During your pregnancy, you have regularly scheduled prenatal visits, which could start at 8 or 12 weeks, followed by a 16-week appointment, and continued regularly scheduled appointments through your pregnancy.

Usually at your 8-week appointment you’re getting tons of information and literature to read about your pregnancy, including prenatal and genetic testing. You may find the PreTRM patient education brochure in a “mommy” packet given to you at this visit or materials given to you directly from your healthcare providers.  If not, let us know and we’ll follow-up directly with the practice to ensure they have patient education materials on premature birth and the PreTRM test.

The ideal visit to talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about premature birth and the PreTRM test is at your 12-week appointment, after you’ve had a chance to absorb all the materials from your 8-week visit and can come up for air. Here are some specific questions to ask:

  • How common is premature birth?
  • What are the common risk factors for premature birth?
  • If I don’t have any of these risk factors does that mean I won’t have a premature baby?
  • If I do have one or more of these risk factors, does that mean I will have a premature baby?
  • What are the health risks to my baby if I have a premature birth?
  • What can I do to make sure I’m doing everything I can to have a full-term baby?

While a previous preterm birth or a shortened cervix are the traditional methods by which a doctor will know if you’re at increased risk, more than 80% of women with a history of premature birth have neither had a prior preterm birth nor a short cervix. For these 80%, there is only one-way your doctor can know your individual risk for having a premature baby and that is with a blood test called the PreTRM test.

Since your blood is drawn at the 19 or 20th week of pregnancy,  a discussion about the test during your 12-week visit allows you to notify your doctor at the 16-week appointment about the decision to have, or not have, the test. To take it, your healthcare provider will complete a PreTRM test request form (TRF) for you to take to a LabCorp patient service center where you’ll have your blood drawn. If you’d like to take a test request form with you on your next visit, just call or text us at 801-990-6600 and we’ll send you one.  It needs to be signed by your physician and we’ll walk you through the process when you contact us.

After you have your blood drawn, LabCorp sends the sample to our lab to run the test. Within two weeks of having your blood drawn, we’ll send the results to your physician who will review the test results with you at your next appointment.  Click here to see a sample of the test results.

Even if you don’t think the PreTRM test is right for you, please take the time to talk to your doctor about premature birth, understand the risk factors for premature birth, and know the signs and symptoms of premature labor.

If you’d like to understand more about premature birth and the PreTRM test, click here to download our PreTRM test guide.  The test has a self-pay price of $945, which is similar to other complex biomarker tests. You’ll pay for the test at the time of your blood draw.