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Fertility Tests and Health Checks to Consider Before Conceiving

Pregnancy is a significant milestone in many couples’ lives, but ensuring a healthy conception and pregnancy begins long before conception itself. Fertility tests and health checks are essential steps for couples planning to start a family. These assessments help identify any underlying health issues, genetic risks, or lifestyle factors that may impact fertility or affect the health of the mother and baby during pregnancy. By taking proactive steps to address these concerns, couples can increase their chances of a successful and healthy pregnancy. Here’s a comprehensive guide to the fertility tests and health checks to consider before conceiving.

General Health Assessment

Before trying to conceive, it’s essential for both partners to undergo a general health assessment. This evaluation may include a physical examination, blood pressure check, and discussions about medical history and lifestyle factors. Assessing overall health helps identify any existing conditions that may affect fertility or pregnancy outcomes.

Genetic Screening

Genetic screening is important for identifying any inherited genetic disorders or chromosomal abnormalities that may impact pregnancy. Couples may undergo carrier screening to assess their risk of passing on genetic conditions to their children. Understanding family medical history can also provide valuable insights into potential genetic risks.

Nutritional Evaluation

Adequate nutrition plays a vital role in fertility and pregnancy. Before conceiving, women should ensure they’re getting essential nutrients, particularly folic acid, which is important for foetal development and helps prevent neural tube defects. A nutritional evaluation can identify any deficiencies and help couples make dietary adjustments as needed.

Infectious Disease Screening

Screening for infectious diseases is important before conception to prevent the transmission of infections to the baby. Testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B is crucial. Assessing immunity to diseases such as rubella and varicella also ensures protection against potential complications during pregnancy.

Blood Tests

Blood tests are conducted to assess various factors that can impact fertility and pregnancy. These tests may include checking blood type and Rh factor compatibility between partners, screening for anaemia, and evaluating thyroid function. Addressing any abnormalities identified through blood tests is important for optimising fertility and pregnancy outcomes.

Hormonal Assessment

Hormonal imbalances can disrupt the menstrual cycle and affect fertility. Before conceiving, women may undergo hormonal assessment to evaluate hormone levels, including those of oestrogen, progesterone, and thyroid hormones. Balancing hormones is important for ensuring regular ovulation and improving the chances of conception.

Medical Conditions Management

Managing chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, or autoimmune disorders is essential before conceiving. Women with pre-existing medical conditions should work closely with their healthcare professionals to optimise their health and medication regimens to ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Environmental Exposure Evaluation

Assessing environmental exposures is vital for minimising risks to maternal and foetal health. Couples should identify and avoid exposure to toxins, chemicals, and pollutants that may adversely affect fertility or pregnancy outcomes. This may involve making lifestyle changes or adjustments in the workplace to create a healthier environment.

Mental Health Evaluation

Mental health plays a significant role in overall well-being and fertility. Addressing stress, anxiety, or depression before conceiving is important for optimising fertility and promoting a healthy pregnancy. Couples may benefit from counselling or therapy to address any mental health concerns.

Dental Check-Up

Dental health is often overlooked but is important for overall health, especially during pregnancy. Before conceiving, women should undergo a dental check-up to address any existing dental issues or concerns. Poor oral health has been linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes, so maintaining good oral hygiene is essential.

Medication Review

Reviewing medications is important before trying to conceive, as some medications may pose risks to pregnancy. Healthcare professionals can assess the safety of medications and make recommendations for adjustments or alternatives as needed to ensure the health of both the mother and baby.

Weight and BMI Assessment

Achieving a healthy weight before conception is important for optimising fertility and pregnancy outcomes. Both underweight and overweight or obese women may face challenges when trying to conceive and may be at increased risk of complications during pregnancy. A weight and BMI assessment can help identify any weight-related concerns and guide interventions.

Reproductive Health Assessment

A comprehensive assessment of reproductive health is important before trying to conceive. This evaluation may include assessing the health of the reproductive organs, identifying any structural abnormalities or conditions such as endometriosis or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and addressing any concerns that may impact fertility.

According to a recent paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), these checks might not be as predictive as we think. Instead, they offer just a snapshot of your hormones on a given day, which doesn’t necessarily translate to your overall fertility.

Fertility tests and health checks are critical steps for couples planning to start a family. By addressing any underlying health issues, genetic risks, or lifestyle factors before conception, couples can increase their chances of a successful and healthy pregnancy. Empowered with knowledge and proactive healthcare, couples can embark on their journey to parenthood with confidence.


When should we start pre-pregnancy Fertility testing and health checks?

It’s best to start these assessments at least three to six months before trying to conceive to allow time for any necessary interventions or adjustments.

Are there any lifestyle changes we should make before trying to conceive?

Yes, adopting a healthy lifestyle can improve fertility and pregnancy outcomes. This includes maintaining a balanced diet, exercising regularly, avoiding alcohol and tobacco, and managing stress.

What if we identify issues during pre-pregnancy Fertility testing?

Identifying issues early allows for pro-active management and intervention, increasing the likelihood of a successful pregnancy. Your doctor can help develop a plan tailored to your specific needs.

Can pre-pregnancy testing improve fertility?

Addressing underlying health issues or lifestyle factors that may impact fertility can improve your chances of conceiving naturally. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised guidance.

Is pre-pregnancy Fertility testing only necessary for women?

No, pre-pregnancy testing and health checks are important for both partners. Evaluating overall health, genetic risks, and lifestyle factors can optimise fertility and pregnancy outcomes for both partners.

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