pregnancyWomen’s bodies experience several changes during pregnancy. Although alterations are normal in the female body, medical surveillance is important to rule out possible negative effects on the mother’s health and therefore in her future children’s.

A woman may be pregnant without really wanting to be. In this case it is important to openly inform them that women in Spain have the option and the support to reach a decision regarding this unwanted pregnancy. This decision can be either to continue with their pregnancy or to terminate it.

Voluntary terminations of pregnancy (VTOP) must be immediately channelled into the Spanish healthcare system.  .The first request is made through the family doctor and the social worker at the primary healthcare referral center. Remember that no member of the heathcare staff can refuse to give you the suitable information in this regard. Should they ignore the information, they have the obligation to refer the patient to another professional who can give the patient the information requested.

If the woman decides to continue with the pregnancy she must be referred to find the social resources needed in order to care for the baby or, ultimately, to begin proceedings for a future adoption.

If is is indeed a wanted pregnancy from the very beginning, we counsel you to visit your midwife at your referral primary healthcare center. A first contact will allow the physicians to rule out diseases previously suffered by the mother that may affect spontaneous pregnancy. It will also help to check if specific vitaminic supply is needed prior to pregnancy. If you decide to stop using contraceptive methods you will have to book an appointment with the midwife so that your health and your child’s are monitored by physicians from the very beginning.

You can confirm you are pregnant at your referral healthcare center or use reactive tests that can be bought at any Spanish drugstore. Never go to the emergency services to undergo this test.

Your midwife or your family doctor will arrange your follow-up appointments once the pregnancy is confirmed. It is important to stick to the dates you are given because tests must be carried out at specific stages of fetal growth. This is done so that any possible alterations are detected at early stages and the consequences thereof are minimised.

When the pregnancy takes places normally, the following tests are usually carried out. You can also check them out at the gallery at the top of this page:

First trimester of pregnancy:

Basic blood-control test: the blood type is identified along with the mother’s Rh factor. Also, antibodies for some infectious diseases that can be transmitted to the baby during pregnancy or delivery are screened. This consultation will serve for early detection of important congenital diseases. If the risk is high and the woman wishes to terminate the pregnancy for this reason, the congenital disease must be confirmed by means of other tests. The obstetrician in charge will inform you on the disease and the risks it entails.

First ultrasound scan: It serves as a reference point for the process of fetal growth in subsequent ultrasounds and it is performed in week number 12 after the last period.

Second trimester of pregnancy

Blood test: basic blood test with oral glucose overload. It is indicated for week 24 of the pregnancy and detects the risk of diabetes during pregnancy in women.  If positive, a second overload test must be performed some weeks after to confirm or rule out diabetes in the pregnant woman. Diabetes disappears after delivery although a yearly check must be carried out through your family doctor to verify it recedes in a normal way.

Second ultrasound: Around week number 20 a second ultrasound is performed. It is the moment in pregnancy where fetal malformations can be more clearly identified. It is not considered an infallible test though, for there is always the possibility they go unnoticed by the specialist. However, this is quite unfrequent.

Third trimester

Blood test: basic blood test. If the woman requests epidural anesthesia during delivery, her blood coagulation must be verified to check it is within normal ranges and to rule out the presence of infectious diseases.

Third ultrasound:In the third ultrasound a normal growth of the baby is verified along with an adequate blood perfusion through the placenta.

Vaginal and rectal exudates: A bacteria that usually grows in the vagina or in the rectum of some women is identified. This bacteria does not affect the mother’s health but the baby is very vulnerable to this bacteria. For this reason, when detected, it must be fought during delivery with antibiotics so that the baby does not get infected during childbirth.

“Women in Spain have the possibility and the support to reach a decision regarding unwanted pregnancies”.

“Go to your referral center if you have decided to stop using contraceptive methods or if you think you can be pregnant”.

“Your midwife or your family doctor will arrange your follow-up visits once the pregnancy is confirmed”.

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