Getting engaged fast-tracks a bride’s thoughts to the ceremony, decoration, dress, event budget, a new home, traveling, and many other exciting things. In the face of so many things to plan, it’s easy to forget something very important that needs to be analyzed in advance: the couple’s physical health. The top reasons that make this evaluation so vital are to:
- Track sexually transmitted infections;
- Be aware of possible fertility limitations;
- Increase self-knowledge, which promotes specific self-care.
Tracking sexually transmitted infections
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites. These are a few examples: the human papillomavirus (HPV), genital herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, AIDS (caused by HIV), and syphilis.
One, or even both, partners may be infected without knowing it. That’s because STIs are often asymptomatic, and they can spread through means other than sexual intercourse. A child may be infected during childbirth or while breastfeeding and grow up unaware of their diagnosis. It’s also possible to receive a contaminated blood transfusion, have an accident involving biological material, or have had a relationship with someone infected.
The tests that detect these infections are called serology tests. They can be performed via a blood test, a swab, or a Pap smear. Performing a serology test is an act of care for yourself and your future spouse, and communicating your results to each other is a demonstration of your commitment and love.
Whether to have children is something to discuss and evaluate before marriage. Not only should both partners’ desires be taken into consideration, but also both partners’ physical abilities to reproduce. Of course, there are ways to diminish or eradicate fertility issues, but the question a couple must consider is: are we willing to undergo medical procedures to have a child? When this topic is discussed before marriage, it’s possible to avoid even more difficult conversations and decisions down the road. That’s why it’s important to evaluate the reproductive health of both husband and wife through a series of tests:
For the wife
- A pelvic ultrasound, which evaluates the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. It allows visualization of the ovarian follicles, which shows the woman’s fertility or the success of a hormonal contraceptive method.
- Blood tests, which quantify hormones like progesterone and estrogen—hormones responsible for maintaining ovulation and that protect the baby in a probable pregnancy.
For the husband
- Like the pelvic ultrasound, the Spermogram (semen analysis) evaluates a man’s fertility or the success of a vasectomy;
- Prostate exams are indicated for grooms over 40 years of age, to evaluate their prostate health;
- A testosterone test is a blood test that screens for testosterone levels.
The tests below provide general information about your blood, cholesterol, and your metabolism. Their results can guide you and your future husband in establishing healthy habits, ensuring health for your whole family. Here is a list of recommended exams:
- Full blood count
- Cholesterol test
- Blood type test
- TSH + T4 (Thyroid tests)
- Urea and creatinine tests
- Stool and urine tests
Don’t forget to schedule your appointment and your tests! While you wait for your results, why not take a look at some of our other articles for a healthy married life?
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.3 John 1:2