Health authorities to give free pre-pregnancy tests

Health authorities to give free pre-pregnancy testsShenzhen city health authorities are considering implementing free pre-pregnancy test for resident hukou holders and those with residence permits, in hopes to encourage more women to take the tests. The health authority will announce the policy as soon as its implemented.

The free test is aimed to help reduce birth defects ans is important for women planning to have babies, a doctor at the Children and Maternity Hospital said. The test usually costs 500 to 1,000 yuan and only a few women can afford to take the tests. Unlike the pre-marriage tests, the pre-pregnacy test is to examined for infectious diseases and is best for women to take the test at least three to six months before planning a pregnancy.

Statistics showed that there are about 800,000 to 1.2 million babies being born in China every year that have birth defects, and between 30 to 40 percents of of this babies die soon after birth and 40 percent of them are left permanently disabled.

1 Comment for “Health authorities to give free pre-pregnancy tests”

  1. A clip from e-zine on pre-pregnancy tests: http://ezinearticles.com/?A-Must-For-Every-Women-To-Know—Pre-Pregnancy-Tests&id=1202497:

    Here’s a brief description of the types of tests your doctor might order:

    Serum Progesterone Blood Test

    This test is done to confirm that you are ovulating. Blood samples are drawn in the middle of the luteal phase (that is, on day 21 of a 28day cycle). If the progesterone level is significantly elevated, it’s likely that you’re ovulating. More often, however, your doctor will assume that your irregular cycles indicate an ovulation problem, and will order a more extensive blood test.

    Prolactin Blood Test

    Prolactin is a hormone that inhibits ovulation in nursing mothers. If you have excessively high levels of prolactin, you may have a benign, pituitary tumor, in which case your doctor may refer you for further tests, such as a CAT scan.

    Thyroid Hormone Blood Test

    Abnormal amounts of thyroid hormone can indicate that you have problems with your thyroid. Women with under active thyroid glands (hypothyroidism) are prone to menstrual and ovulation disorders. Those with overactive thyroids (hyperthyroidism) have more variable menstrual patterns but can become seriously ill if the condition is not recognized and treated during pregnancy.

    Blood Tests for Other Reproductive Hormones

    Depending on the results of your medical history and your physical examination (your degree of menstrual irregularity, if any, or any problems with excessive body hair growth, for example), your doctor may need to obtain specific hormone levels to uncover a variety of endocrinologic conditions. This may involve testing at specific times of the cycle or testing after receiving certain medications.

    Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

    A hysterosalpingogram is used to determine whether any damage has occurred to your fallopian tubes. It involves filling your reproductive tract with a special type of dye that shows up on X-rays. The test which is conducted during the follicular phase involves inserting dye into your uterus through a tube that is placed through your cervix. If one or both of your tubes are blocked, the dye will outline where the obstruction lies. If only one tube appears to be blocked, it may simply be due to the fact that the open tube provided the pathway of least resistance to the dye. An HSG can also be useful in identifying the locations of any scarring or growths such as fibroids in your uterus Some women particularly those with blocked tubes find this procedure to be quite painful, so you might want to talk with your doctor about the advisability of taking a pain medication prior to the procedure. Note: The value of HSG as a diagnostic tool is clear. What is more controversial is whether the procedure can actually enhance fertility. There has long been an anecdotal claim among doctors treating infertile patients that there is a blip in the fertility curve in the months following HSG. Studies have demonstrated, however, that this enhancement is seen only with the use of oil-based dyes and not with water-soluble dyes.

    Endometrial Biopsy

    An endometrial biopsy can confirm whether you’re ovulating and indicate whether your endometrial tissue is sufficiently hospitable to allow a fertilized egg to implant. The biopsy is taken within several days of when you are expected to start menstruating. The doctor inserts a speculum in your vagina and cleanses your cervix, and then a tissue sample is removed from the uterine lining through a combination of suction and gentle scraping. If you’re concerned that this procedure may cause a miscarriage in the event that you have managed to conceive, you may find it reassuring to know that the odds of having an endometrial biopsy cause a miscarriage are extremely small. If you are worried about this possibility, you might choose to use some sort of contraceptive during the cycle in which the endometrial biopsy will be taken or plan to undergo a sensitive blood pregnancy test the day before the procedure to determine whether you are, in fact, pregnant.


    Laparoscopy is a test designed to detect obstructions in your fallopian tubes. It’s considerably more high-tech and risky than an HSG, however, and can provide more detailed information. The test involves inserting a fiber-optic scope into your abdomen to look for damage caused by endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, or adhesions from any pelvic surgery, and to look for physical evidence that you are ovulating. You need to go under general anesthetic to have the procedure, and you may experience some soreness in your abdomen and shoulders afterward.


    A hysteroscopy also involves inserting a fiber-optic scope into the body, but in this case, it is inserted into the uterus through the cervix. It is used to detect abnormal growths or anatomical defects in your uterus when your HSG suggests that these may play a role in your fertility problems.

    Postcoital Test

    The postcoital test is used to assess what happens once the sperm make it inside the vagina. You are asked to have sexual intercourse just before you expect to ovulate and to show up at your doctor’s office at a designated time some 2 to 16 hours later. The doctor then uses a syringe or pipette to extract at least two samples of cervical mucus from the cervical canal, and examines it under a microscope to determine how many sperm are alive and swimming. The test can show whether your mucus is inhospitable to your partner’s sperm; it can also suggest whether there are antibodies in either your body or your partner’s body that are interfering with sperm production or killing sperm; and whether the root of the problem is the fact that sperm is not being deposited closely enough to the cervix (as can be the case if the male partner experiences premature ejaculation). As you might expect, many couples dislike having to have sexual intercourse upon demand and then rush off to the laboratory. That’s why many doctors encourage couples to make love the night before and then come into the laboratory the next morning. If you fail the postcoital test, you will likely be asked to repeat it to ensure that the problem lies with you and your partner, not with the timing.


    Ultrasound is used during the basic infertility evaluation only if the internal or pelvic exam is inconclusive or significant abnormalities are suspected. Sometimes a saline solution is injected into the uterus in order to get a better look at the uterine interior, where problems such as polyps and fibroids may be seen. When this is done, the procedure is known as sonohysterography or hysterosonography.

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