You and your child will receive comprehensive care through the statutory check-ups conducted during pregnancy. You can find out which services are included in the statutory provision of care on our ‘Health checks for expectant mothers’ page. We want to ensure that you get the best care during pregnancy and have peace of mind, so as a mother-to-be we cover a range of additional screenings that go beyond the statutory minimum. You decide which of the following examinations are important to you, and receive up to 100 euros from us towards the cost.
This test shows whether an expectant mother has been infected with toxoplasmosis and whether there is a risk of it being transmitted to the baby. Toxoplasmosis is an infectious disease caused by parasites. It is not considered dangerous to adults, but it can be harmful to unborn children. Infection with toxoplasmosis pathogens can cause severe developmental damage in unborn babies, which can lead to miscarriage. Infection usually occurs from contact with cats, food that has not been fully cooked, raw meat or unwashed fruit or vegetables. The toxoplasmosis test determines whether the expectant mother has already produced antibodies against the infectious disease. This antibody testing is normally conducted by a laboratory on behalf of your gynaecologist.
Cytomegalovirus test (CMV test)
This test shows whether the pregnant woman has been infected with cytomegalovirus, a herpes virus. The first infection with this virus rarely causes any symptoms, so the disease often goes undetected. However, if the immune system is already weakened, the disease breaks out and the patient will experience the symptoms of a cold or a flu-like infection. In healthy people, the body create antibodies, resulting in lifelong immunity.
An acute infection is only dangerous in pregnancy, as the pathogens can cross the umbilical cord to the unborn child. This can lead to miscarriage or damage to the child.
Group B streptococcus test
The group B streptococcus test reveals whether the subject has been infected with group B streptococcus. Group B streptococci settle in the vagina and bowel, so pregnant women may transfer the bacteria to their child during birth. As such, it is important to have the test carried out shortly before birth, so that the pregnant woman can be treated with antibiotics if necessary. This treatment can be given even a matter of hours before childbirth. If the child shows signs of infection, antibiotics may also be given to the newborn.
Detection of chickenpox and slapped cheek syndrome
Slapped cheek syndrome and chickenpox are common childhood illnesses. However, they can be dangerous to babies during pregnancy, as they cannot yet form their own antibodies. Slapped cheek syndrome and chickenpox are caused by viruses and are transmitted from person to person as an airborne infection. As a result, most people in Germany already have the antibodies for these diseases.
Nuchal translucency scan
This additional examination allows you to determine the risk of a genetic disease or other birth defects. An ultrasound device measures the thickness of the fluid cushion on the unborn child’s neck. The doctor uses this to calculate the likelihood of Down syndrome or another chromosomal defects. The nuchal translucency scan is a low-risk alternative to the PrenaTest or the Harmony test, which are considered to be personalised healthcare services, and are therefore conducted at the patient’s own expense.
Please note: the cytomegalovirus test (CMV test), group B streptococcus test and the check for chickenpox and slapped cheek syndrome antibodies are new services from 2018. As such, an allowance for such services is only granted if they were provided on or after 1 January 2018.