So the time has come. You're ready to start trying for a baby! You probably can't wait to add a little one to your home, but first, you should really make an appointment with your gynecologist for a preconception visit. This appointment won't be too different from your average OBGYN checkup, but it's still nice to know what to expect. Take a look.
A Medical Overview
Your gynecologist will probably spend more time focusing on your overall health at this visit than at your average OBGYN visit. Their goal in this is to make sure your body, in general, is healthy enough to support a healthy pregnancy. Expect them to ask about your history of diabetes and high blood pressure since these are conditions that can get worse during pregnancy. Be honest — if you have ever had a high blood pressure reading or high blood sugar levels, share this. Your OBGYN will also ask a bit about your lifestyle habits, such as diet, smoking status, and drug use.
A Pelvic Exam
This visit will generally include a full pelvic exam. Your OBGYN will feel the position of your uterus and check for any obstructions or growths that may make it difficult to become pregnant. They will also make sure your cervix, which is the opening to your uterus, is healthy. If it has been more than a year since your last pap smear, they will probably do a pap test to check for cervical cancer, too.
A Blood Test
Your doctor may take blood at this appointment, which is not typical at a general OBGYN visit. This blood is used for a few purposes. First, your Rh group will be checked. If you have a negative blood type, this clues your OBGYN in that additional measures may need to be taken if you become pregnant with an Rh-positive baby. Your blood sugar levels will also be tested.
Birth Control Discussion
If your OBGYN determines that it is healthy for you to try to conceive, they will then discuss with you your options for stopping your birth control. This is a bigger deal for women who use hormonal birth control, like the pill or the patch, than for those who use barrier methods. They'll tell you what to expect as you stop using your birth control and how soon you may become pregnant after doing so. If you have a longer-lasting birth control option, like an IUD, they can remove it for you at this appointment.
The preconception appointment is an important step that should not be skipped when you're trying to conceive. Contact your OBGYN if you have any questions.