Welcome to the latest installment of “Over 90 Percent of What Planned Parenthood Does,” a series on Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona’s blog that highlights Planned Parenthood’s diverse array of services — the ones Jon Kyl never knew about.
Few moments in life are as important and complex as when a woman makes the decision of whether and when to have children. There are many considerations to take into account when planning to conceive, many of which can affect not only the baby, but the mother as well.
Preconception counseling, a service of Planned Parenthood Arizona, can provide those who wish to conceive with valuable information about their own health, suggestions about how to best manage their wellness for pregnancy, and education about a range of outcomes (including the possibility of miscarriage). Preconception counseling can assist you in creating an environment focused on optimal health for both you and your future child.
These counseling services include:
- targeted medical history with focus on teratogenic exposures, ethnic background, and family history
- social history with focus on risk factors for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), tobacco, alcohol, and street drug use
- history of chronic illnesses
- physical exam
- labs as indicated (STDs, diabetes screening, etc.)
- genetic counseling referrals as indicated
- immunization review
- folic acid utilization
- review of current medications and possible hazardous exposures
The above list might seem long and detailed, but upon closer examination, you might not know what all of these things mean. What are teratogenic exposures? What does folic acid have to do with a healthy pregnancy? Let’s look at some of these topics in more depth. Continue reading