Pre-Pregnancy Tests and Checks: An Essential Guide
5 Apr 2022
pre-pregnancy fertility conception health

Pre-pregnancy tests and check-ups are highly recommended for women who are planning to conceive. They are not only important for your health, but also for the well-being of your future child.

Why is a pre-pregnancy checkup important?
  1. Pre-conception and fertility tests help in detecting any health problems you were unaware of, what deficiencies you need to work on, and any complications you need to be aware of.
  2. A pre-pregnancy test is also important if one is already suffering from any sort of medical condition. Some medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity etc. can affect one’s fertility. Thus, one should be prepared to talk about their medical history, as well as their spouse’s.
  3. It helps the medical care provider in understanding whether your body is ready for the pregnancy and also helps in managing health conditions.
  4. The provider can also advise in case of any changes required in lifestyle, so that you can have a healthy conception and pregnancy

It is advisable to get a pre-pregnancy checkup even if one has had a baby earlier, as your health may have changed since the last pregnancy. Also, women who have faced problems in past pregnancy such as premature birth, genital defects in the baby, miscarriage and/or stillbirth, must let the medical provider know about it as the same problem can be avoided in the next pregnancy.

So, make sure to book an appointment with the doctor before going ahead with conception.

What happens at a pre-pregnancy checkup?

At a pre-pregnancy checkup, the doctor or provider –

  1. Checks your overall health and gives you an overall physical checkup, like checking your weight, blood pressure and more.

  2. Asks about your and your partner’s family health history – If you have any genetic condition running in your family, they will give you advice to see a genetic counsellor.

  3. Clears all your queries regarding pregnancy, best time to try conceiving and what to expect during pregnancy.

  4. Gives guidance on when to stop using birth control pills before trying to conceive.

  5. Gives you a pelvic exam to make sure your pelvic organs i.e., vagina, cervix, uterus and ovaries are healthy. Even if you are diagnosed with any problem, it can be treated before conceiving preventing problems during pregnancy.

  6. Gives you a list of blood tests to be conducted so you’re your body is ready and healthy and the baby is born healthy and free of diseases.

  7. If you have had any problems in your past pregnancy, the health provider will try to find the cause and make sure this pregnancy will be safe and the baby will be born healthy.

  8. Treat any health condition before pregnancy or if the condition is chronic, make sure you get proper treatment for it so that you do not have any complications in your pregnancy.

  9. Keep a check on all the medications you are taking during pregnancy as some medicines can be harmful for the fetus and can cause serious damage.

  10. Keep a check on your vaccinations and keep it up to date as infections like chicken pox or measles can harm you and your baby. So it’s better to be immune to them.

Here’s an exhaustive list of all the tests for the women who are trying to conceive:
  • Pap Smear

  • TSH (thyroid check)

  • Sperm analysis

  • Postcoital test (PCT)

  • Ovulation Check with the basal body temperature curve (BBT)

  • Cycle Day 3 tests if you have problems in conceiving

  • HIV

  • Herpes

  • Hepatitis A and B

  • VDRL

  • Vaginal tests for Gonorrhea (GC) and Gonorrhea (GC)

  • Parvovirus B-19 (Fifth Disease) titers

  • Rubella titers

  • Chickenpox titers

  • Type and Red-blood cell count (both partners’ blood tests)

  • Cytomegalovirus titers

  • Toxoplasmosis

  • CBC and hemoglobin electrophoresis

  • Genetic screening (based on ethnicity): Sickly Cell Screen, Thalassemia Screen, Jewish Genetic Diseases

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