Pre-Pregnancy Medical Check-Ups
Visiting with your general physician, ob-gyn, and dentist can provide valuable insights to your health prior to TTC. Even if you consider yourself to be in great health, these doctors take you through thorough exams to ensure that you are not experiencing any medical issues that have previously gone undetected, ranging from reproductive problems to gum issues. Now is the time to address these issues – before TTC – in order to avoid pregnancy complications.
Your doctor – either your general practitioner or your ob-gyn – may suggest a blood screening. A blood test can provide a wealth of insights about your general wellbeing, including information on your thyroid function, sexually transmitted diseases, and whether or not you are at a high risk for getting infected with Hepatitis B, chicken pox, rubella, and other conditions. For some tests it is too late if you discover them in pregnancy, so rubella and chicken pox are important to check prior to pregnancy and most other test you’ll need to undergo when you become pregnant anyhow, so it’s important to do that prior to TTC.
Do not put off your preconception gynecological exam, either. Your ob-gyn will test you for any issues that could lead to pregnancy or fertility problems, such as ovarian cysts or fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, and more. While it may feel premature to see your ob-gyn before you even try to conceive, the truth is that now is actually the ideal time to address any issues so that you can have a problem-free pregnancy. If you have an irregular cycle, going to the ob-gyn is a must in order to find the cause of it. In fact, your ob-gyn will want to discuss prescriptions for supplements that are necessary to prepare your body for its best possible prenatal health, such as folic acid and other vitamins.
Lastly, you may want to consider checking in with your dentist pre-conception as well. One often-overlooked fact about pregnancy is that gum health is absolutely essential while you are carrying. Gingivitis, or gum inflammation, is especially dangerous during pregnancy: if left untreated, it may lead to periodontitis, which could lead to preterm birth. To prevent issues and keep your teeth healthy, schedule an appointment with your dentist prior to TTC, and at least one during pregnancy. Also, be sure to take special care of your dental hygiene while pregnant. [avafootnote]