The first step of a Preconception Checkup is a detailed review of your medical health and lifestyle, followed by counselling based on the findings. At Apollo Cradle & Children’s Hospital, this session involves a discussion of your gynecologic, obstetric, medical, vaccination, emotional and social history. Your doctor will also discuss in detail, your lifestyle and other habits such as smoking, alcohol consumption, nutrition, exercise, exposure to toxic and chemical substances, use of hot tubs and saunas. Based on this information, your doctor may also ask you to undertake a few pre-pregnancy tests.
The series of tests before pregnancy that our health professionals may suggest will determine the cause of inability to conceive so that they can prescribe suitable treatment. Some tests to take before pregnancy are:
- Physical exam – A detailed exam measures height, weight, blood pressure as well as checks all your systems such as your cardiovascular system, your lungs, abdomen and looks for signs of any medical condition in any other system.
- Gynaecological exam – This will include a genital examination for signs of any sexually transmitted infection (STI) or growths. Also, a PAP smear test will be advised to screen for cervical cancer and an HPV test. A pelvic exam may also be done to check for any lumps, masses or tenderness.
- Urine test – Routine examination of the urine will reveal the presence of urinary tract infection. Your urine sample will then be sent to a lab for a culture test. If sugar is detected in your urine, you’ll have a glucose tolerance test to check for diabetes.
- Blood test – A blood test will also be prescribed. This will help to screen for some conditions such as anaemia, thalassemia or other haemoglobin variants, immunity to rubella, chickenpox and herpes, syphilis or other STIs, HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and thyroid dysfunction. Also, depending upon your clinical condition, other tests to determine the function of your kidney and liver may be prescribed.
- An Ultrasound (USG) of the abdomen will be advised to check for growths or cysts in the ovaries and uterine size or the presence of fibroids.
- Other tests that may be requested depending on your clinical examination may include an ECG or 2D Echo
Genetic disorder screening – Depending on your or your partner’s health history, a genetic disorder screening may be recommended. This will help determine if you face the risk of passing on a genetic disorder, such as Fragile X syndrome, cystic fibrosis or sickle cell disease.