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Counseling and examination before pregnancy

If you’re planning on getting pregnant, you could use some expert advice. Experts should take you through the whole process of getting pregnant including the condition of your body and mental preparation. Do see a doctor before getting pregnant. Being a regular visitor to a hospital and seeing a doctor before pregnancy makes a clear difference. Obviously, many factors in getting pregnant naturally can match those for general health examinations, but the result can vary when your doctor knows that you’re planning for pregnancy or not. In other words, if your doctor is aware of your plan to get pregnant, he can identify the fertilization conditions even for couples who haven’t experienced any distinctive physical issues. So, if you two have no specific symptoms that require medical attention, you must visit a hospital before getting pregnant. Doctors can provide a variety of information that can benefit your natural pregnancy greatly.

Typically, pregnancy is experienced by women between the ages of 15 and 49. Young newlyweds in this age range tend to have vague confidence in their health conditions. But it worries me to think that they are not even interested in their ability to get pregnant the natural way. I understand that by the conventional standards and customs of Korea, it may feel awkward to check each other’s health conditions before marriage or pregnancy. But the disease you unknowingly have may affect your healthy spouse. Obviously, this will affect your natural pregnancy and even your unborn child.

Husbands are reluctant to visit the gynecologist because they have this misconception that it is only for women. But it is not their fault. It is because of Korea’s rooted social perception. But you must muster up courage. Take your wife by the hand and visit a gynecologist together before getting pregnant. We must work together to have this seen as normal and common practice in our society.

Counseling before pregnancy is the first step to prenatal care.

Pre-pregnancy care means that you go through basic counseling and examination before getting pregnant for the wellbeing of the expectant mother and her child and receive additional counseling and care on the history of any illnesses.

Planning pregnancy is beneficial not only for the couple but also for the unborn. Most women fail to realize that they’re pregnant even after a few weeks into pregnancy. The initial period of pregnancy is unbelievably important for your unborn to safely grow inside your body. It is a highly critical phase for a woman’s health and nutrition. Therefore, you must set up a pregnancy plan through pre-pregnancy care. This will ensure a decrease in the likelihood of unexpected pregnancy and the risk of the mother and her unborn having internal diseases. For instance, you can take preemptive measures such as blood sugar adjustment for the diabetics, minimization in the use of medicines that may result in a deformed child if you’re suffering from epilepsy, and prevention of neural tube defects by taking folic acid supplements if you are suffering from diabetes and epilepsy.

If you have a hereditary disease, you should pace your pregnancy plan or come up with a pre-pregnancy plan to reduce the possibility of child deformity such as congenital metabolic abnormality or neural tube defects. If you are planning to have a child, you must contact your obstetrician first. Your obstetrician can diagnose any risks that can affect you or your unborn when pregnant and provide appropriate treatment. In addition, you can receive advice on regimens, everyday life habits, history of medication and history of family diseases.

Your personal medical history includes your weight, hereditary disease, childbirth experience (menstruation) and record of internal/surgical illnesses. Your social history includes your age, medication status, smoking and living environments. Your living environments include your job, regimens and exercise routines. Your family medical history also plays a very critical part in the process. In addition to your basic obstetric record, you will also receive ultrasonography. Moreover, your obstetrician may add additional checkpoints depending on your individual medical characteristics. So you must remember all the details of your past medical records, especially the diseases, for accurate counseling. To deliver a healthy child, you need to be in the right physical condition now and your past record of diseases should also be taken into consideration. If you’ve been pregnant before, the history of pregnancy is also important. All the conditions you’ve experienced when pregnant such as natural miscarriage or abortion, whether you have went through surgery for childbirth and any disease you’ve suffered from can greatly affect your future pregnancy.

List of Required Examinations before Pregnancy

1) Female

Blood test

  • It is a basic blood test for identifying an individual’s blood type or RH blood group and involves the identification of the symptoms of anemia and thrombocytopenia.
  • It measures the content of blood sugar, electrolyte, and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).


  • It is a basic test for examining the conditions of the kidneys. It can be used to predict the possible occurrence of toxemia at a later time.

Serological test for syphilis and HIV test

  • Syphilis is the cause of miscarriage, premature birth, deformed child or stillbirth.
  • Many Koreans still believe AIDS are for foreigners, but the number of Koreans infected by HIV is on the rise. When a woman with HIV becomes pregnant, it can be the cause of vertical transmission of the disease to her unborn. To prevent pregnancy while being infected by HIV, a screening before pregnancy is definitely required.

Hepatitis B and hepatitis B tests, and liver function test

  • This is one of the mandatory tests conducted in Korea.

Obstetrics test

  • The obstetrics test includes an examination of the vagina, cervical area, uterus and ovary.
    1. 1. Pap test (cervical cancer test)
    2. 2. Gonococcal test / Chlamydia test
    3. 3. Fungus test is performed if needed.
    4. 4. Rectal examination is also performed. When the examinations are done,
    5. 5. Pelvic ultrasonography is performed afterwards for detecting structural abnormalities in the uterus or ovary.


  • TORCH stands for Toxoplasmosis, Other infections, Rubella, Cytomegalovirus, and Herpes. The TORCH test is performed to detect these viruses as they can cause congenital infections in the fetus.

List of Required Examinations before Pregnancy

2) Male

Blood test

  • It is a basic blood test for identifying an individual’s blood type, RH blood group, or irregular antibody and involves the identification of the symptoms of anemia and thrombocytopenia.
  • Urinalysis
  • Serological test for syphilis and HIV test
  • Hepatitis A test, Hepatitis B tests and liver function test
  • Gonococcal test / herpes test – For those who have a record of urethritis or inappropriate relationships
  • Semen and testicles test – It is to examine their ability to impregnate their spouses

When you need additional tests

1) Woman
When an expectant mother is found with a disease other than those listed above, an additional screening for the disease is a must. You must be meticulous in checking your health conditions to bear a healthy child, and maintain your own health as an expectant mother. For instance, those who have kidney or heart problems or suffer from abnormal cases of thyroid glands or diabetes must seek an expert’s help. Additional examinations are needed for couples who have used contraceptives for a long time, previously delivered a deformed child, or have a family member who suffers from hereditary diseases.

When you need additional tests

2) Man
A test on a man’s sexual function such as the erectile function may be needed. Generally, erectile dysfunction is attributed to physical conditions in about 70 to 80% of the cases, while the other 20 to 30% are caused by psychological factors. But studies show that about 70 to 80% of erectile dysfunction experienced by newlyweds comes from a mental condition. Men who are under stress or become easily nervous in their early days of marriage need to go through a selective screening. Prostatitis screening is also recommended on occasion.

When you need additional tests

3) List of Important Selective Tests

Tuberculosis Test It is done by taking a chest

It is done by taking a chest x-ray. Tuberculosis still has a higher occurrence rate in Korea. When infected with tuberculosis, it is highly dangerous for a pregnant woman, and even more so to an unborn whose immune system is weak. It can also be transmitted to other family members or children in the house. Therefore, both spouses are recommended to take the tuberculosis test before pregnancy.

Irregular Antibody Screening (Females)

When an expectant mother has an irregular antibody in her blood, it results in intrauterine growth restriction, low birth weight, or anemia or jaundice in the newborn. In worst cases, it can bring about intrauterine fetal death. This was actually a selective test, but is increasingly acknowledged as being one of the required tests.

Breast Exam

If you’re aged 35 or over, many doctors would suggest that you take the mammography. You want to take this test before you get pregnant. When you get pregnant, your breasts change, which makes it difficult to perform accurate mammography and you are at a risk of exposure to radiation. Any legion should be treated before pregnancy to reduce the likelihood of infection during pregnancy.


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