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Preconception Counselling

Starting a family doesn't begin when the test comes back positive. Any woman looking to start a family in the future will benefit from visiting an Obstetrician for a preconception counselling session.

What is pre-pregnancy counselling?

Preconception or pre-pregnancy counselling is a critical aspect of a woman's reproductive health that helps educate and prepare her for pregnancy. Additionally, it serves as a way to assess your current health and readiness for pregnancy, taking into account various factors that affect a woman's ability to conceive.

When is the best time to go for preconception counselling?

There is no specific timeline on when you need to have preconception counselling. However, in general, Dr Deon van Zyl recommends patients have a preconception counselling visit at least 3 months before planning to fall pregnant.

But if you are planning to start a family in a few years and want to rule out any concerns or ask questions, you are welcome to visit Dr van Zyl for a consultation.

What information do I need to provide during preconception counselling?

In order to understand more about your health and ability to conceive, Dr van Zyl will ask you about several aspects of your life, such as:

  • Family history: Understanding your family history can provide insight into potential risks or complications during your pregnancy and particular disorders that may be more prevalent.
  • Medical history: Your overall health allows Dr van Zyl to get a complete picture of what to expect for your pregnancy. He will ask you about specific conditions, medications and allergies.
  • OB/GYN history: In addition to your medical history, Dr van Zyl will ask you about any previous surgeries, complications or concerns in your OB/GYN history.
  • Lifestyle: Certain lifestyle habits can negatively impact conception and pregnancy, so it's essential to discuss these and how to overcome them if you want to start a family.
  • Your partner: In addition to your own medical history, understanding your partner's family history and medical background can help alert Dr van Zyl to any complications.

What to expect at preconception counselling

After discussing your health histories and factors influencing pregnancy, Dr van Zyl will perform several tests to assess your blood work and reproductive health. This includes a mix of physical and lab tests, such as:

  • Pelvic exam
  • Pap smear
  • STI screening
  • Blood tests
  • Measuring your weight
  • HIV screening
  • Diabetes screening

What are the next steps after preconception counselling?

Based on your discussion and tests, Dr van Zyl will make several recommendations on how to proceed.

This may include conducting further tests, such as genetic counselling, to gain more information about potential complications or disorders that can occur while pregnant. He may also make several lifestyle suggestions to help improve your overall health before conceiving.

A healthy pregnancy starts long before conception, so it's essential for you to take the necessary steps to ensure you are healthy for both you and your baby. This can include:

  • Quitting smoking
  • Cutting out alcohol
  • Losing weight
  • Adopting a nutritious diet
  • Getting regular exercise and movement
  • Taking recommended supplements
  • Seeing other specialists

Dr van Zyl takes pride in helping women go through pregnancy with healthy and happy outcomes. He shares the newfound joy of falling pregnant with his patients and will work with you throughout to ensure you and your baby are well cared for.

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