If you and your partner plan to begin attempting to conceive a child in the near future, then you should learn all about obstetrician preconception check-ups and how obtaining one can benefit you and your growing family. While many women wait to hire OB services until after they suspect or have already determined they are pregnant, visiting an obstetrician before conceiving or attempting to conceive can benefit a couple in many ways.
Read on to learn about three important tasks performed at preconception check-ups that can increase the chance of a healthy pregnancy.
1. Determine if any Illnesses or Medications Could Complicate the Pregnancy
One important task an OB doctor performs at a pre-conception check-up is the determination of whether any existing medical problems you have may jeopardize your or your unborn child's health during your pregnancy.
While there are very few medical problems that rule out the chance of a healthy pregnancy and childbirth altogether, your OB doctor may suggest that you get an existing health problem under greater control before you become pregnant and/or determine that you may need a pregnancy healthcare plan that includes additional monitoring of you and your unborn child due to health conditions you have.
Your OB doctor will also look over all prescription and OTC medications you currently take to determine if they are pregnancy safe. If possible, any that are not considered as safe for your unborn child as they are for you will be replaced with more pregnancy-safe alternatives.
2. Order Preconception Carrier Screening
If you and your partner would like to determine if either of you carries a gene that can cause a genetic disorder, you can ask your OB doctor to order preconception carrier screening during your pre-conception check-up.
This test requires just a blood, tissue, or saliva sample from you and your partner. These samples can then be tested to determine if you and/or your partner are carriers of the gene(s) that cause several unique genetic disorders. If both of you test positive for a certain gene, then the likelihood of your child being born with the disorder it causes is about 25 percent.
2. Check for Signs of Potential Infertility Problems
At your pre-conception check-up, your OB doctor will ask you about your menstrual cycle to determine if any irregularities may signal problems that can interfere with fertility. In addition, you can also request simple blood fertility tests.
These tests typically check the levels of specific fertility-related hormones in your bloodstream, such as progesterone, estradiol, and anti-mullerian hormone (AMH). If your body's levels of these hormones are healthy, especially when menstruating, then that signals that you are less likely to face difficulty conceiving than a person whose hormone levels are abnormally high or low.
If you and your partner plan to have a baby in the near future, then obtain a pre-conception check-up to increase the chance that you will have a healthy pregnancy and child. Talk to a local OB service to learn more.