Pre-Pregnancy Checkup. What doctors to see?
Both expectant mom and dad should pass health examination while planning pregnancy to ensure the health of the future baby. It’s better to do it several months prior to conception. First of all, prospective parents should visit a therapeutist and a dentist. The man should consult an urologist to make sure he doesn’t have latent infections. The woman should also visit otolaryngologist, ophthalmologist and gynecologist.
Medical survey will help to identify health problems that can be solved in advance. You will pass necessary tests and have consultations with different specialists. Based on your health data, pregnancy prognosis can be made. This is important, because, for example, the presence of different hidden infections may threaten the child. By the way, it is proved that gums infection reduces the fertilizing ability of sperm.
Medical Examination Before Pregnancy.
The general practitioner will find out if future parents have any diseases or susceptibility to the diseases that could make conception and pregnancy difficult or impossible. It’s highly important that you visit your GP before getting pregnant, because then, latent infections or chronic diseases can be harmful both for expectant mother and child. In addition, while pregnant, there can be complications with treatment, because many drugs are contraindicated in pregnancy. Therefore, all the detected diseases should be treated before pregnancy.
If you suffer from diabetes, asthma, epilepsy or some other serious diseases and take medicine regularly, before you decide to get pregnant, consult your doctor about the medicine you are taking, as some drugs are harmful to fertility and future child.
It is advisable to visit the gynecologist, who will monitor your future pregnancy. During the visit, the doctor will examine your medical history and the conclusion, done by your therapist. The gynecologist will ask you about your previous pregnancies, abortions, methods of contraception and existing diseases. Initial inspection to determine the condition of your reproductive system will be conducted. The doctor will take a vaginal swab for analysis, give directions for the necessary examinations and blood tests, advise vitamins and diet and, if necessary, recommend you to visit a geneticist and endocrinologist.
Tell your gynecologist about your current or past health problems to assess whether they can affect your fertility (the ability to bear children). Tell your doctor about all the medications, vitamins or supplements you are taking. The doctor will decide what dose you can take and what drugs should be excluded to avoid congenital diseases of the fetus.
Pre-pregnancy Dental Examination
Immediately after you have planned the birth of the baby, it’s necessary to have a dental check-up. It’s advisable to check the condition of your teeth every six months so you’ll have one check-up while pregnant. Visiting your dentist before getting pregnant is highly recommended to ensure, that no infection of the tooth will travel throughout your body and reach the baby.
Hormonal background changes during pregnancy, and this leads to changes in blood circulation in skin and mucous membranes, in particular in mucous membranes of the gums. This can provoke gums bleeding or even periodontal disease. Do you need all these?
The protective properties of saliva reduce dramatically during pregnancy. Intense multiplication of germs occurs in the mouth. That causes tooth decay. All these factors result in a very high risk of periodontal disease and dental caries. If you already have cavities, the destruction of your teeth will go even worse. In addition, according to recent studies, periodontal disease may lead to preeclampsia (late toxicosis of pregnant women), characterized by headache, visual disturbances (flashing, blurred vision), nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. It’s very dangerous for pregnancy.
Inflammatory diseases are dangerous not only for your teeth but also for your body in general. In 30% of cases, pregnant women, having latent foci of infection, pass this infection to the fetus. The children may develop low immune system, dysfunction of the gastrointestinal tract and other diseases. Food particles are trapped in the teeth. This triggers off the processes of decay and reproduction of pathogenic microbes. Products of chronic bacterial inflammation (toxins) can penetrate into blood and lymphatic vessels. All these can cause severe postpartum diseases. These women are often diagnosed with staph and other infections in breast milk.
The dentist will examine the condition of your oral cavity, conduct a survey and if necessary make a treatment plan. If you have problems, such as enamel sensitivity, bleeding gums, ask your dentist to recommend a toothpaste and therapeutic mouth rinse.
ENT Examination — Planning Pregnancy.
It is recommended to visit an otolaryngologist to identify hidden ENT-diseases, as during your pregnancy they may worsen and become foci of infection. During the consultation, the doctor will examine your medical history and report, which was prepared by the therapist. The otolaryngologist will ask questions about how often you suffer from respiratory diseases. If necessary, the doctor will take swabs from the throat and give you an appointment card for a blood test.
Ophthalmic Exam Before Getting Pregnant.
A woman should consult an ophthalmologist to be confident that the upcoming pregnancy and childbirth will not adversely affect her vision. If you already have variations in visual acuity, it is even obligatory that you consult a specialist.
During your visit, the doctor will conduct a regular assessment of visual acuity and examine the condition of the fundus. This procedure lasts for about 20 minutes. First, the doctor will place medication for pupil dilation into both eyes. You’ll have to wait about 15 minutes until the pupils dilate. Then, using a special apparatus, the ophthalmologist will examine the fundus through dilated pupils. There is nothing dangerous or frightening in this procedure, but after it, it’s not recommended to read and drive. The vision returns to normal in 2−3 hours. In addition, the ophthalmologist will measure the intraocular pressure and give advice on nutrition and vitamins.
Genetic consultation is required if:
- You or your relatives had or have any genetic diseases or illnesses caused by heredity, such as cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, muscular dystrophy, hemophilia, fibrocysts, congenital heart disease, cleft of the upper lip (cleft lip) or of the hard palate (cleft palate), spinal hernia etc.
- Parents are blood relatives.
- You have concerns that your baby may be harmed as a result of taking any medications (sedatives, hypnotics, antibiotics, etc), infectious diseases or x-ray irradiation.
- The mother is over 35 years and / or the father is over 40 years.
- You’ve been living a in ecologically unfavorable conditions or working in a hazardous environment.
- The couple or either of the married couple already have children with birth defects or genetic abnormalities.
- The couple had problems with conception (long-term infertility), premature delivery, stillbirth or habitual miscarriage.
- Parents want a child of a specific gender.
The geneticist will help you assess the risk of giving birth to a child with a genetic disease or congenital deformities. To do this, the doctor needs data about the families of prospective parents. It is important to gather information about diseases in your families. The doctor will conducts a checkup of both parents. The geneticist may appoint additional examinations, if there are genetic risk factors.