Tests to do before trying to get pregnant
Preparatory exams for pregnancy assess the history and general health status of both women and men, with the aim of planning a healthy pregnancy, helping the future baby to be born as healthy as possible.
These tests must be carried out at least 3 months before the attempts begin, because if there is a disease that may interfere with the pregnancy, there is time for it to be resolved before the woman becomes pregnant.
Main tests to get pregnant
Both men and women need to do a series of tests before pregnancy, as it is possible to identify the presence of infectious diseases that can be transmitted sexually, during pregnancy or even during childbirth. Thus, the main tests indicated are:
1. Blood tests
Normally, the doctor is asked to perform a complete blood count, both for the woman and for the man, to assess the blood components and identify any changes that may represent a risk for future pregnancy.
In the case of women, fasting blood glucose measurement is also recommended to check the blood glucose concentration and thus see if there is a risk of developing gestational diabetes, which can result in premature delivery and the birth of the baby too large for gestational age, for example. See what are the complications of gestational diabetes.
In addition, the mother and father's blood type is usually checked to check for any risk to the baby at delivery, such as fetal erythroblastosis, which happens when the mother has Rh- and Rh + blood and has already had previous pregnancy. Understand what fetal erythroblastosis is and how it happens.
2. Detection of immunity against infectious diseases
It is important that not only the woman but also the man do serological and immunological tests to check if there is immunity against diseases that can be serious for both the mother and the baby, such as rubella, toxoplasmosis, and hepatitis B, for example.
In addition, tests are carried out to check whether the prospective parents have infectious diseases, such as syphilis, AIDS or cytomegalovirus, for example.
3. Examination of urine and feces
These tests are requested in order to check for changes in the urinary and digestive systems so that treatment can begin before pregnancy.
4. Hormonal dosage
The measurement of hormones is done in women to see if there are significant changes in the production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone that may interfere with pregnancy.
5. Other exams
In the case of women, the gynecologist also performs the Pap smear with HPV research, while the urologist analyzes the man's genital region to check for signs of sexually transmitted diseases.
In the preconception consultation the doctor should also check the vaccination card to see if the woman has all the updated vaccines and prescribe folic acid tablets that must be taken before becoming pregnant to avoid possible defects in the baby's nervous system. Find out what folic acid supplementation should look like in pregnancy.
Exams to get pregnant after 40 years
The exams for becoming pregnant after 40 years old should be the same as indicated above. However, with this age the chances of getting pregnant are lower and the couple has difficulty in getting pregnant. In this case, the doctor may instruct the woman to do several imaging exams of the uterus such as:
- Hysterosonography which is an ultrasound of the uterus that serves to evaluate the cavity of the uterus;
- Magnetic resonance imaging in case of suspected tumor and to evaluate cases of endometriosis;
- Video-hysteroscopy in which the doctor visualizes the uterine cavity through a small video camera, vaginally to assess the uterus and assist in the diagnosis of fibroids, polyps or inflammation of the uterus;
- Video laparoscopy, which is a surgical technique in which the abdominal region, uterus and tubes are visualized through a camera;
- Hysterosalpingography, which is an x-ray with contrast that serves to assess the cavity of the uterus and if there is obstruction in the tubes.
Pregnancy tests make it possible to schedule the pregnancy before starting to try, to ensure the health of the unborn baby. See what to do before you get pregnant.