Starting a family is a big decision, and ideally should be planned. When considering pregnancy, women and their partners often feel confused regarding the information available. Our doctors will provide you with robust and evidence based, pre conception advice. Before conception it’s best to be as healthy as possible in terms of lifestyle, immunity to certain infections and daily supplements of folic acid and iodine. Supplementation with folic acid prior to conception can help reduce the risk of neural tube defects ( NTDs) such as spina bifida.
Many pregnancies are unplanned. This may mean, that during the really important first trimester, the foetus may be exposed to certain toxins or conditions which might affect development, if the woman doesn’t know she is pregnant eg. recreational drugs, specific medications or high blood sugar. Having comprehensive advice and support, before the conception occurs to maximise health of the developing foetus, can help take many stresses out of the journey. If you have become pregnant accidentally, but would like to carry on, but are concerned about risks of exposure of the foetus during early pregnancy, we can review your circumstances and help decide the most appropriate antenatal screening tests.
If you attend for preconception counselling, we will undertake an overall health assessment and check your immunity against certain infections such as rubella and chickenpox (varicella). Pre pregnancy assessment will look at your general health, family history of genetic or chronic conditions, pap tests and other tests if relevant; for instance if you have had diabetes, anaemia or a thyroid condition, previous obstetric history, medications, smoking alcohol and drug use. If you are not immune to infections for which you can be immunised, we will encourage you to get vaccinated before you get pregnant so if you are exposed to the infection during pregnancy, you will be protected. We can vaccinate you here in the clinic. If you are vaccinated against rubella, it is advised not to get pregnant for 2 months after the vaccination. Flu shots are generally safe in pregnancy, and are recommended. We will also do a pap smear if it is due. However, you can have pap smears during pregnancy.
Our doctors at Gynaecare’s Sydney north shore clinic can help demystify and navigate through the available planning information, so as to maximise the chances of a healthy pregnancy.