Marriage is a significant milestone in a couple’s life, for which they ought to make many preparations so as to build a healthy life together. There are many prerequisites to it. While many people understand the romantic, emotional and financial aspect of it, not a lot of people give emphasis to the health side.
But Kanchan Naikawadi, preventive healthcare specialist at Indus Health Plus, says it is important to get pre-marital check ups done. “Each couple tries to get to know their partner well enough — be it habits, characteristics, likes, dislikes, etc. — and takes time to get into a lifetime commitment. But it is also important to know their hereditary factors. Before taking vows to spend their whole life together, there should be a vow to take care of their health and get the necessary checkup done,” she says.
According to her, a good premarital testing program provides unbiased health evidence. For couples considering marriage, pre-marital screening “helps detect hidden/unrecognised illnesses and risks for their offspring. It also aids them to understand their heredities and take essential precautions or treatments”.
Naikawadi adds that it is recommended couples get the checkup done about six months before the wedding.
Recommended tests couples should go for:
1. Sexually-transmitted diseases: HIV, hepatitis B and C are lifelong conditions that, if not managed properly, can gravely affect married life. Tests should also be done for syphilis, gonorrhea and herpes.
2. Inherited diseases: Blood borne diseases like haemophilia, thalassemia, Marfan syndrome, Huntington’s disease and sickle cell have high chances of being passed on to the offspring, hence they should be tested for.
3. Fertility: This is important because fertility issues need to be addressed as early as possible, without the unnecessary biological, psychological, social and emotional trauma associated with it.
4. Blood group compatibility test: Many people may not find it necessary to get their blood test done, but this can help them learn about the Rh factor. The Rh factor of the couple should be the same for successful pregnancy. In case it doesn’t match, it can be dangerous for the child. Antibodies present in the blood of pregnant women can destroy the blood cells of the baby.
5. Genetic screening: Taste preferences, nutritional requirements, food intolerances, fitness routines definitely matter to most couples. Genetic screening can not only help you understand the genetic tendencies associated with health conditions, but also give an insight on personalised nutrition and fitness.