Obstetricians are the medical professionals who care for women during pregnancy. As such, you might assume there's no reason to see an obstetrician unless you are pregnant. But this is not entirely the case. There is one time when you really need to schedule an obstetrician appointment in spite of not being pregnant — and that is when you are starting to think about becoming pregnant. What you need to schedule, in this case, is called a pre-conception checkup or a pre-pregnancy exam. Here's what will generally happen during such an appointment.
A Pelvic Exam
If you recently had a pelvic exam, your obstetrician may skip this part. But otherwise, they will want to take a look and feel your ovaries and uterus to see whether there are any signs of conditions that might make it hard for you to become pregnant. For example, they might detect endometriosis, the growth of uterine tissue outside of the uterus, or fibroid, growths on the ovaries that may make ovulation less regular. While it can be troubling to find out you have any of these conditions, it is easier to learn this before you've spent months struggling to become pregnant. Many of these conditions are treatable, and your obstetrician can recommend the treatment that is most likely to make it easier for you to conceive.
Discussion of Health History
Your obstetrician will talk to you about any health problems you currently struggle with or have struggled with in the past. They'll let you know how these conditions may affect your pregnancy or your efforts to become pregnant. Make sure you are thorough and honest when discussing your health history with the doctor.
Your obstetrician will likely also order some blood tests. They'll want to look at your blood sugar levels to ensure you are not diabetic, as that can make pregnancy harder on the mother and child if not managed well. They may also make sure your nutrient levels are sufficient. If you do seem to be deficient in certain nutrients, they will likely recommend supplements in addition to a prenatal multivitamin. They might suggest waiting to conceive for an extra month or two until your levels of those nutrients are corrected.
In addition to the services above, your obstetrician can also discuss any concerns you have about pregnancy and give you information about pregnancy tests. After this appointment, you should feel informed and confident.
For more information, reach out to an obstetric clinic in your area.