It is advisable to make an appointment with your gynaecologist before falling pregnant. Medical problems and risks which could affect your pregnancy can then be identified and dealt with in advance.
Examinations routinely carried out prior to pregnancy include:
Examinations of the uterus
By means of a palpation examination or an ultrasound, the uterus can be examined for tumours (myomas), which could cause discomfort during pregnancy and lead to complications during the birth. In addition, the examination can also exclude infections of the uterine orifice and the vagina.
Blood test for Rubella
Rubella (German Measles) infection during pregnancy can have grave ramifications for the unborn child. This test will determine whether you have immunity. If you have never been afflicted with rubella and have also not been immunised against it, you will be given vaccination. In this case, you will be advised to wait three months before falling pregnant in order to prevent negative effects on the embryo.
If your annual pap smear was positive, pregnancy should be postponed until such time as the results have normalised, or have been remedied. You should also discuss your general state of health with your gynaecologist. If you are receiving treatment for an acute or chronic illness, it may be necessary to change your medication, or to postpone the pregnancy.
If you have failed to conceive after many years of trying, you can also discuss the medical options available to improve your natural chances for conception.