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A Guide for a Pre-Pregnancy Visit

Are you planning to start a family? Do you know how to prepare your body for pregnancy? What tests do you need to get to ensure you’re fit to conceive?


Having a baby is a major life decision, and there’s no greater joy than that. However, it’s important that you know how to take care of yourself as your unborn baby’s health does not only depend on your health and diet during pregnancy, but even before that.

A pre-pregnancy check-up is vital, considering that many pregnancies in Singapore are unplanned. Perhaps, you’re wondering what a pre-pregnancy check-up is, why it is necessary, and what happens in a session. To answer all those questions and to know more about this essential step to a healthy maternity, here’s what to expect when you have one.

Scheduling an Appointment

Ideally, you and your spouse should set an appointment with your family doctor or a gynaecologist three months before you start trying to get pregnant. You and your partner should both attend the check-ups as your partner’s family history is just as important as yours. Additionally, in case genetic counselling is necessary, it is important that the soon-to-be-father gets tested, too.

While setting an appointment, ask the hospital if they need any documents for your check-up. Bring relevant records like vaccines and immunizations. You may be asked to have a pap smear or pelvic examination, depending on when your last examination was. Also, ask if a full physical check-up at in Singapore for the man and woman is necessary, so you can be sure that you will bring your husband with you.

Information Needed During the Check-Up

The first thing your doctor is going to address when you arrive at the hospital is your and your partner’s complete medical histories. After this, questions and information about family health history, lifestyle choices, possible risks and pregnancy tips will follow.

Personal Medical History

Your gynaecology specialist will ask about your full medical history, particularly regarding previous pregnancies, abortions, miscarriages, STDs and birth control method(s) you have had. Also, it would be helpful to remember the dates of your first and last day of period on your last cycle as your menstruation cycle will be discussed during the check-up.

Make a list of prescriptions and over-the-counter medications you and your partner are taking. Your doctor may have to adjust the dosage or switch some of our medications to other alternative so as not to interfere with your chances of conceiving. Allergies and psychological problems, such as depression, should also be disclosed in order for your doctor to come up with a plan that’s best suited for your current health condition.

Most importantly, you and your husband will be required to do urine and blood test to check for any STDs and other health problems that may hinder your ability to conceive.


Family Health History

You will also be asked questions about your respective family’s health. Your physician may ask about cancer, blood pressure, cardiac problems, stroke, diabetes and other health issues that might be existing in your bloodlines. This usually includes the health conditions of your parents, siblings, grandparents and sometimes aunts and uncles.

Your genetic information will then be gathered. If there’s any chance that you or your partner—or both—may be a carrier of a genetic problem, genetic testing or counselling may be advised. Women who are over 35 years old will also likely undergo genetic counselling.

Lifestyle Choice

This is often the most difficult part for people to discuss with their healthcare provider. However, it is significantly important to be completely honest to your doctor so you’ll have the best chance of conceiving and ensuring your optimum health during pregnancy. This means, accurate information regarding drug and nicotine use and alcohol consumption is necessary.

Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for both men and women who are trying to conceive. Eating healthily and exercising regularly will be emphasized by your healthcare professional. Your doctor may require you to take folic acid and prenatal vitamins to keep your vitamin levels at their peak before you get pregnant.

Industrial and occupational hazards will likely be discussed as well. Both of you will have to disclose information regarding the nature of your work and the environment of the office you’re working in. If you have any concerns in mind that weren’t brought up by your doctor, this is the right time to ask.

Pregnancy Tips

After everything is covered, the last thing your gynaecologist will discuss with you is how to maximize your chances of getting pregnant. Your doctor will extensively discuss how your menstrual cycle works and when ovulation takes place, so you and your husband fully understand how you will be able to conceive and when is the best time to try.

Based on your test results, the doctor may also advice some lifestyle changes, such as losing or gaining weight, eating more fresh produce and quitting smoking and alcohol consumption, before trying to conceive.

Prenatal Care and Birth Options

It seems like too early to discuss about this matter with your gynae, but once you’re pregnant you will need a professional that can take care of your pregnancy, delivery and postpartum. Most women start having prenatal check-ups within the first month of pregnancy, and as you get farther you’ll have check-ups more often. If she’s an ob-gynae, your doctor during the pre-conception check-up can be your pre-natal health care provider. If not, she can surely recommend a good one.

Pre-conception check-up is important for all women planning to conceive. Not only this check-up will improve your health before becoming pregnant, but also avoid health issues from complicating your pregnancy.


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