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What happens at a preconceptional health visit?

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Updated June 25, 2014

Nurse and patient.
Ian Hooton/Science Photo Library/Getty Images
Question: What happens at a preconceptional health visit?
Answer: When planning for a pregnancy it is always a good idea to have a visit with your doctor or midwife. This consultation is known as a preconceptional health visit.

The point of the visit is to get a picture of your health and to prepare your body for conception. This will help you ensure that you are physically ready for pregnancy and that your baby will be as healthy as possible.

During the visit you will answer a round of health questions. This will be used by your practitioner to help determine if you have any chronic diseases that require regulation before getting pregnant. This is also the perfect time to bring in a list of your medications so that you can get advice on if any medications need to be discontinued or switched before or during pregnancy.

This is also a great time to ask about birth control. Many women who are taking birth control pills are unsure about when they need to stop taking the pill in order to conceive.

You will have a physical exam which is likely to include your annual pap smear and a breast exam. Your practitioner will go over what steps you need to take in order to prepare your body for pregnancy.

It is advisable to go for this appointment at least six months prior to wanting to get pregnant. This gives you time to work on any health issues you may have. Though some women choose to go just a menstrual cycle or two before getting pregnant.

Your midwife or doctor can also give you general advice on getting pregnant. This may include figuring out how to tell when you ovulation. Because pinpointing ovulation will help you get pregnant more quickly. They will also give you advice on nutrition, prenatal vitamins and when to seek prenatal care or advice on not getting pregnant as quickly as you would like.

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