Are you planning to start a family? Do you know how to prepare for pregnancy? What tests do you need to undergo? Starting a family is a big decision, and there’s no greater joy than doing that! However, it is important you know that your unborn baby’s health doesn’t just depend on your diet and lifestyle during pregnancy, but also before that.
A preconception checkup is essential. You may wonder what a preconception checkup is. Is it really needed? What happens during the checkup? Read this post and get the answers to these questions here.
What Is A Preconception Checkup?
As the term suggests, a preconception checkup is a general health checkup that doctors conduct before you decide to try for a baby. In most cases, doctors or healthcare practitioners perform these checkups, but you can also consult your gynecologist for any specific issues. (1)
Why Is It Important?
A Preconception Checkup is essential, and prenatal care usually begins way before you decide to try for a baby. Unfortunately, many remain unaware about preconception checkups. A preconception checkup can improve your chances of becoming pregnant and may also reduce the risk of your baby having birth defects while ensuring that you experience a healthy pregnancy and give birth to a healthy baby. (2)
A preconception checkup or health checkup before pregnancy can help you prepare an in-depth to-do list to prepare for your upcoming baby. If you smoke, the checkup can also help you determine some good ways to quit smoking to ensure that your unborn baby has no complications.
If you are on medications, you might want to switch to fertility-friendly options. This checkup helps you tackle any general health issues that could come in the way of your pregnancy and your unborn baby’s health.
What Happens During A Preconception Checkup?
So you’re all set for the preconception checkup, and you are curious to know what’s going to happen. Here’s a roadmap of what you can expect during your pre pregnancy checkup.
- Blood Test:
Doctors conduct blood tests to detect any conditions that may have an impact on pregnancy. They specifically check for the Rh factor, hemoglobin count, blood titer counts for conditions like rubella, cytomegalovirus, and chicken pox.
- Body Weight:
Your doctor will also make a note of your body weight to understand your BMI better and accordingly put forth a diet plan, which will help you stay healthy during pregnancy.
- Thyroid Function:
Untreated thyroid disorders can negatively impact pregnancy and doctors usually examine thyroid functions to determine whether you have any thyroid problems.
- Medication Review:
As mentioned above, if you are already on medications and supplements, your doctor can look through them and suggest medications that do not impact your fertility or pregnancy in a negative way.
- Immunization Review:
An immunization review usually tells the doctor if you need any vaccinations.
[ Read: Things To Do Before Getting Pregnant ]
- Pap Smear:
Doctors recommend a pap smear during your preconception checkup unless you’ve already had one recently.
- Breast, Pelvic and Abdominal Exam:
Doctors also conduct a pelvic, abdominal and breast examination to check the general health of these areas.
- Urine Test:
Your doctor might suggest a urine test to check for the occurrence of urinary tract infections.
- Other Tests:
Doctors carry out other tests like checking for uterine fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome, irregular periods, endometriosis, polyps or sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia.
Apart from these, the doctor may also check for other pre-existing medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, etc. to understand how you could deal with these conditions while you are pregnant.
We hope this article helped you understand why a preconception checkup is essential. Did you find this article informative? Let us know in the comments box below.
- The First Prenatal Visit – What To Expect?
- 20 Best Pre Pregnancy Tips For The Mom To Be
- 10 Foods Which Can Improve Your Chances Of Getting Pregnant
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