Preconception counseling for preventable risks.

Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien

PubMedID: 23851536

Chandranipapongse W, Koren G. Preconception counseling for preventable risks. Can Fam Physician. 2013;59(7):737-9.
QUESTION
A healthy woman of reproductive age complained that when she saw me before pregnancy I did not advise her that she could check her varicella immunity and get vaccinated. She contracted chickenpox and endured unnecessary anxiety. This led me to think that it would be useful to have a summary of all the preconception counseling advice we should give to our patients to ensure the best pregnancy outcomes possible. Could Motherisk provide such a summary?

ANSWER
Although favourable pregnancy outcomes cannot be guaranteed, when a pregnancy is planned, many risk factors can be reduced and modified to enhance pregnancy outcomes. In the summary provided we will discuss optimization of diet, weight, and exercise; discontinuation of smoking and drinking; controlling chronic medical conditions; starting supplementation with multivitamins and folic acid; and ensuring proper immunization.