What you need to know about pre-conception screening
Deciding to have a baby is a very exciting time. Your head is filled with hopes and dreams for your precious little one. Every expectant parent dreams of a healthy baby boy or girl. If you and your partner are planning to start a family, you may want to explore pre-conception screening. Your child’s health is undoubtedly the biggest consideration of your mind. Pre-conception screening allows you to know if you or your baby may have issues during pregnancy and/or after birth or if you have nothing to worry about at all. Yes, your tests may simply give you the all-clear for you and your partner to start trying!
Pre-conception screening in the broadest sense is an assessment of your health and your partner’s to get a sense of what health issues might affect your baby.
Pre-conception screening is a battery of tests that are done to determine the following:
If your baby may have any genetic issues.
If you have any health issues that will affect the health of your baby.
If you have any health issues that will affect your ability to carry your baby to term.
Pre-conception screening gives you and your baby the very best chance.
Do both parents have to be screened?
Yes, it is better if both parents are tested. This way you have a holistic view of the health of both you and your partner.
What type of tests will my partner and I have to take?
You and your partner will first have a conversation with your doctor about your medical history and what your lifestyle looks like. Your blood pressure will be taken. This is particularly important for prospective mothers. If you are hypertensive, this might put you at risk for preeclampsia. This is a condition that can cause complications for both mother and baby.
You and your partner will be given the same test for the most part. They are listed below:
ABO blood grouping
This is a test to determine what is your blood type. There are 4 major blood groups A, B, O, and AB.
This is a test that screens for Thalassemia. It is an inherited blood disorder. Your body does not make enough hemoglobin (a protein that carries oxygen). Anemia is often the resulting complaint.
Discovering whether or not you have an STD is crucial if you are planning to have a baby. Sexually transmitted diseases can often pass from mother to fetus during pregnancy.
Your doctor will test for the following STDs:
- Hepatitis B
As you may know, HIV and Hepatitis B have no cure. If detected early, syphilis is easily treated.
Women have to do additional Rubella screening. Rubella or German measles as it is sometimes called is caused by the rubella virus. If you were exposed to the rubella virus you may have hardly noticed it at all. It may present with a rash that lasts for approximately 3 days. If you have rubella, your pregnancy could be affected in a number of ways (miscarriage, stillbirth, birth defects).
There is good news though, you may have been inoculated as a child. You can check your immunization records to make sure.
What if your tests come back positive?
There is no need to worry, there are options that you and your partner can take advantage of!
You may decide to get pregnant and your doctor will monitor you closely to make sure you and your baby continue to thrive. In-vitro has opened a whole new world for prospective parents. You can ask your doctor this is a viable option for you and your partner. You can be assured that your doctor will do all he can to make sure you and your baby have the best chance possible and you can enjoy your pregnancy.
Pre-conception screening gives you an idea of what to expect during your pregnancy and what health issues might affect your baby. We recommend pre-conception screening since it allows you and your partner to make informed decisions as you enter this exciting new phase of your lives. You can make an appointment for pre-conception screening at any of our clinics.
Let us start this important journey with you. Speak to us further to find out more!