The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

The tests you will have depend on your symptoms, medical history, and how far along you are in your pregnancy. Your doctor may do the following tests to find out whether you or your developing baby has an infection:

  • Blood test—Your blood is checked for the number of white blood cells and the presence of antibodies. Antibodies are proteins that your body has made to fight an infection.
  • Culture—The doctor will gently swab your rectum and/or cervix and vagina to see if an infection is present. The swab will then be examined under a microscope.
  • Ultrasound —A device held over the abdomen will bounces sound waves off the uterus and your developing baby. The sound waves make electrical impulses that create a picture of the baby on a video monitor. This helps the doctor check for any fetal abnormalities that might indicate an infection (usually viral) in the mother.
  • Urinalysis—This is a test to check for bacteria in the urine. After you urinate into a cup, your healthcare provider will use a specially treated paper strip to check for bacteria in the urine. Urine can also be sent to a laboratory for identification of specific bacteria.
  • Chest x-ray —A test that uses radiation to take a picture of structures inside the chest. An abdominal shield is used to protect your developing baby
  • Amniocentesis—A test that removes a sample of the fluid surrounding your baby. Rarely, this fluid may be examined to determine if you have chorioamnionitis.