Preconception Care and Fertility: Everything You Need to Know

November 29, 2021
Preconception Care and Fertility

An estimated 74 million United States women between 15-44 years are of reproductive age. However, the newborn mortality rate has been greater than in most other high-income countries in the past decade. It’s estimated that most infant deaths in the United States stem from prematurity and congenital disabilities. U.S. women aged 18 to 44 face various preconception risk factors that impact maternal and infant health. Almost 50% of these females are regarded as overweight, 19% are active smokers, 10% have hypertension, and 3% are diabetes patients.

Combining preconception into medical and gynecologic care is essential. According to a 2014 report, individualized preconception has been associated with improved maternal outcomes.

Let’s see how preconception care gives family physicians and their patients an excellent chance to address and reduce these risk factors.

What Is Preconception Care?

Preconception care is personalized care given to women and men that reduces maternal and fetal mortality and morbidity—the likelihood of conception increases when parents are provided contraceptive counseling. As per a new report by WHO, preconception care has a very strong and positive effect on maternal and child health outcomes.

What Are the Four Components of Preconception Care?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have categorized the main constituents of preconception care into four groups of interventions:

When Should a Woman Begin Preconception Care?

It’s recommended that preconception care should start at least three months before actively trying to conceive.

Benefits of Preconception Care

Preconception care enables family doctors and their patients to understand, tackle and mitigate the risk factors appropriately. There are clinical practice recommendations for treatments that enhance outcomes based on high-quality data. This reinforces the importance of implementing preconception services in routine general care.

Effects on Fertility and Conception

Researchers have looked at various drugs, anatomical differences, habits, and environmental factors that may impact a man’s capacity to contribute to a successful conception. There are factors that influence sperm quality, quantity, concentration, and motility. Health conditions such as diabetes, erectile dysfunction, and testicular issues are some contributing factors.

Apart from tobacco and alcohol use, certain medications may decrease fertility to some extent. Stress also plays a vital role in sperm morphology and concentration.

What Are the Most Important Measures a Woman Can Take for Preconception Health?

Here are some of the important actions a woman can take to improve her preconception health

  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight
  • Take 400 mcg of folic acid tablets
  • Stop smoking, using certain drugs, avoid alcohol, and avoid toxic substances
  • Get mentally healthy and learn your family history

Preconception care is important and should be part of routine primary care visits.

If you are looking for the best Gynecologists & Obstetrician doctors near you, the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine can help. Contact our team at 843-572-1600 or book an appointment today with our expert doctors.