Pregnancy Examinations Which Are Really Useful?


Additional investigations during pregnancy: Many women doctors offer this. But how useful are the paid tests? An overview.

Down syndrome, chickenpox, toxoplasmosis: Many pregnant women make extratests at the vet to minimize the risk of certain diseases. But must these many tests really be? And how much security do they offer to pregnant women?


IGeL services on the test bench

Services, which are paid extra for the female physician, are called IGeL services. IGeL stands for individual health services . These medical examinations must be paid privately. But they are not uncontroversial. The Medical Service of the German Federation of Health Insurance Funds (MGS) assesses many of these cost-tested tests as negative on its IGeL monitor .


Important investigations cover the basic supply

Those who are pregnant are already receiving a very good basic care in Germany, as far as medical examinations are concerned. Some of them have already become obligatory services from an earlier voluntary service. This applies, for example, to the diabetes test. If unusual values ​​or symptoms appear during pregnancy, many tests are made in addition, which are not chargeable.

These IGeL services are offered during pregnancy

First-trimester screening

What’s the matter? With this study chromosomal disturbances are to be detected. Trisomy 21, 18 and 13 are thereby noticed. Other malformations can also be diagnosed. What studies are actually included is not precisely defined. Some physicians also measure the nakedness (which is often referred to as a neck fold measurement).

Costs:  If it is only a bareback analysis, it costs about 30 euros. More extensive tests vary between 150 and 250 euros.

Assessment: The 70% -80% Trisomy-21 cases, the Down syndrome, can be detected in the early pregnancy by means of the neck-transparency analysis. If further blood tests of the pregnant women are added, the probability of a more accurate diagnosis increases.

If the results are positive in the nakedness analysis , the pregnant woman has to decide whether she wants to make a fruit water puncture. However, the risk of a miscarriage lies between 0.5 and 2 percent.

Additional diabetes test

What’s the matter?  According to the German Diabetes Association (DDG) around 24,000 pregnant women are affected by a pregnancy diabetes . Experts suspect a far higher number, which is not recognized. A test with 50 grams of glucose is already paid by the coffers. It is, however, a voluntary investigation which is often not taken up. Doctors also offer a more detailed test with 75 grams of glucose.

Cost: The test costs about 20 euros.

Assessment: The 50-gram glucose test reimbursed by the coffers is considered to be sufficient to detect pregnancy diabetes.

Toxoplasmosis Test

What’s the matter? Toxoplasms are germs that adults usually can not wear. In a fetus, however, these germs can lead to serious damage . Pregnant women can protect themselves when they pay attention to hygiene when they are in contact with cats and consume only the meat they eat.

Costs: between 14 and 16 euros.

Assessment: In case of a specific suspicion of toxoplasmosis , this study is a cash transaction . Overall, this test is rated rather negatively because the study situation has not yet been conclusively clarified.

Detection on B streptococci

What’s the matter? B-streptococcal women do not feel when they are infected with it. If the child is infected during pregnancy, the risk of lung or brain inflammation increases with the baby .

Cost: 10 to 23 euros for the smear.


Evaluation: Many clinics recommend these examinations. Women who are at an increased risk for premature babies are already receiving regular delivery .

Cytomegalovirus infection test

What’s the matter? Cytomegalovirus (MV) are among the herpes viruses. Many adults are already immune as they have already been infected. Problem is only a new infection during pregnancy .

Costs: 10 to 15 euros.

Rating: Rather not recommendable. The Joint Federal Committee of Doctors and Health Funds (GBA) does not advocate an interantional screening. Problematic: Therapy is not possible during pregnancy. This increases only the uncertainty in the pregnant woman .


What’s the matter? If pregnant women suffer from the rubella virus , this can have a dangerous effect on the child.  It is possible to damage the heart, liveror lethal course in the fetus. A blood test can determine during pregnancy whether the mother is ill. In Germany, about eight percent of women of childbearing age lack this protection. Doctors therefore advise against vaccination before a planned pregnancy.


Costs:  between 15 and 30 euros.

Rating: This review is not recommended. Because there is no therapy against it . Pregnant nurses who are specifically dealing with children should not work during pregnancy.


What’s the matter? A blood test is used to search for chickenpox antibodies . In the early pregnancy the viruses can lead to rare malformations or to a miscarriage. An infection of the child around the birth date can also be fatal.

Costs:  between 15 and 30 euros.

Rating: If the pregnant woman had a chickenpox as a child , the test is superfluous. Pregnant women who have not been vaccinated as a child or have not had an infection should be examined after contact with an infected child , advises the Robert Koch Institute .

Additional ultrasound images and 3D ultrasound

What’s the matter? From the coffers are paid three ultrasound images . But some parents are so curious that they are happy to get more insights. Particularly popular are the new 3D examinations, on which one can already see clear facial features .

Cost:  A normal ultrasound examination is available from about 35 euros. 3D examinations can cost up to 200 euros.

Assessment:  Although the Medical Service of the Federation of Health Insurance Funds (MDS) does not reject the investigation as it is harmless, it does not consider these 3-D investigations to be superfluous. Three conventional ultrasound examinations , which are also paid for by the coffers, are perfectly adequate.


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