Pregnancy & Prenatal Testing

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First Trimester: Urine Culture for Asymptomatic Bacteriuria

Several organizations, including the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), recommend that pregnant women be screened for asymptomatic bacteriuria using a urine culture between 12 and 16 weeks gestation or at the first prenatal visit, if later (ACOG recommends first prenatal visit and repeated in the third trimester).

Asymptomatic bacteriuria in pregnancy is diagnosed when significant amounts of bacteria are found by urine culture but the woman is not experiencing any symptoms associated with a urinary tract infection, such as pain or urgency to urinate. This condition occurs in approximately 2%-14% of pregnant women in the U.S. and can lead to more serious kidney infection as well as increases the risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight. Treatment with appropriate antibiotics is advised.