Preconception Counselling: A Healthy and Informed Start of a Beautiful Journey
You might have heard pregnancy is an emotional ride, but even the thought of conceiving every time is no less. Thousands of positive and negative thoughts and concerns will cross your mind. During this time, it is important to maintain your calm, be positive, and seek preconception counselling.
Preconception counselling, also known as pre-pregnancy counselling, is a visit to medical professionals that involves discussions, examinations, and evaluations, helping couples to have a comfortable nine-month journey. This counselling is ideal for couples planning a family and for those who receive conception as a surprise and embrace the blessing.
Preconception counselling is primarily done to identify any potential complications that can act as a barrier to your pregnancy, including the health of you and your baby.
What Does Preconception Counselling Include?
Review of Medical History
Doctors will take a look at the couple and their family’s medical history to check for chronic conditions, surgeries, previous pregnancies, and other medical issues. This will help them identify possible issues or risks affecting a successful pregnancy journey.
The medical history review can also include discussions around ongoing medications and allergies. After a careful evaluation, the doctors will suggest necessary changes.
During this, professionals will inquire about the couple’s behaviours and habits to determine whether their current lifestyle can affect the pregnancy journey. The assessment will include questions about exercise, diet, stress, alcohol, tobacco, and other substances.
This is a crucial part of preconception counselling, allowing professionals to identify potential complications from lifestyle habits and suggest changes to improve them.
Tests Conducted During Pre-pregnancy Counselling
Medical professionals will conduct several examinations to understand your body’s current status. Some of the commonly conducted tests are:
A. Fertility Evaluation: Doctors will discuss your current fertility conduction and ways you can naturally boost your fertility. They might include general and specific fertility issues. There might also be discussion around the menstrual cycle and previous tries for conception, if any, along with hormonal imbalances, sexually transmitted infections, and other medical issues.
For fertility evaluation, the couple might have to undergo a blood test, semen analysis, and other diagnostic examinations.
B. Genetic Testing: If necessary, the medical professionals will advise the couple to undergo genetic testing to evaluate the possibility of their child having a genetic disorder. There are different types of genetic testing, including chromosomal tests, carrier screening, and blood tests.
Please note that genetic testing is not recommended to everyone but to some couples with a certain medical or family medical history and background.
Medical Care and Screenings
After evaluating the examination results, doctors will provide the necessary treatment. They may further recommend necessary examinations. This process might include administering vaccinations, deciding on treatment plans, and suggesting more screenings.
You might wonder why birth control is included in this process. Well, this step is for those planning to conceive but do not plan to become parents immediately or for a particular period.
Under this, medical professionals will discuss possible options to prevent unintended conception. Some birth control methods include hormonal methods (patch, ring, pill, and injectable contraception), IUDs (Intrauterine Devices), barrier methods, and permanent sterilisation.
The healthcare giver will discuss several birth control options and determine one that best suits your preferences and needs.
There will be a discussion about your pregnancy plans, family size, timing, and childbirth options. You will receive information on prenatal care and everything you should/can expect during all the trimesters.
They will also highlight the importance of regular check-ups, exercise, and nutrition. You can also discuss ways to balance your emotional well-being or how to stay positive during all the trimesters.
The concept of preconceptional counselling revolves around ensuring that couples have a smooth conception and healthy pregnancy journey. The application’s primary focus is to help couples conceive naturally by inculcating necessary changes to ensure that their time is spent with minimal complications and that the health of the mother and baby stays at peak.