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Thursday, 13 March 2014

Preconception check-up

It is a good idea for a couple who have started trying to conceive to see a doctor to ensure that the pre-existing diseases are controlled as well as possible with medicines that affect the growing baby as little as possible. This will also enable as yet undiagnosed medical conditions to be identified and treated. 

There are a lot of women with undiagnosed Diabetes who conceive. Women with PCOD, family history of Diabetes or with an increased body mass index should ideally get themselves checked. High blood sugars can cause structural abnormalities in the unborn child, miscarriage, growth problems etc. "Glycosylated Haemoglobin" or HbA1c will indicate the average blood sugars in the three months preceding the test. Dietary changes and/or medicines can then enable normalisation of blood sugars. If blood sugars are normal (HbA1c < 5.6%) at the time of conception and during pregnancy, there is little impact of diabetes on pregnancy.

Last but not the least, all women who are trying to conceive must take Folic acid tablets in the dose of 5mg daily as soon as they decide to start trying. This will prevent  some of the congenital abnormalities related to brain and spinal cord (such as anencephaly and spina bifida). In case you prefer taking prenatal multivitamins, take folic acid tablet in addition. 

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