Have you made the decision to have a baby? There are many things you need to think about if you want a smooth pregnancy and healthy baby. Have you started to look at your lifestyle and plan to take folic acid in advance? There are a number of infections which unfortunately affect many pregnant women that could potentially cause harm to the unborn baby.

At Cosmopolitan Medical we believe in taking every single precaution in order to reduce the risk of any complications during pregnancy. Our pre-pregnancy screening tests are specifically tailored to help identify any potential threat so it can be dealt with, even before you get pregnant.

Immunity screenings

Rubella (German measles)

An infection which is caused by the rubella virus. Rubella usually causes a mild illness. However, it can cause serious damage to the unborn child of a pregnant woman. Rubella immunisation is routinely given to children (as part of the MMR vaccine), but there are more and more children not being vaccinated. Unfortunately, this has caused an increased incidence of rubella infection.

Even if you have had a rubella immunisation, or have had rubella, there is still a small chance that your body has not made enough antibodies against the rubella virus to protect you. If you catch rubella in the first four months of pregnancy, it can seriously affect your baby’s sight and hearing, as well as causing brain and heart defects. The only way to check whether the immunisation has worked is to have a test to check your rubella antibody level. Because the congenital rubella syndrome is so important to avoid, if you are thinking about becoming pregnant for the first time, you should have a blood test to check that you are protected.

Women should have a blood test to check if they are immune to rubella, before their first pregnancy.

Chicken pox (Varicella)

Chicken pox is a mild and common childhood illness that most children catch at some point, but adults can get it too. Chicken pox tends to be more severe in adults than children, and adults have a higher risk of developing complications. It causes a rash of red, itchy spots that turn into fluid-filled blisters. They then crust over to form scabs, which eventually drop off.

Catching chicken pox during pregnancy can cause serious complications, both for the pregnant woman (including lung problems, septicaemia and meningitis) and the unborn baby. The unborn baby can develop fetal varicella syndrome (FVS) causing scarring, eye defects, bladder or bowel problems, shortened arms and legs or brain damage. It is also possible that your baby may be born prematurely. If you catch chickenpox after 36 weeks, the baby may be infected and could be born with chicken pox.

Women should have a blood test to check if they are immune to chicken pox, before their first pregnancy.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

If you are HIV positive, it is possible to transmit the virus to your baby during pregnancy and after birth.

Women should have a test to check if they are carrying the HIV infection before their pregnancy. If detected early enough, treatment can be started early and precautions can be taken to reduce the risk of passing the virus on to your baby.


Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the bacterium chlamydia trachomatis. It is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the UK, often causes no symptoms, and can be passed on to others including your baby without you realising. Research suggests that 50% of men and 70-80% of women don’t get symptoms at all with a chlamydia infection.

The infection can cause complications in pregnancy and for newborn babies. Chlamydia is linked to miscarriage, amniotic fluid infection and premature labour. It can also be passed to your baby during birth, causing eye infections or pneumonia in the baby.

Women should have a test to check if they are carrying the chlamydia infection before their pregnancy. If picked up whilst pregnant, the treatment options may be limited and not as effective if treated before getting pregnant.

Pre-pregnancy screening packages

These specialist packages are offered at Cosmopolitan Medical to assist mums to be who are planning to start a family. These tests are carried out before conception, so that we can give peace of mind that Individuals are in good health and some protection can been provided during future pregnancies.

Having these tests before conception not only provides reassurance. It also allows the individual to be vaccinated against diseases such as rubella and chicken pox, or be successfully treated for chlamydia before conception, all of which can be extremely harmful to unborn children. Currently the NHS, with your consent, will take blood samples at your first midwives appointment for HIV and rubella. These tests are free on the NHS after you have become pregnant. However, when you are pregnant, you cannot receive live vaccinations such as varicella (chicken pox) or rubella. If you are aware in advance of pregnancy, courses of vaccinations can be completed, providing sufficient immunity.

Please note that blood results can take up to 4 working days to return. If courses of vaccinations are recommended it will be advised to delay conception for approximately 4 months, allowing time for vaccinations to be administered and a 3 month gap to occur between last vaccination and conception.



Rubella immunity

Chickenpox immunity

Chlamydia screening

HIV screening



Rubella immunity

Chickenpox immunity

Chlamydia screening

HIV screening



Rubella immunity

Chickenpox immunity

Chlamydia screening

HIV screening

In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) blood tests

If you have been accepted for NHS IVF treatment, registered for private IVF or are seeking treatment abroad, one of the requirements for one or both individuals (please refer to you consultant) is pre-conception screening.

This usually consists of the following tests:

  • HIV 1&2 p24 antigen
  • Hepatitis B surface antigen
  • Hepatitis C antibodies
  • Hepatitis C antigen
  • Syphilis IgG / IgM
  • Varicella (chicken pox) immunity

These tests are carried out privately at Cosmopolitan Medical Clinic and most of the results will be available the next day. You will receive a confirmation via email (if requested) and an official hard copy for you and your consultant allowing your treatment to process to continue. Please note we are not IVF / infertility specialists and cannot offer conception programmes.