Aside from an annual checkup, many women, together with brides-to-be, don’t typically assume an excessive amount of about their feminine reproductive system relating to general health. Yet for brides about to embark on the subsequent chapter of their lives, it’s extremely necessary to be on prime of, and educated about, your health. To study extra, we chatted with Yelena Havryliuk, medical director of the Women’s Health Center, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology, and assistant attending obstetrician and gynecologist at Weill Cornell Medicine, for her professional perception.
Musts to Discuss
Most of the time, brides-to-be have two paths for dialogue with their ob-gyn: planning for pregnancy, or planning for contraception. Take outing to schedule an appointment to debate and study your choices.
Understanding the family-planning timeline earlier than and after the marriage is essential, based on Havryliuk. “If your goal is not to get pregnant, contraception is an important topic, and you should focus on that,” she says. “If you’re getting ready to start for pregnancy shortly after the wedding, focus more on that.”
Knowing and understanding your physique is extraordinarily necessary. Prior to household planning, “understand your cycle: the length, duration, and flow patterns, and if they’re normal or abnormal,” says Havryliuk. Additionally, it’s crucial to share your previous historical past with your doctor; STIs, STDs, Pap-smear abnormalities, cysts, fibroids, and so on. are all essential info to share with your physician, as everybody must be on the identical web page for efficient care.
Preparation is vital, particularly in the event you’re planning on beginning a household. Any considerations over previous medical histories or any uncommon signs ought to be reported and mentioned at a preconception appointment. Havryliuk remarks that along with reviewing any historical past, “heavy periods, painful sex, bleeding after sex, prior surgeries for cysts or ectopic pregnancies, or any abnormal findings from exams” ought to be famous and explored, and “it’s affordable to have a little bit of a workup to know what’s happening.”
Sometimes, screenings or changes ought to occur earlier than beginning a household too. “While there’s no particular screening I’d absolutely recommend or prefer,” says Havryliuk, “it’s reasonable to consider a few things based on history.” These forms of screenings embrace current testing for STIs that ought to be handled and may actually have an effect on reproductive organs. Additionally, routine screening for thyroid illness, autoimmune issues, and/or diabetes, based mostly on signs or household historical past, may be a good suggestion for some women.
Genetic testing and screening can also be an choice. In the previous, these checks have been typically ethnic particular, but it’s now turning into more and more troublesome in a multicultural setting to precisely determine affected person ancestry. A reasonably new suggestion from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) is that genetic screenings be provided extra broadly. “Ideally, it’s a prepregnancy carrier screening that allows partners to be tested before pregnancy to understand reproductive risk, and it’s important,” says Havryliuk. After you’ve got accomplished such screenings, in case you discover you’ve or carry the identical situation as your companion, then you possibly can perceive and discover your choices, which might embrace fertility remedies corresponding to preimplantation genetic analysis (PGD). While it’s also possible to get hold of these screenings as soon as you’re pregnant, “in an ideal world, this should be done ahead of time. It’s not mandatory, but it’s something to discuss as an option, especially for those with risk factors or unknown medical histories. Talking and learning and thinking is very important,” she explains.
In basic, most pregnancies are nonetheless unplanned. So even should you’re planning forward for a child, it’s necessary to evaluate sure way of life habits and different elements that would play a task in being pregnant. When talking with your ob-gyn, you may be endorsed about weight—carrying extra or being underweight, as they will each have an effect on a wholesome being pregnant. Additionally, way of life habits comparable to smoking, drinking, drug use, and health routines ought to all be mentioned, in addition to enhancements, cessations, and modifications to make previous to conception. The physician suggests, “Make wholesome modifications earlier than conception in order that they grow to be habits and your physique will get used to it. Weight management and train forward of time is essential.”
It’s additionally necessary to reveal another medical circumstances and drugs which are widespread, reminiscent of for diabetes and melancholy, as chances are you’ll have to make modifications or alterations in medicine. Doing so pre-pregnancy, as an alternative of throughout, is right. Additionally, folic acid and prenatal nutritional vitamins previous to being pregnant are important. Those with dietary restrictions, similar to vegetarians or vegans, might contemplate an iron supplement too. Also, make certain your vaccinations are updated, as not all are protected to get if you’re pregnant.
“Most couples find out they are pregnant when they are already pregnant, and organs are formed (or forming) at that time,” says Havryliuk, so being as ready as attainable can go a great distance in fostering a wholesome being pregnant.
Know Your Cycle
A primary understanding of your reproductive cycle is necessary to all women, no matter plans. “Many individuals are unaware of their menstrual cycle and the way it’s tracked and when ovulation occurs,” explains Havryliuk. “It’s good practice to track your periods and understand ovulation patterns. Normal cycles are 24 to 25 days, and most people have periods that last three to five days, and no longer than six. Anything too short or too long should be addressed.”
Also, keep in mind that timing is the whole lot in terms of monitoring. “Day one is the first day of menstruation,” says Havryliuk. “A lot of women think day one starts at the end of your period, and it’s a common myth.” Ovulation (your fertile time) occurs roughly two weeks earlier than your subsequent menstrual cycle, so “if our cycle is 28 days, you ovulate around day 14. If it’s shorter, maybe cycle day 10. If longer, it could be day 19 or 20. Smartphone apps help to track your cycles and are an easy way to know your body,” she suggests.
When it involves your physique and your health, information is energy. Regardless of your objectives, make sure to talk about any and all questions and considerations with your physician, and keep on prime of your health.