Preconception exams

Preconception health

Health in the period preceding conception is also an important factor for the normal course of pregnancy and the correct development of the embryo first, and then of the fetus.

A correct lifestyle, a varied and balanced diet, balanced physical activity, adequate immunization against some dangerous infectious diseases during pregnancy, identifying risk factors relating to specific pathologies in the family history: these are just some of the precautions useful for avoiding possible stress, and they are all things that, in some way, should be taken into consideration in time even before conception.

Then if you suffer from chronic diseases in particular or if you are constantly following any drug treatment (against asthma, epilepsy, hypertension, etc.) it is important that you contact your doctor to see with him how keep them under control. possibly also by modifying the therapies even before conception.

Folic acid in preparation for pregnancy

If you are  planning a pregnancy , we advise you to ask your doctor well in advance (even a few months) when and how you should start taking folic acid.

Only by moving well in advance will you take advantage of the protective effect that folic acid has against some serious malformations, in particular those that refer to neural tube defects.

The first gynecological visit, fertility tests and pre-conception tests

the first gynecological visit

The first gynecological visit during pregnancy is free and allows you to reduce the risk of both maternal and fetal pathologies.

![esami preconcepimento]((img/resources/daniel_riconda-genetic_counselor-winnie_palmer_hospital-non_invasive_prenatal_testing-e1362495343686.jpg)

On the occasion of this «preconception consultation» information is usually collected regarding:

  • the general state of health of the expectant mother;
  • the possible familiarity of both future parents with diseases transmissible to the offspring (infectious diseases, genetic diseases and metabolic diseases);
  • to Rh factor incompatibility (Rh factor incompatibility is a condition that occurs when the mother is Rh negative, while the fetus is Rh positive; this condition could lead to haemolytic disease of the fetus-infant – or haemolytic disease of the newborn (MEN ));
  • to your eventual exposure – in the workplace, for example – to mutagens capable of causing genetic mutations and to teratogenic agents (chemical, physical or biological agents which in harmless doses for the mother are capable of damaging the fetus) potentially responsible for malformation events;
  • to more.

During the pre-conception visit, the doctor will also evaluate the need to perform some laboratory tests for both parents (which are, for the most part,  paid for by the National Health Service ).

We can distinguish the tests that – you and your partner – could decide to do in view of conception,

  • in fertility tests, for the couple (for a fee)
  • in preconception exams for the couple (some free, some for a fee).

Exempt preconception exams are the ones we strongly advise you to consider.

fertility tests

For women , fertility tests usually consist of hormone tests to check levels,

  • of follicle stimulating hormone,
  • of luteinizing hormone,
  • of progesterone and of
  • anti-Müllerian hormone.

For men , a spermiogram is usually performed, a complete count and analysis (also of the structure and functionality) of the spermatozoa.

preconception exams

These are tests that are done for the purpose,

  • to highlight the existence of any diseases of the mother that could compromise the gestation,
  • to prevent the onset of diseases of the mother that could compromise the pregnancy,
  • to reveal whether one of the two partners is a carrier of particular hereditary diseases,
  • to recommend certain vaccinations to the woman if she is not immune.

We remind you that none of these exams is mandatory or even strictly necessary, but they are still exams that all specialists advise you to do for scruple: the free ones above all.

The preconception tests concerning the future mother could consist of,

  • in blood and urine tests;
  • in tests for the research of the blood group and the Rh factor;
  • in the test for rubella;
  • in the test for chickenpox;
  • in the test for  toxoplasmosis
  • in the blood test for thalassemia (if positive, genetic counseling is required);
  • in the test for syphilis (if positive, adequate therapy eradicates the disease);
  • in the HIV/Aids test (if positive, adequate therapy reduces the risk of transmitting the infection to the future child);
  • in the hepatitis B test.

The preconception exams concerning the future dad  could instead consist,

  • in blood and urine tests;
  • in tests for the research of the blood group and the Rh factor;
  • in the blood test for thalassemia (if positive, genetic counseling is required);
  • in the test for syphilis and AIDS (if positive, precautions must be taken to avoid contagion).

Depending on the results of these tests, some vaccinations may be recommended such as, for example, those against,

  • rubella;
  • chicken pox;
  • hepatitis B.

All these vaccinations are intended to reduce a woman’s risk of contracting these diseases when pregnant.

The gynecologist will recommend the list of tests to be done, and the attending physician will be able to prescribe them upon request. Remind your doctor to indicate the exemption when it comes to tests that are not paid for.

List of specialist services for maternity protection, physiological pregnancy control and access to invasive prenatal diagnosis excluded from the participation fee

Some useful curiosities too

The calculation of the date of birth is done starting from the first day of your last menstrual cycle, and this is because it is impossible to establish exactly when ovulation occurs and the egg is fertilized.

This fact explains why only 50% of women give birth exactly on the day they originally predicted. Here you can find a calculator  that we have created to allow you to make a preliminary estimate of your date of birth.

For more accurate and reliable estimates, however, you must contact your gynecologist only.

There are popular beliefs that the moon affects the frequency of births.

According to some of these beliefs, pregnancies occur significantly more during the days of the waxing moon.

According to others, this frequency would be higher going towards the new moon.

According to still others, each phase change would favor pregnancies. Rigorous studies done in this regard have not, however, demonstrated the existence of correlations between birth frequency and lunar phases.

Katherine Johnson, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with clinical expertise in general obstetrics and gynecology, family planning, women’s health, and gynecology.

She is affiliated with the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at an undisclosed healthcare institution and the online platform,

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