
The blood test needs to be done as early as possible in pregnancy, ideally by 10 weeks. This is so treatment can be started early, if you need it, to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to your baby.
Do I need to have this test?
It's your choice to be tested for any or all of these infections.
The tests are recommended to:
- protect your health through early treatment and care
- reduce any risk of passing an infection on to your baby, partner or other family members
If you test positive for hepatitis B, HIV or syphilis, your partner and other family members may be offered a test for the infection.
What if I decide not to have the blood test for any of the infectious diseases?
If you decide not to have the test in early pregnancy, you'll be seen by a specialist midwife and offered screening again before you are 20 weeks pregnant. The midwife will discuss the benefits of screening for these infections.
You can ask to have a test for hepatitis B, HIV or syphilis at any time if you change your sexual partner or think you're at risk.
by Phuong Le