Preconception Health Check-up: What is it and why is it important?

Preconception Health Check-up: What is it and why is it important?

A preconception health check-up, sometimes referred to as a Fertility MOT, is a medical fertility appointment that individuals who are planning to become pregnant can undergo to assess their overall health and flag any potential issues before conception. 

A Preconception Health check involves a comprehensive evaluation of medical history, lifestyle factors, some diagnostic tests and physical examinations or scans to ensure the best possible health for an individual or a couple and their future baby.

Here are some reasons why a preconception health check-up is important, what is usually involved and the benefits it can provide to those who are planning a family.

Identifying Health Risks for Early Intervention 

Medical History: A preconception check-up helps to identify potential risk factors that could affect pregnancy outcomes, such as chronic health conditions (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure), genetic disorders, or infections. It should include a thorough review of the individual's medical history, including any previous pregnancies, reproductive health issues, surgeries or medical conditions that may affect fertility. Early identification of these risks enables proactive management and reduces the likelihood of problems trying to conceive or the development of complications during pregnancy.  

Physical Examination: A physical examination may be performed to assess factors such as body mass index (BMI), signs of hormonal imbalances, or abnormalities in the reproductive organs.

Hormone Testing: Blood tests may be conducted to evaluate hormone levels, including follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol, progesterone, and thyroid hormones. These tests can provide insights into ovarian function, ovulation, and overall hormonal balance.

Ovarian Reserve Testing: Tests such as anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) and antral follicle count (AFC) may be used to assess ovarian reserve, which reflects the quantity and quality of a woman's remaining egg supply.

Semen Analysis: For males, a semen analysis may be performed to assess sperm count, motility, morphology, and other parameters related to sperm quality.

Imaging Studies: Imaging studies such as ultrasound may be used to evaluate the structure and health of the reproductive organs, including the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.

Genetic Screening: In some cases, genetic testing may be recommended to assess the risk of inherited conditions that could affect fertility or pregnancy outcomes.

Lifestyle and Environmental Factors: Discussions about lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, smoking, alcohol consumption, and exposure to environmental toxins may also be included, as these can impact fertility.

Support to Optimise your Health:

A preconception health check will provide couples who are planning to start a family with an opportunity to assess and improve their overall health before conception. 

It aims to help you to optimise your health before pregnancy, by addressing factors like medical conditions, achieving a healthy weight, improving nutrition, exercising and mental wellbeing, as well as empowering you to manage other lifestyle factors such as smoking or alcohol consumption, which can all have an impact on the health of your eggs, uterus and sperm.

The check-up encourages the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits, such as regular exercise, balanced nutrition, adequate sleep, and stress management. These habits not only improve fertility and support a healthy pregnancy but also lay the foundation for long-term health and well-being of both parents-to-be..

Improving Your Fertility 

Addressing factors that affect fertility, such as hormonal imbalances or reproductive issues, can increase the chances of conception. A check-up may involve assessing reproductive health with fertility tests to diagnose any potential issues and providing expert guidance on optimising your fertility.

Reducing Pregnancy Complications & Risks to Baby 

By addressing pre-existing health conditions and lifestyle factors, individuals can reduce the risk of pregnancy complications such as preterm birth, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and birth defects. Certain medications and infections can pose risks to a developing fetus. By addressing these factors before conception, the risk of birth defects and other complications can be minimised with a preconception plan tailored to your needs.

Enhanced Pregnancy Planning and Preparation

Preconception health check-ups allow couples and individuals to discuss their family planning goals, receive guidance on timing conception, on pregnancy preparation; including prenatal vitamins, immunisations, and lifestyle adjustments to ensure they are prepared for pregnancy both physically and emotionally.

Early Detection of Issues 

Any recommended screening tests conducted during a preconception health check-up, such as blood tests, genetic screening and infectious disease testing, can help detect potential issues early. Early detection allows for timely intervention and management to optimise pregnancy outcomes.


Overall, a preconception health check-up plays a crucial role in promoting reproductive health, reducing pregnancy risks, and supporting the best possible outcomes for both the parent(s) and the baby. 

It empowers individuals to take proactive steps towards a healthy pregnancy journey by enabling individuals to take control of their reproductive health and make informed decisions to support a successful conception and pregnancy journey without any additional worry or stress. 

Prep4Pregnancy - Helping you achieve pregnancy in 3 months.

If you are planning to start a family in the next few months, or have been struggling to conceive in the last year, why not speak to Dr Koita as part of our Prep4Pregnancy programme and let her help guide you through a medical review of your health status and outline the steps required to prepare you and your partner for a happy and healthy pregnancy? 


Looking for Preconception Health Check up or Fertility MOT?

By undergoing a Preconception Health Check, individuals gain a better understanding of their reproductive health and potential challenges they may face when trying to conceive. This information can guide decisions about family planning, fertility treatments, and lifestyle modifications to optimise fertility and improve their chances of achieving a successful pregnancy.

IVF Matters Preconception / Fertility MOT packages for individuals and couples provide a comprehensive assessment of an individual's fertility status, which specifically focus on evaluating reproductive health and fertility potential. Dr Koita provides an initial consultation and a follow-up to ensure you have the best possible support when planning to start your family. 

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