Woman consulting a doctor

What to Expect at a Pre-Pregnancy Checkup

If you are planning to get pregnant soon, there are certain things you need to tackle to get you on the right track. Yes, you will need to have sex a lot and stop taking birth control. But above all else, you have to go to an ob-gyn or general practitioner for a pre-pregnancy checkup.

What Happens During a Pre-Pregnancy Checkup?

Set up an appointment with a doctor such as a family practitioner or internist. You can also opt to go directly to your ob-gyn, if you have one, or find an obstetrics specialist in Provo near you to save you time and money.

While doctors’ approaches to pre-pregnancy checkups vary, below are some things you can expect.

  • Baseline Weigh-in – Because your weight, more specifically your BMI or body mass index (a measurement that factors in your height and weight) could affect your fertility and health of pregnancies in the future, your doctor will need to determine whether you have a healthy weight.
  • Blood Test – Your doctor will check your blood to screen for potential health problems you need to address prior to even trying to get pregnant. Specifically, your doctor will check for the following:
    • Red blood cell (RBC) or hemoglobin count
    • Rh factor, which is an inherited trait referring to a kind of protein found in RBCs
    • Titer immunity tests for chicken pox, rubella, toxoplasmosis, and cytomegalovirus—diseases that could harm a developing fetus
    • Hepatitis B and tuberculosis tests
    • Sexually transmitted diseases
    • Thyroid function
  • Review of Medical History – This includes review of your medications and immunizations. You also need a checkup for potential medical problems. What if your test or exam discovers health medical issues that require treatment? This time, before you try to conceive, is the ideal time to get treatment.

What Happens During a Gynecological Health Pre-Pregnancy Checkup?

Woman consulting a gynecologistAside from the general health tests above, your ob-gyn will also perform a complete gynecological workup. This workup usually includes the following:

  • A pelvic, abdominal and breast exam
  • A pap smear
  • A urine test
  • An exam for gynecological conditions that might interfere with your conception, like polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), irregular periods, polyps, uterine fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, polyps, or sexually transmitted diseases including HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia

When you come in for your appointment, it is best that you come in with prepared questions about trying to conceive and being pregnant. Do not forget to discuss birth control, specifically what method you have been using, what you need to use while planning and preparing for conception, and how long you should wait before stopping birth control and start trying to get pregnant. It is also a good idea to share your lifestyle, diet and exercise habits with your ob-gyn. Also, ask for prenatal supplements and medications if necessary.

All systems check? But wait, do not forget that you will need two healthy bodies in order to create a healthy little one, so make certain that your partner also gets a pre-pregnancy checkup as well.

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