Apr 1, 2006
• Preconception counselling forms the basis of a preconception care program and is one of the most potent opportunities to practise preventative medicine. • Topics that may be covered in preconception counselling are conception, contraception, sexually transmitted infections, cervical screening, dietary advice (preconception folate, iron and vitamin C supplementation), weight optimisation, smoking cessation, and alcohol use and risk behaviour modifications. • Lifestyle modifications should involve both the woman and her partner; if they do not, success is likely to be limited or at least only short term. • Some patients will ask directly about preconception care but usually the GP will have to broach the subject during consultations for other reasons. • Patients with certain medical diseases or personal or family histories implying specific disease risks and/or inheritable genetic disorders should be prepared for pregnancy well before it occurs, with a plan of action formulated using a multidisciplinary approach.