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Main > Specialty Areas > Obstetrics and Gynecology >
Planning Your Pregnancy

Complete Checkup

After the consensus is reached, the next step is to make sure that your body is up to the challenge. That necessarily involves a visit to a gynecologist.

Doctor Info:
Gynecologist is a doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the female reproductive organs such as uterus, vagina and ovaries. A gynecologist can also usually diagnose and treat other conditions such as infections of the urinary tract or pelvic pain. The word "gynecology" comes from Greek and actually means the "study of women."

A good specialist should look at your medical history, prior pregnancies, abortions and contraception methods. A doctor might also want to ask you about your lifestyle, allergies and whether you currently have any chronic conditions or have had any serious ailments in the past. Based on the evaluation, he or she might want to refer you to other specialists – to an allergist for example (if you have allergies).

All women who plan to conceive should undergo a general blood test (your doctor should pay attention to the levels of hemoglobin, leucocytes, erythrocytes, etc.), a urine test, a PAP Smear, and test for any sexually transmitted diseases – a lot of STDs can have a negative impact upon the health of an unborn child.

Procedure Info:
The Pap Smear (or the Pap Test) is used to analyze cells in a cervix. The Pap test can detect infection, unhealthy cells or cancer. It is recommended that generally, women should undergo the procedure once a year as a part of their regular visit to gynecologist. During the test, a special stick or brush is used to swab a few cells from the inside of the cervix. The test is usually painless and causes only minor discomfort.

It is very important to diagnose and address any chronic conditions and infections that you might have before you conceive – the presence of them in the body may seriously complicate pregnancy. Many people are unaware that a simple visit to a dentist may uncover certain infections that may prove detrimental to a healthy development of a fetus.

Finally, if there is a family history of certain genetic conditions such as the Down syndrome, Huntington's disease or Alzheimer's disease or of pregnancy complications such as miscarriages or stillborn babies it is important to undergo genetic testing. Genetic testing can indicate a probability of possible complications and disorders. Genetic tests are also often performed as a part of prenatal testing and care – they help to diagnose any hereditary conditions the fetus might develop.

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