When you hear the words, "prenatal" or "conception", is your first thought of an expectant woman with a great big belly, getting close to delivery? While this is obviously a valid image, it isn't the only important aspect of pregnancy. Health before conception is equally significant, and it's not just for women!

What do Men Need to Know Prior to Conception?

Prior to your partner's conception, you should consider talking to healthcare professional about your own personal health. This visit is a chance to evaluate risks your health history might contribute to your partner's pregnancy. These are the most common questions you will run across for a preconceptional visit:

  1. What is Your Family's Health History?

Your overall health important. But knowing your family's health history is critical to a healthy pregnancy as well. Before you talk to a health care professional, gather information about types of cancer, diabetes, and other disorders that run in your family. The obstetrician uses this information to look for specific complications during pregnancy.

  1. Is Your Current Lifestyle Healthy for a New Baby?

If you drink, smoke, or have troubles with substance abuse, you need to discontinue these habits prior to your partner's conception. Each of these behaviors is detrimental to fetus' health and could cause birth defects. Even if your child is born without a defect, these substances are a health hazard to newborns, as well, especially if cigarette smoke is inhaled by the infant.

  1. Is There Any Reason You Might be Infertile?

While some men are born infertile, others can develop it. Male infertility can be caused by a number of things, such as physical injury, chemical exposure at work, previous radiation or chemotherapy, and certain diseases. Keep in mind that certain prescriptions can also interfere with the ability to produce enough healthy sperm for your partner to conceive. If you are concerned that something in your health history will cause infertility, you can seek conceptional counseling to evaluate the cause and discuss the treatment of infertility.

  1. Are You Physically and Mentally Healthy?

This can seem like a touchy subject, but it's critical that your physical and mental health are in order before planning a family. Physical conditions, such as obesity, lead to poor heart health, depression, and other ailments. Mental health could impede your ability to care for and raise children. Prior to conception, do everything in your power to improve your physical and mental health.

Planning and preparing to become a father is an exciting step in your life. But your partner isn't the only one preparing for this step. Your own preconceptional health plays a big role in your infant's health. A group like Pediatrics Unlimited can give you more information about preconceptional health.