Angela Simmons 002Are you planning on starting or expanding your family? If so, we recommend a preconception care visit. The goal of this checkup is to take steps to increase the chances of having a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby.

We will evaluate your general health, and make sure your screening tests are up to date, including infection screenings. We will assess your diet and lifestyle, as well as your medical and family history. We can address genetic screening choices, both before and during pregnancy, based on your risk factors. We will review prior pregnancies with special attention to complications such as gestational diabetes, pre-eclampsia, preterm birth, large or small birthweight. We will identify risk factors for complications of pregnancy (such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid dysfunction) and act to decrease those risks if possible before conception. We can assess your current medications, both prescription and over the counter, for safety and recommend safer alternatives if needed. We can assess your vaccinations and recommend vaccinations needed before and during pregnancy. We usually prescribe prescription prenatal vitamins to start prior to conception in order to minimize the risk of spina bifida and maximize a healthy early development for your fetus. We can advise you on other testing or nutritional supplementation that might be beneficial to you prior to conception. Preconception is also an ideal time to address your dental health. Periodontal disease has in fact been strongly linked with preterm birth and obstetric infections.  As you plan and prepare for pregnancy, you should visit the dentist for a check-up and evaluation of your dental health.

For those patients who are experiencing challenges with conception, we can evaluate your infertility risks and attempt to identify causes through history, physical examination and testing. In addition to an infertility evaluation, we can initiate  basic infertility treatment including use of oral medications for ovulation induction.  For patients who need specialized infertility services such as assisted reproductive techniques, we have a close working relationship with local and regional reproductive endocrinology and infertility specialists and can refer you to their care.

If you are planning to start or expand your family, please set up a time to come and see one of the providers for this valuable visit.