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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just curious if anyone on the board has chosen to skip checking for protein in urine during pregnancy? And, give me the reasons why.

This is just simple curiosity on my part. I am not here to judge. Having had pre-eclampsia and seeing others around me have it (very severe cases with bad outcomes) it is beyond my comprehension as to why any woman would choose not to do this simple test whether having professional prenatal care or doing primarily self care.
 

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Nobody's offered me such a test. It's not that I am choosing to forgo it, but my practice (OBs and midwives) don't seem to do routine urine tests. When is it usually done?
 

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I usually do regular home urine tests... just because I am VERY prone to bladder infections and I have hardly any symptoms until it is already pretty bad. Had a prem baby due to this.

I just get the sticks and use them once a week. Works well for me.
 

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if i had any symptoms test, but the only routine tests I'm doing with my HB midwife are GBS and a blood test and a modified GD test. I agreed to those in case I was transferred to the hospital it would make things smoother.
 

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I had no symptoms but found out my kidneys were failing due to "pregnancy-induced nephritis." Felt fine, bp was fine, but a big surprise with the urine test when I was spilling protein. I had to deliver early to save my kidneys. The test was just pee in a cup before you go into see the doc, and they put a stick into the cup.
 

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My midwife and OB both use the pee sticks at every visit (well, midwife has me do it).

I spilled protein in my urine once when I wasn't drinking enough water, so I think it is useful to let you know that there's *some* issue to look into, whether it be as simple as not enough water or something much more serious. Doesn't bother me any. Although for pre-e, there would be other signs as well, so if you saw the other signs, you could then test urine, or just go straight to blood tests, I would assume.
 

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After I was diagnosed with PIH and was considered borderline for gestational diabetes, toward the end, my swelling was terrible and they tested every week for protein. They did the labs in house, so the cost wasn't as great from an insurance standpoint. I am glad that I was tested because, after a month of bed rest, it put my mind at ease to know I was safe and my baby was safe, and it ultimately led to the decision on my OB's part to deliver early.
 

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My MW hasn't offered any urine tests or asked me to do any at home.
I wouldn't be opposed to them, but I'm not feeling the need to ask for them either, so no tests for me so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the responses. As I said before I was just curious. I had read an article (don't remember exactly where) where the author wasn't convinced they were completely necessary during pregnancy. This just floored me.

As for the frequency of the tests. When pregnant w/DS I had a urine test at every visit (I had pre-natal care done through our general practitioner). With DD I went to an OB and he didn't start checking until later....I would say around 28 weeks. Keep in mind that both of my pregnancies started to have problems at about that time. And, the only time the OB got worried was around week 35 when my bp was 160/105 and I was spilling protein. This was a Thursday. Next appt was Monday. He said take it easy over the weekend, drink lots of water, stay out of the heat and I'll give it until Monday to correct itself and....it did (both bp and protein). So he didn't go spastic over just one reading. I liked that.
 

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I don't do them, some research has showed that they aren't evidence based. I also have no need for them since I don't have a MW for this pg, but when I have had a MW for previous pg's, they didn't offer them either.
 

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it's such a non-invasive way to check on how your body is handling things, that I don't understand "not" doing it. Perhaps it's not 100% accurate, but nothing is. Spilling protein by itself isn't a problem. High BP by itself doesn't *prove* anything. But both together on an ongoing basis (plus other signs, such as excessive swelling), may mean that you should evaluate your diet and water intake ... and if that doesn't change anything, then further tests might be indicated. How is that a bad idea?

OB tested every time with DD1. HB MW provided dip stick every time with DD2 and this pregnancy. I think it would concern me if that type of testing was not offered. If I were doing UC, I'd consider them important, too.

Similarly, the GD test is routinely performed, but I think that there is little evidence to back that up. However, I chose to do glucose monitoring for 3 weeks instead of the fasting blood test. It was a much more realistic measure of how my body was tolerating sugar. Results from it helped me make informed decisions about my diet.

--janis
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I forgot to mention earlier....what is really fun is the 24 hour urine test. For the ones who haven't experienced this...you collect all of your "output" for 24 hours. If your results come back high for protein the docs (or at least mine did) started going spastic real quick.
 

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We do urine checks at the appointments here, I do remember someone who lived overseas saying that they don't do them there unless there is other medical indication. There's also some other things that they don't do overseas (like weekly weights) that they do here in the US.

The results unfortunately aren't even that accurate really. As it can be very variable based on your hydration levels, etc. I believe other things can cause protein as well, like infections etc. Usually they start doing blood tests if they get concerned.
 
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