Family planning

Pregnant women know how important prenatal care is for the health of both mother and baby. However, it takes a couple very consciously planning for parenthood to prepare for not only childbirth but also conception as the complex process of organic development takes place in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This is the time when cell division is fastest, the embryo’s weight increases several thousand times within a matter of a few weeks, and it is also the period when the embryo is most vulnerable to external impacts such as elevated body temperature, certain medications, chemical substances, radiation, infections, etc.

When preparing for conception our intent is to minimize all risks that might upset the normal biological course of pregnancy and have a negative impact on the health of the embryo, then the fetus and the neonate.

 

  1. Genetic aptitude

    A scrutiny of the family tree can reveal possible hereditary abnormalities which may require special tests during pregnancy. It is also important to have information on genetic and developmental disorders identified after previous pregnancies as they may necessitate similar tests in order to avoid recurrence.

  2. The health “aptitude” of the family planning woman is established on the basis of her medical history and current health status. It is useful to know the diseases that tend to run in the family as some of them have a greater chance to develop in pregnancy, for example diabetes. If a disease is revealed in the woman’s family that presents a potential risk to the pregnancy (e.g. epilepsy, diabetes, thyroid disease, hypertension, tumors, kidney and liver diseases, cardiovascular or hematopoietic diseases, polyarthritis, anomalies of the reproductive organs, etc.), special preparations can be made for the pregnancy and special antenatal care must be provided in order to minimize risks.
  3. “Aptitude” for pregnancy

    This is a special gynecological screening. It has a triple aim:

    1. To reveal possible abnormalities of the uterus (rare developmental abnormalities or underdevelopment)
    2. To diagnose inflammations:
      • Vaginal health screening
      • Screening for sexually transmitted diseases
    3. Identification of hormonal problems
  4. Fertility of the family planning man (microscopic sperm analysis) The male fertility examination means laboratory tests of sperm obtained by coitus interruptus. The tests include microscopic sperm count and analysis of sperm morphology and motility.
  5. Psychosexual “aptitude” (is there any psychological factor in the coupe’s life that might make conception difficult) If there is no impediment to parenthood a preparatory phase of one to three months follows.
  6. Vaccination

    The growing embryo and fetus is exposed to many different (mainly viral) infections. Some of the early viral infections result in lifelong protection for the mother while others may be caught repeatedly. By testing the maternal blood for antibodies we try to assess the risk of infection and if necessary, we administer vaccines for prevention.

  7. Vitamins

    Multivitamins containing folic acid can help prevent a large number of developmental abnormalities (primarily open neural tube disorder and fetal acrania).

    Proper lifestyle and diet are very important as they enhance the body’s resistance.

  8. Conception

    During the three-month preparatory phase the woman takes her temperature every morning after waking up (using the same thermometer, at the same time, orally, vaginally or possibly rectally). This is called basal body temperature and it helps determine ovulation, the fertile period within the cycle. If basal body temperature stays high after three weeks and the woman misses her next period it is worth trying a home pregnancy test.

    After conception an early pregnancy ultrasound screen is recommended to eliminate the possibility of ectopial pregnancy and to establish the gestational age.