5 Important Premarital Medical Tests
Who thinks of medical tests when they think of getting married? Between sharing the news, finding the perfect dress, venue, etc, who has time to think of medical tests? Some couples belong to religious organisations that require that certain medical information be provided before marriage takes place. Regardless, couples need to seriously consider the following important medical tests before marriage, whether they are required to or not. This may not necessarily be to determine whether to break up or not, but for the couple to be prepared to deal with these medical situations appropriately. Advancements in technology and medicine have made many medical issues treatable and manageable. In addition, the element of surprise is grossly reduced, which can help in turn diminish the potential amount of psychological and emotional trauma that may come with not knowing before hand.
HIV and Other STIs
The thought of this may make you cringe. However, it is very important to know what one’s status is, as there are measures that can be taken to maintain a relationship with an infected partner even if you are STI-free. For example, some STIs such as gonorrhea and syphilis are easily treatable and can be cured, if detected. This helps prevent fertility and other long term health issues. Others, such as HIV, herpes, hepatitis B, are known to be incurable, but are manageable. For instance, in the case of HIV, there is Pre-exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) that HIV-free partners can take to prevent infection. There are also some medications that can prevent infection of children born to an HIV-positive mother. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information.
Sickle Cell Gene
In our part of the world, this is a significant concern as sickle cell anemia is prevalent among Africans. The symptoms of this disease can be quite debilitating and sometimes fatal. Couples may want to consider their gene status, to decide whether to proceed with marriage, or have children once they do. Sickle cell anemia is manageable but incurable, and usually passed on to biological. Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine whether a child will inherit sickle cell genes from both parents or not. Because this is a game of chance, serious thought must be given to how to proceed as a couple, children if one or both parents is a carrier.
Blood Type Compatibility
There are 8 main blood groups: A, B, AB and O, each of which can be Rh positive or negative (i.e. A+, A-, B+, B-, AB+, AB-, O+ and O-). The main reason for this is to know the likelihood of Rh incompatibility. If the woman’s blood group is Rh negative, and her partner’s blood is Rh positive, there will be Rh incompatibility. This tends to result in intrauterine deaths or miscarriages. In cases where the baby survives, the baby is likely to develop jaundice and/or anemia, which though unfortunate, is treatable. If this medical information is known early, special injections can be given to the mother during pregnancy to prevent these issues. In some cases, the child may need to be given blood transfusions while in the womb.
This is piece of medical information is quite important to some. Although is impossible to guarantee that that a couple will be able to have their own biological children, some indicators can reveal the likelihood of conception. Knowing if there are certain conditions that may make it difficult for conception before hand, can spare a couple the emotional and financial cost of trying certain unnecessary methods. Again, the appropriate measures can be taken to address the specific fertility issue the couple is facing. In some cases, all that is needed is medication to help adjust abnormal hormonal levels.
Chronic illnesses are known to be long-lasting and often incurable. Many are passed on genetically to biological children. As has been mentioned already, having such information before hand, can enable a couple prepare to deal with any medical and financial demands in the relationship. It will also help prepare for such occurrences in their children, should they choose to have any.