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Planning a family

Pre-pregnancy health check

It goes without saying that you should have regular check-ups during pregnancy, but it’s also important to get yourself checked out before falling pregnant. Visiting your GP, dentist and gynaecologist can help prevent complications during pregnancy.

GP

To ensure your unborn child isn’t exposed to any undue risks, you should undergo a number of medical examinations before pregnancy and get any undiscovered illnesses treated if necessary. Your GP or gynaecologist can arrange a blood test to provide valuable information on your general state of health: Is your thyroid working properly? Do you have any undiagnosed sexually transmitted diseases? Do you have Hepatitis B? Are you immune to chicken pox and rubella?

Gynaecologist

Before falling pregnant it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your gynaecologist to discover whether you suffer from illnesses that could affect a pregnancy or fertility, such as cysts or fibrous tissue in your ovaries, STDs, inflammation of the abdomen or endometriosis (a chronic, often painful disease of the uterine lining). Your doctor can also prescribe supplements and vitamins such as folic acid to prepare your body for pregnancy. If you have irregular periods it's imperative to seek advice from your gynaecologist.

Dentist

It’s a good idea to undergo any complicated dental procedures before getting pregnant. Although x-rays (with lead apron) and local anaesthetics are not prohibited during pregnancy, they should be carried out in emergencies only. Gum diseases and gum inflammation are also dangerous during pregnancy. If untreated, inflammation can lead to periodontosis, which can trigger premature labour. Good dental hygiene is essential before and during pregnancy.