Preconception health refers to the health of a woman before getting pregnant. It means having a clear understanding of the health condition of the woman and the risk factors that could affect her and her unborn baby when she eventually becomes pregnant.
In addition to our sexual health services, we provide advice on relationships, conception and contraception. We have our doctors always on standby to offer you support and valuable advice on how to practice good sexual health.
Every woman needs to consider her health, whether she is planning to get pregnant or not. This is because about half of the pregnancies that occur are unplanned for. Pregnancies that are not planned for are generally at a higher risk of preterm labour and babies with low birth weight.
Preconception health is also essential — about 1 in every 8 babies is born prematurely despite all the advancements in prenatal care and medicine as a whole. Though researchers are working day and night on how to put an end to preterm birth, experts still actively advise women to be in a good state of health before getting pregnant. This can be achieved by treating any health issue and risks before attempting pregnancy. This will help you prevent problems that would have a negative effect on your baby.
Preconception health is not only a concern for women alone; the men, too, should be actively involved in it. They should work together in preparing for pregnancy for not less than three months before becoming pregnant.
Some actions should be taken even before the three months of consistent preparation. These actions include: attaining a healthy weight, quitting smoking and being selective of the medications you use.
To boost your preconception health, you should do the following essential things:
Having good preconception health does not just help you have a stress free pregnancy; it guards you through the journey of natural conception to a healthy pregnancy and to have a strong and healthy baby. If you are actively involved in sexual activities, start having a conversation with your doctor about preconception health today.
Ideally, the care before conception should be done at least three months before becoming pregnant, but since we are humans and have different bodies, some people may need more than three months before their body can become ready for pregnancy. You should also discuss with your partner about getting prepared for pregnancy.
When you meet with your doctor, you should ask about:
You can write down these points so that you do not forget any. If you miss out on some important things to discuss, ensure you schedule another visit.
In having a healthy pregnancy, you will need a lot of support from your partner during every step of the preparation. While preparing for a pregnancy, you and your partner should:
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Your genes and that of your husband play a very vital role in the total health of your child. Your baby’s genes can affect the health of your baby in the following ways:
Discuss with your doctor about the genetic concerns and family history of you and your partner. This will help your doctor ascertain the genetic risks that may be present.
If you have some genetic risk factors, you might be recommended by your doctor to have a meeting with a professional in genetics. You and your partner may need to get genetic counselling if:
When you and your partner meet with a genetics professional, you will be able to discuss your genetic concerns and get diagnosed if need be to confirm that you have a genetic condition.
If you prefer to have genetic testing; the genetic professional will help you with it. The genetic test usually helps couples in understanding their chances of transferring a genetic disorder to their children. With the help of your genetic professional, you will know if genetic testing will be helpful to you.