So you’ve found the one you’re ready to take the next step with. Congratulations, there’s nothing we love more than love. Since you’re getting married, your future decisions will now be taken for two and you have to take you and your partner’s health seriously but, this isn’t always the case because the euphoria of starting a new life might make you head straight on without considering some sexual and reproductive health factors – which you need to know because you’ll be starting a family.
To help you prepare better, our couples plans have been carefully designed to take care of you and your partner, ensuring you get just the right kind of healthcare for two and we’ve also picked out the major medical tests you should have before putting a ring on it.
1. HIV and STDs
First on the list of our medical test because we expect things to get ‘steamy’. You should check for the possibility of lifelong infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C and Herpes, as well as curable ones like gonorrhoea, syphilis, bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, Chlamydia, etc. Statistics show that 50% of young people will get an STI and not know it.
If everything checks out, that’s great. Not so? It’s okay, the knowledge of your partner’s status will help you take the right measures to protect yourself should you decide to go ahead. Having prior knowledge and taking the appropriate steps as directed by your doctor will also reduce the risk of infertility or miscarriages.
2. Fertility Test
We do love kids over here and having ‘Junior’ is always on the cards when considering marriage. So it’s safe to consider doing fertility tests to avoid surprises and some of the emotional stress associated with it. You should test for both you and your partner because men are liable for up to half of all infertility cases. Fertility tests include seminal analysis, hormonal assay; pelvic ultrasound scans to ascertain the state of the internal reproductive organs and so on.
We’re still on the baby parade here and believe it’s important to ascertain both your genotypes beforehand to avoid having a child with the sickle cell disease. Sickle Cell disease is associated with a defect in the red blood cells and is a lifelong one – often resulting in serious illness. If you’re of the AA genotype, there’s nothing to worry about but if you are AS, you are a carrier of the sickle cell gene and care must be taken to know if your partner isn’t AS too. If they are, there is a 50% chance of having a child that is of the SS genotype.
4. Blood Group
It’s important to ascertain the blood group of a potential spouse to avoid issues relating to blood group or rhesus incompatibility. Your blood group can either be A, B, O or AB but there’s another component referred to as the Rhesus factor. The Rhesus factor is either positive or negative. If a Rhesus negative woman marries a Rhesus Positive husband, there is a 50% chance the baby will be rhesus positive. In this case, if precautions are not taken during pregnancy, this could lead to haemolytic disease of the newborn.
An understanding of both your blood groups will help your doctor prevent Rhesus incompatibility issues during pregnancy.
5. Chronic Medical Conditions
Having a chronic medical condition isn’t the end of the world. Knowledge will only help both of you be better prepared to look out for each other. Early testing for conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, etc., will enable couples to seek medical assistance early enough and also make the necessary lifestyle changes. When it comes to your health, it is always good to know as this sets you on a path to making healthy life choices.
It’s better to be on the safe side when it comes to knowing your sexual health status before getting married. Being aware of any issues or the lack of them leaves you with one less thing to worry about before your big day. So, ensure to conduct the 5 medical tests listed above.