An obstetrician-gynecologist explains:
With every single day the fetus becomes more and more similar to a human being.
All systems of the body have already been formed. Only in a couple of weeks the male and female genitalia will become distinguishable. The placenta completely assumed the function of progesterone production.
Fetal liver begins to secrete bile, the intestines also makes the first attempt to operate, as there are observed periodic reductions.
During the ultrasound examination a doctor may notice how a child makes acrobatic tricks. By the end of the week the growth of the baby is 61 mm, weight 15 grams, and looks like a hen’s egg.
An unpleasant symptomatology during the first few weeks of pregnancy is gradually disappearing. If there was no vomiting, then there may be observed the increase of weight in average 2 kg – it is 10% of the total weight gain expected by the end of pregnancy.
After in vitro fertilization the maintenance therapy with progesterone drugs is either completely canceled nor continued up to 16 weeks.
In the 12th week of pregnancy it is necessary to pass the first screening to eliminate the possibility of genetic diseases of the fetus (Edwards, Down syndromes, etc). It consists of two studies – a combined test and ultrasound. To carry out the combined test it is necessary to hand over a blood on an empty stomach in order to determine the levels of hCG and PAPP.
HCG – human chorionic gonadotropin, a hormone secreted by the placenta throughout pregnancy. Papp (pregnancy-associated plasma protein-A) is produced by the fetal trophoblast.
At low PAPP levels it is possible to suspect some genetic abnormalities, but only in relation to the level of hCG and the conclusion of SPL. The fact is that approximately in 5% of cases the test may give a false-positive result, i.e. Papp is lowered, but no fetal pathology is observed. Increasing the level of this protein is not dangerous, and indicates to the fact that the baby is developing strong and healthy.
During the ultrasound examination particular attention is drawn to the size of the nuchal translucency (neck wrinkles), which normally can be up to 2.4-2.7 mm, and the size of the nasal bones. Hypoplasia of the nasal bone and the increase in the size of nuchal translucency may indicate for Down syndrome. The decrease in the value of free b-hCG indicates for trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome), screening at this period can still determine the neural tube defect.
In case of deviations in the results of the first screening a pregnant woman is sent for consultation to a geneticist. “