In addition to the usual diagnostic tests, your doctor may want to conduct other exams to determine if your body is ready to become pregnant. Pregnancy can be a strain on the body, and the doctor will want to make sure that you are in top health before your pregnancy.
Many experts now recommend a preconception appointment with your doctor to discuss your health and what to expect from a pregnancy. It's also a good way to select your ob/gyn and make sure that you like her before you discover that you are pregnant and are now in a rush to find a doctor you like.
Of course, pregnancy just happens in many situations without the benefit of preconception counseling. But if you are going to be spending a lot of time, money, and effort trying to get pregnant, why not make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible?
Blood Chemistry and Complete Blood Count
These two tests give a general picture of your overall health. The blood count can help diagnose anemia or other blood conditions. It's also really important to have a baseline blood count before your egg retrieval or surgery, if that is in your plan. Changes in the blood count can help diagnose a bleeding problem after surgery. Having a baseline is crucial in case of a problem during surgery. It's not something that most people like to think about, but it's an important precaution that your surgeon should take. He'll also want to check your blood type for the same reason.
Testing your blood chemistry can give the doctor an indication of how well your liver and kidneys are working. Certain medications can adversely affect their functioning, and the doctor will want to make sure that everything is okay before beginning treatment. This is particularly important before starting a medication like Metformin (Glucophage) for PCOS. Both of these may need to be periodically repeated during your treatment.
Certain common diseases can negatively affect a pregnancy. Chicken pox and rubella in particular can cause serious birth defects and complications. These diseases, however, are easily vaccinated against. Chances are you've had the immunizations in the past, but sometimes your immune response can decrease. Luckily though, you can easily check to see if you are still immune to either of those conditions. If you are, you will not need any further immunizations; if the blood test shows that you are not, you may need to retake the vaccination and then wait a period of time before you can become pregnant.
It may be tempting to skip the vaccination if the test shows that you need it, but given the severity of the potential complications, why take the chance?