Placenta Drug Testing: Complete Guide 2022

Placenta Drug Testing: Complete Guide 2022


Table Of Contents:

What is Placenta Drug Testing

Placenta drug testing is the practice of testing the placenta for illegal drugs known to pass from the mother to her baby through the umbilical cord via the bloodstream. The placenta is tested for cannabis, cocaine, and methadone after being delivered via a c-section or vaginal delivery before it is thrown away or cremated.

The placenta is removed from the womb and put into a machine that measures its amount of Oxytocin, a hormone secreted by both the mother's and placenta's pituitary glands. When these hormones decrease, it is indicative of drug use.

For example: If a mother uses MMJ for three weeks, her baby will also be exposed to the drug. It is absorbed through the walls of her uterus and accumulated in her baby's bloodstream. Babies are then tested after birth for traces of cannabis in their urine or blood using special equipment that can detect small fragments of drugs in their systems.

What is placenta drug testing used for?

There are many reasons why you may want to have your placenta tested. Still, the most common ones are: You are suspecting an overdose of drugs or other intoxicants in combination with an unsafe level of vitamin and mineral supplementation (that's not necessarily part of a medical protocol). Testing for this is essential if you have a history of being a substance abuser.

Testing for this is essential if you have a history of being a substance abuser. It was catching any infections that might be transmitted from mother to child. This might include diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis B, or hepatitis C.

What are the indications for testing the placenta drug test?

In some cases, placenta drug testing is mandated by law. This is typically the case when a new mother has an addiction or substance disorder that may harm her child. Placenta drug testing is also a common occurrence in custody disputes and can be used as evidence against mothers who have tested positive for illegal substances at birth.

In other cases, a placenta drug test is an option for parents concerned about potentially harmful substances being passed from mother to baby via the placenta and umbilical cord. This form of substance testing may be particularly relevant if the expectant mother has a history of using cannabis and cocaine during pregnancy.

Benefits of conducting placenta drug testing?

Benefits of Placenta Drug Testing

Although placenta drug testing is not a new practice, there has been increased popularity over the past few years, mainly driven by the following benefits

  1. Drug-Free Birth: Overall, placenta drug testing helps ensure that the child does not have to withstand any adverse effects from exposure to substances in utero. This can be particularly useful if there is a family history of substance abuse and addiction or other risk factors for addiction or fetal malformation.
  2. Evidence in Custody Disputes: This is a more controversial reason for conducting a placenta drug test, but it is also essential. Suppose a parent tests positive for drugs at birth, and there are questions surrounding custody rights.
  3. In that case, placenta drug testing can provide evidence of substance abuse during pregnancy and help ensure that the child is not put into an unsafe environment when they leave the hospital.
  4. Peace of Mind for Families: If there is no family history of substance abuse and addiction in the mother, placenta drug testing may be unnecessary. However, some parents may want to be as safe as possible for their baby's health.

How to perform placenta drug testing

The method of placenta testing is usually performed on an outpatient basis at a hospital or medical center. Placenta tests can be conducted in the hospital's prenatal clinic or at your home.

During a traditional drug screening, you will receive a swab sample of your placenta through your cervix, into which a numbing medicine may be applied.

You may also have an internal collection performed if you would otherwise require an invasive procedure to obtain a sample, which involves having either your doctor or obstetrician insert a device or instrument into one of your uterine cavities to extract the tissue.

The process should only take about 10 minutes (if done well), and there's no need for anesthesia.

There is also a device called the Placenta Easy Strip. This method involves placing an over-the-counter strip inside your vagina to collect your placenta's tissue. The process is self-administered and should last for about 20 minutes.

To do any placenta test, be sure to keep that part of your body clean and dry (so as not to contaminate the sample). If you can provide anything — like a piece of gauze or a cotton ball — from the site where you intend to place the model, that could be helpful. This should help ensure accuracy.

How far back does placenta drug testing go?

The placenta drug testing uses six inches of the umbilical cord, connecting the fetus to the placenta. This cord is very rich in stem cells. All these stem cells can absorb blood and other body fluids and can detect any abnormalities.

It has a detection of the window for approx 20 weeks before the birth of a child. That is why it is a good indicator of the status of health and congenital disabilities.

Do they drug test urine samples at prenatal visits?

The drug testing of urine samples indeed became an essential tool in monitoring the status and health of pregnant women during their doctor's visits. This kind of urine testing was also used to detect any infection (like HIV).

It has been one of the first tests used for screening purposes. Still, the placenta test surpasses it (because while a urine sample can only detect drugs or alcohol during a brief period, a placenta test can reveal traces for many months).

Methods for drug testing in the newborn baby

When it comes to babies, the most common form of drug testing is through the umbilical cord and the meconium drug testing.

  1. Umbilical Cord drug testing: Umbilical cord blood screening is a drug test performed during pregnancy. This form of testing is done after the first trimester and has a detection window of around 20 weeks for your baby.
  2. This type of test is also known as a placental drug screen or an umbilical cord blood analysis.
  3. Meconium drug testing: This type of drug testing is done for newborns to check if the parents do not consume some harmful substances. Meconium drug testing is performed on the baby's first bowel movement after birth. The first bowel movement is called the meconium. It is usually black or green and has a tar-like appearance.
  4. If the baby was exposed to drugs during pregnancy, it could take up to two weeks for them to show up in their meconium. Generally, this type of drug testing will show results that are 100% accurate for about three days after birth if there is any drug exposure during pregnancy.
  5. This means that the mother and father should abstain from taking any drugs if they want to get an accurate test result with their new child being born.


Q1. What do placenta drug test results look like?

The results of a placenta drug test can indicate how much risk you are facing if you continue to use drugs during your pregnancy. If traces of drugs are found in your urine or bloodstream, you will be advised that continued use of illegal substances is not advisable and that help is available.

If no trace levels are found in your system, then there is no reason why you should stop using medication prescribed by your doctor. However, if you are still concerned that you may be using drugs, you should speak to your doctor and request a more thorough test. Alternatively, you can hire an independent drug testing service.

Q2. Can I stop taking my medication if I am carrying a placenta drug test result?

If you learn that your placenta contains traces of illegal drugs, you should continue to follow your doctor's recommended guidelines for taking medication during pregnancy. This will ensure that your unborn child receives as much benefit from your medication as possible.

If you are concerned about the potential effects of medication on your unborn child, you should speak with the doctor treating you for your pregnancy and request a blood test to determine any possible side effects.

You must speak to your doctor and remember that there are plenty of support services to help you avoid illegal drug use during pregnancy.

Q3. How long does a placenta drug test remain valid?

A placenta drug test will usually remain valid for between two and seven days. However, this time frame can vary depending on the sample type, the location of the sample on the placenta, and whether or not it has been frozen.

If you plan to undergo a post-natal test, you must refrigerate your sample as soon as possible after birth. This will ensure that any trace amounts of drugs present do not degrade before your screening test can detect them.

Q4. How do I collect a sample for placenta drug testing?

Suppose you are concerned that you or your partner have taken illegal drugs during pregnancy. In that case, you can either request a free test when you attend your first antenatal appointment (or first postnatal visit) or pay for a more comprehensive test with an independent laboratory.

Suppose you are planning to carry out the testing yourself. In that case, it is recommended that you freeze any samples taken immediately and take them to the laboratory as soon as possible. If samples are not frozen and tested quickly, there is a risk that they will degrade before being examined.

If you are undergoing this type of test because your doctor suspects that you are continued illegal drug use during your pregnancy, it may be necessary for them to ask you to provide a sample of urine or blood.

You will usually need to provide a sample at your antenatal appointment and again at a later time. When providing an example, you must avoid certain products as they may hurt the accuracy of your test.

Q5. How to prevent a newborn from drugs?

Newborns are constantly exposed to a lot of things that may harm them. The most common of these are the effects of alcohol, drugs, and chemicals. Once you become pregnant, you need to protect the future of your unborn baby from these harmful substances.

Heavy alcohol use in pregnant women is connected with many health problems. Alcohol and drug use can cause severe congenital disabilities as well as other adverse outcomes for the child. The most important thing is that you should choose a safe way to prevent alcohol, drugs, and chemicals from being transmitted to your baby.

If you believe that your unborn child has been exposed to drugs or alcohol, contact an experienced drug testing company immediately.


Drugs and alcohol are not a good idea while you are pregnant. There is no reason to go ahead with this type of behavior. If you want to have a healthy baby, it is wise to stop this kind of activity that may affect your health and your child's future life.

The placenta drug test is the best way to know whether you or your partner are taking drugs while expecting a child. The results will make sense in the future when you take care of this matter at the right time, instead of trying to skip it on every occasion.

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