Planning? Don’t Miss your Pre-Conception Check Up!
Pregnancy planning is important because it allows you to get your health on track so that the baby’s health can follow suit. While you make the necessary changes to your diet and lifestyle with long-term goals in mind, you must also visit your doctor for pre-conception check-ups.
What issues are dealt with at a pre-conception check-up?
- Pre-conception appointments with your doctor will help you discuss family history of genetic disorders and plan accordingly.
- They also give you an opportunity to tell your doctor about any medical conditions you might be dealing with. Keep your medical history ready so that the doctor is able to guide you effectively. With the right care, many chronic conditions can be prevented from interfering with a healthy pregnancy.
- Ensure that you mention to your doctor any medication you might be taking. Some of these are harmful to the baby’s development and health, so you would want to stay off certain medicines as long as it is required.
- At the same time, you will receive guidance regarding lifestyle choices, nutrition plans and exercise routines. For instance, your doctor would prescribe folic acid supplements which can prevent birth defects in the baby’s brain and spine.
- With regard to the actual pregnancy, your doctor will tell you when to stop taking birth control pills and how much of a gap to take before you start trying to have a baby. Your doctor will suggest the best time to conceive every month depending on the menstrual cycle.
- Additional information such as recent travel history is also relevant because then your doctor will know if there is a risk of your pregnancy.
What tests are done at a pre-conception check-up?
Other than specific pre-pregnancy tests, other standard screenings are done as with any regular check-up. Some of them are:
- A Pap test
- A urine test to check for urinary tract infection (UTI) or kidney disease
- Screening for gynaecological conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), irregular menstrual cycle, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, fibroids and cysts, etc., that may interfere with your attempts to get pregnant and sometimes lead to infertility.
- Mental health screening for problems such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders, eating disorders etc. since they can increase the risk of mood disorders during and after pregnancy.
- A blood test to check for haemoglobin, vitamin D, Rh factor, thyroid function, STDs, immunity to rubella, chicken pox, cytomegalovirus, etc.
- Include a separate dental check-up in the list because gum disease is associated with complications such as preterm labour, preeclampsia, and gestational diabetes.
- The semen analysis test to check the quality and quantity of sperms and also the semen.
- Herpes test for the couple even though there was no sign of the symptoms before.
- Blood test to check progesterone levels around day 21 of the cycle to confirm ovulation.
- FSH and Estradiol testing to determine the number of eggs in ovaries.
- AMH testing for the anti-mullerian hormone.
- Testosterone to test male hormones.
- A standard physical exam to measure height, weight, and blood pressure.
Apart from these physical issues, it is of equal importance to discuss emotional and social history. If there are incidents of violence in your family, report them to the doctor so that he can direct you to institutions that provide assistance and take remedial measures. Do all you can to create not just a physically healthy environment but also a mentally safe one into which your baby can come crying and kicking. Visit Apollo Diagnostics for accurate and timely reports.