Preconception Counseling

Given that nearly one-half of pregnancies are unintended, preconception care should be considered an integral part of primary care for women of reproductive age.

Common issues in preconception care include family planning, achieving a healthy body weight, screening and treatment for infectious diseases, updating appropriate immunisations, and reviewing medications for teratogenic effects. Women who want to become pregnant should take folic acid supplements to reduce the risk of neural tube defects. Control of chronic diseases is essential for optimising pregnancy outcomes.

Family physicians should work with patients to control conditions such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and seizure disorders while simultaneously offering family planning services to avoid