Is thought of becoming a parent at the helm of your mind day in and day out? You may have a number of concerns about getting pregnant and bearing a child, especially if there are anomalies in your and your family’s history. It is only wise to visit your gynecologist and have an indepth conversation about the possibilities. It is commonly trending as pre-pregnancy councelling.
“Pre-pregnancy counselling, also known as preconception counselling, is designed to help individuals and couples prepare for pregnancy emotionally and physically. It typically involves a series of discussions and evaluations with your gynecologist.” Says Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, a gynecologist and IVF specialist par excellence.
“These discussions are to assess and to identify and address any potential risks or issues that may affect their ability to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.” He continuous.
During pre-pregnancy counselling, your doctor may discuss topics such as family medical history, lifestyle habits (such as diet, exercise, and substance use), fertility, birth control, and genetic testing. Your doctor may also provide information on how to optimize health before pregnancy, including recommendations on nutrition, exercise, and any necessary medical care or screenings.
Pre-pregnancy counselling can be especially helpful for individuals or couples who are at higher risk of pregnancy complications, such as those with certain medical conditions (such as diabetes or epilepsy), or those who have had previous pregnancy complications. It can also be beneficial for individuals or couples who are planning to become pregnant and want to ensure that they are as healthy as possible before conceiving.
Below we have simplified pre-pregnancy counselling point-wise:
Please read on to know more in details.
“This is the most crucial stage of pre-pregnancy counselling. Everything that you hide and reveal will determine the coarse and success of the process. Be genuine, and completely open about the minutest of things. Something you may find irrelevant maybe of utmost importance. So no information is too much information, in this process atleast.” Says Dr. Hrishikesh Pai, a pioneer in IVF treatments.
Your healthcare provider may also ask about the medical history of the individual’s or couple’s family members, as certain medical conditions can be inherited. For example, a family history of genetic disorders or certain medical conditions (such as diabetes or epilepsy) may increase the risk of pregnancy complications.
The review of medical history may also include a discussion of the individual’s or couple’s current medications and any allergies they may have. Some medications and substances can be harmful to a developing foetus, and it may be necessary to adjust or discontinue them before pregnancy.
Overall, the review of medical history has utmost importance in pre-conception counselling as it can help identify any potential risks or issues that may affect the pregnancy and allow the healthcare provider to provide appropriate recommendations and care.
“This is the stage where most couples are in denial, or are only partially agreeable. After all, no person who is capable of taking 15 tequila shots going to admit to it. But we as doctors know better.” says, Dr. Pai.
This may include questions about:
Assessing lifestyle habits is an important part of pre-pregnancy counselling as it allows the healthcare provider to identify any potential risks or issues that may affect the pregnancy and provide recommendations on how to optimize health before conceiving.
Your Gynaecologist may ask about your menstrual cycle and any previous attempts at pregnancy. They may also discuss factors that can affect fertility, such as sexually transmitted infections, hormonal imbalances, and certain medical conditions.
Your doctor may recommend fertility testing for you and your partner to assess the fertility and identify any potential issues that may need to be addressed. This may include blood tests to check hormone levels, a semen analysis for the male partner, and/or other diagnostic tests.
Overall, fertility evaluation is an important part of pre-pregnancy counselling as it can help identify any potential fertility issues and allow the healthcare provider to provide appropriate recommendations and care.
There are several different types of genetic tests that may be recommended during pre-pregnancy counselling, including:
Genetic testing is optional and is typically recommended based on the individual’s or couple’s personal and family medical history, as well as their racial or ethnic background. Your healthcare provider can discuss the potential benefits and limitations of genetic testing and help you make an informed decision about whether to undergo testing.
During pre-pregnancy counselling, your gynecologist may recommend the following types of medical care:
“Overall, medical care and screenings are an important part of pre-pregnancy counselling as they can help optimize health and address any potential risks or issues before pregnancy. It is important for the individual or couple to follow the healthcare provider’s recommendations and seek medical care as needed.”, according to Dr Hrishikesh Pai.
There are several different types of birth control methods available, including:
During pre-pregnancy counselling, the healthcare provider can discuss the various birth control options available and help you choose a method that is suitable for your needs and preferences. It is important to use an effective method of birth control until the individual or couple is ready to become pregnant.
Prenatal care is the medical care that a woman receives during pregnancy. It is designed to monitor the health of the woman and the developing foetus, and to identify and address any potential risks or issues that may affect the pregnancy.
During pre-pregnancy counselling, your healthcare provider may discuss prenatal care and what to expect during pregnancy. Here are some key points to consider:
“Overall, prenatal care is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. It is important for the woman to follow the healthcare provider’s recommendations and seek medical care as needed throughout the pregnancy.” says Dr. Pai.
Pre-pregnancy counselling can be an important step in preparing for a healthy pregnancy and baby. It is recommended that individuals or couples planning to become pregnant discuss their plans with a healthcare provider to ensure that they are as healthy as possible before conceiving.