Pre – Conception Health

When most people hear the term preconception health, they think about women.

However, preconception health is important for men, too.

Luton preconception care should begin at least three months before you get pregnant to improve your chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Preconception health is a woman’s health before she becomes pregnant. It means knowing how health conditions and risk factors could affect a woman or her unborn baby if she becomes pregnant. For example, some foods, habits, and medicines can harm your baby — even before he or she is conceived. Some health problems, such as diabetes, also can affect pregnancy.

Every woman should be thinking about her health whether or not she is planning pregnancy. One reason is that about half of all pregnancies are not planned. Unplanned pregnancies are at greater risk of preterm birth and low birth weight babies. Another reason is that, despite important advances in medicine and prenatal care, about 1 in 8 babies is born too early. Researchers are trying to find out why and how to prevent preterm birth. But experts agree that women need to be healthier before becoming pregnant. By taking action on health issues and risks before pregnancy, you can prevent problems that might affect you or your baby later.

Why preconception health matters

Preconception care can improve your chances of getting pregnant, having a healthy pregnancy, and having a healthy baby. If you are sexually active, talk with us about your preconception health now. Preconception care should begin at least three months before you get pregnant. But some women need more time to get their bodies ready for pregnancy. Be sure to discuss your partner’s health too.

Ask us about:

  • Family planning and birth control.
  • Taking folic acid.
  • Managing health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid disease, obesity, depression, eating disorders, and asthma. Find out how pregnancy may affect, or be affected by, health problems you have.
  • Medicines you use, including over-the-counter, herbal, and prescription drugs and supplements.
  • Ways to improve your overall health, such as reaching a healthy weight, making healthy food choices, being physically active, caring for your teeth and gums, reducing stress, quitting smoking, and avoiding alcohol.
  • How to avoid illness.
  • Hazards in your workplace or home that could harm you or your baby.
  • Health problems that run in your or your partner’s family.
  • Problems you have had with prior pregnancies, including preterm birth.

When most people hear the term preconception health, they think about women. However, preconception health is important for men, too.

However, there is increased recognition that men’s reproductive health needs should not be overlooked or neglected.

Men’s reproductive health needs before pregnancy and the effect of a man’s health status on conception and pregnancy outcomes generally receive little attention until fertility issues arise.

Your partner can do a lot to support and encourage you in every aspect of preparing for pregnancy. Here are some ways:

  • Make the decision about pregnancy together. When both partners intend for pregnancy, a woman is more likely to get early prenatal care and avoid risky behaviors such as smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Screening for and treating sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can help make sure infections are not passed to female partners.
  • Male partners can improve their own reproductive health and overall health by limiting alcohol, quitting smoking or illegal drug use, making healthy food choices, and reducing stress. Studies show that men who drink a lot, smoke, or use drugs can have problems with their sperm. These might cause you to have problems getting pregnant.
  • Your partner should also talk to his doctor about his own health, his family health history, and any medicines he uses.
  • People who work with chemicals or other toxins can be careful not to expose women to them. For example, people who work with fertilizers or pesticides should change out of dirty clothes before coming near women. They should handle and wash soiled clothes separately.

When you think about Luton preconception care and counseling for men, the goals in many ways are really similar to those of women. The overall objective is to ensure optimal and positive outcomes of reproductive and sexual behaviors, while minimizing the potential negative consequences of unhealthy lifestyle and unprotected sex.

When we talk about fertility and conception in general, we are thinking about factors that can affect sperm quality, quantity, concentration, and motility. There are various substances, anatomical variations, behaviors, and environmental issues that can affect a man’s ability to contribute to a successful conception and pregnancy

  • Certain health and surgical conditions, such as testicular conditions (eg, varicocele, history of testicular trauma, undescended testes, hypogonadism), diabetes, and erectile dysfunction may affect fertility to a certain degree.
  • Numerous medications (eg, nifedipine, spironolactone, steroids, testosterone, colchicine, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, cimetidine, tetracyclines) may alter the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis and may reduce male libido, contribute to erectile function, and have toxic effects on sperm.
  • Tobacco, alcohol, and certain drugs, such as marijuana and cocaine, can affect spermatogenesis.
  • Exposure to environmental hazards, such as radiation, heat, pollutants, lead, mercury, and other occupational chemicals, have been shown to affect sperm quality.
  • Hobby-related chemicals associated with woodworking, painting, pottery, stained glass, and gun cleaning may affect sperm production.
  • Stress has been shown to negatively affect sperm morphology and concentration.
  • Obesity—according to some studies, every 20 lb that a man is above his ideal weight can lead to a 10% increase in the odds of infertility.[10]
  • Several genetic disorders (eg, cystic fibrosis, Klinefelter syndrome, and polycystic kidney disease) may impair fertility and sperm quality.

Overall, male reproductive health and preconception care are very important, and this is something that should be an integral part of every well-male visit. We need to assess man’s understanding, goals, and intentions regarding reproduction. Should a man desire pregnancy with his partner, we need to discuss medications, conditions, and activities that may affect his fertility or the pregnancy. We need to conduct a physical examination, looking for some of the signs and symptoms of conditions that may affect fertility; discuss safe sex and pregnancy prevention strategies; assess the family history and genetic susceptibility; assess social history and lifestyle, including smoking, substance abuse, safe sex, and behavioral issues; and not forget to assess occupational hazards and exposure to chemicals through work or hobbies.

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