Obstetrics is the field of study concentrated on pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period. Dr. Taryll L. Jenkins is a highly sought after gynecologist and obstetrician in Katy. Dr. Jenkins and our team educate women about pregnancy and are beside them during every stage of this critical time in their lives. The obstetrics procedures at Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Medicine include:
Early pregnancy confirmation and ultrasound
Missing a menstrual period, breast tenderness, fatigue, nausea, and food cravings are common early pregnancy signs. There are several ways to confirm early pregnancy from at-home pregnancy tests to laboratory tests. These tests can include urine and blood samples to provide confirmation of pregnancy.
A pregnancy blood test measures the presence of the human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone in the blood or the amount of hCG in the blood. Once the pregnancy is confirmed, we will determine the delivery date. An ultrasound is an exam performed to confirm viable pregnancy. We perform this exam to scan the abdomen and pelvic cavity with sound waves.
During pregnancy, labor, and delivery, we can keep track of the heart rate of a baby with electronic fetal heart monitoring. The heart rate helps us determine the health of the baby. There is external and internal monitoring.
External monitoring involves listening to the heartbeat of the baby with a special stethoscope. Two sensors with elastic belts are placed on the mother’s belly. One sensor uses ultrasound to keep track of the baby’s heart rate whereas the other measures the duration of contractions.
After the mother’s cervix has dilated to at least 2 centimeters and her amniotic sac has ruptured, internal monitoring can be performed. A sensor is attached to the mother’s thigh with a strap, and an electrode from the sensor is inserted through the vagina and cervix into the uterus. The electrode is then attached to the baby’s scalp to monitor the heartbeat.
Genetic counseling and testing
Birth defects affect 1 in 33 babies born in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Therefore, we offer genetic counseling as well as genetic screening tests during the first trimester of pregnancy. One of our first genetic tests involves a blood test and an ultrasound, allowing us to screen for Down syndrome.
We also offer non-invasive prenatal testing screening in the first trimester. Using a blood sample, we measure the relative amount of free fetal DNA in a mother’s blood. This allows us to detect Down syndrome pregnancies and other chromosomal abnormalities. Chorionic villus sampling is offered in the first trimester. Mothers who are 35 or older, have had a positive result on a non-invasive genetic test, and have a family history of disease are offered this test. Down syndrome, cystic fibrosis, and other genetic disorders can be detected with chorionic villus sampling.
We are happy to talk to women about all of the screening and testing options available to help them determine what is best. Regardless of the stage of pregnancy, the Jenkins Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Medicine team can help women in Katy and beyond. We love to meet with expectant mothers to discuss their goals and answer any questions they may have about their pregnancies.