One of the most important and defining moments of your life is when you decide that you’re ready for parenthood and it’s time to expand your family. A lot of planning and understanding goes into paving the way for the baby’s arrival. The process of conception itself can test you sometimes. Soon, you will grow entirely familiar with things like , , home pregnancy tests and so on. It can get rather overwhelming. But there is one thing that can ease this entire process, make it simpler and smarter – and that is a preconception check up with a trusted gynaecologist. And to be able to make the most of this preconception consult, we have put together all the things your doctor will ask you, so you can be prepared to share detailed and insightful answers.
Your doctor will definitely dive into your family’s medical history. It is imperative to know if there are any genetic issues or inherited diseases in your family. Most of these can have an impact on your pregnancy or your child. To make it easier, ensure you have a list of such health issues or genetic conditions. Ensure your partner does the same. The doctor can then suggest ways to minimise risks resulting from these conditions during conception and pregnancy.
In addition, the doctor will also enquire about any previous high-risk pregnancies (preterm labour, preeclampsia, diabetes, etc.), miscarriages, and abortions along with other gynaecological issues like fibroids and cysts. Answering your doctor honestly about past and current health issues is important and will only benefit you and the baby.
The doctor will want to know the kind of lifestyle you lead. Whether either of you smoke or drink, your general diet, and your work life, are all important bits of information. All of these can affect fertility, conception as well as the pregnancy. It is important for both partners to have a healthy body weight. If either or both of you are overweight or underweight, consult with your doctor. Be open and tell your doctor everything truthfully.
A typical preconception visit does not involve an examination. If you have recently had your annual exam (a pap smear and breast exam), and you don’t have a history of issues like endometriosis or fibroids, then you probably wouldn’t need one. But, if you are planning to undergo a complete vaginal, pelvic and breast exam, you should go for it. Once you get these results, feel free to run them by your doctor for a better result.
You will need recently done urine and blood tests. A test to check for chicken pox, rubella, blood type and Rh factor. Although we are vaccinated against MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) as children, chances are that our immunity has lowered over time. The blood test checks for exactly that. You might also need tests for Vitamin D and thyroid hormones.
Sex is literally the most important aspect of this entire process. As experienced as you may be in this department, it’s natural to have doubts, questions and concerns regarding conception. So, when the doctor asks you about your sex life, any difficulties you may be facing and so on, be honest. Don’t worry if your question is too intimate or too silly. Such counselling is absolutely important, and will make things so much easier for you and your partner.
Your visit to the doctor will possibly end with you getting some homework to be healthier. Depending on how much of it you need, you will be asked to exercise, regulate your diet, and monitor or quit unhealthy habits. You should share any aspects of your routine and lifestyle that could make certain changes challenging.
Nutrition is a crucial element of fertility, successful conception and healthy pregnancy. Unfortunately, our regular diet can give us very minuscule amounts of certain nutrients such as Folic Acid – which is essential for fertility as well as the baby’s health and development. However, you can get your requisite amount of Folic Acid and other essential nutrients from prenatal supplements. A common prenatal vitamin is the 400 micrograms of folic acid, which might be prescribed during your preconception visit. You should let your doctor know about any medication that you’re taking for other health reasons, so they can analyse its effect on conception and prescribe you substitutes accordingly.
Your gynaecologist will play an important role throughout this journey – right from conception to the baby’s birth. Therefore, it’s extremely important that you be fully honest and open with them, as well as follow all their instructions sincerely. All the best!
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