Marriage is a commitment for life that should be taken very seriously. When couples get married without knowing the state of their health, it may cause problems later on. It is therefore imperative to find out your medical history and that of your partner before you both tie the knot.
Here are a few tests that you should consider doing before getting married.
HIV AND SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES
Before you get married, it’s important that you and your partner to know your HIV status. Because the virus can be transmitted sexually, it is very important that both parties make sure they are free from the virus. It is also important to check for the possibility of other lifelong infections such as Hepatitis B and C and Herpes, as well as curable ones like gonorrhoea, syphilis, bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, Chlamydia.
Many people get married with hopes to one day become parents. Those hopes may, however, be shattered if any of the pair is infertile. It is therefore important for intending couples to consider doing fertility tests to avoid a sorry situation and the emotional roller coaster associated with it.
Fertility tests include seminal analysis, hormonal assay; pelvic ultrasound scans to ascertain the state of the internal reproductive organs and so on.
This is one important test that needs to be carried out especially by people of African descent to avoid giving birth to children with the sickle cell disease.
The disease occurs when both parents carry the sickle cell trait. The disease is lifelong and results in serious illness. If you get tested and happen to carry the sickle cell trait, you must avoid marrying a partner who also carries the sickle cell trait. If you do, there is a chance of having a child that is of the SS genotype.
Many people usually consider the importance of genotype tests but fail to realize how important blood group tests can be. Blood group is not only important for when you may need a blood transfusion, it’s also important in avoiding issues relating to the Rhesus factor.
Your blood group can either be A, B, O or AB but there’s another component referred to as the Rhesus factor which is represented by the sign above your blood group. It can be either a positive (+) or negative (-) sign. If a Rhesus negative woman marries a Rhesus Positive husband, there is a 50% chance the baby will be rhesus positive.
Rh incompatibility usually isn’t a problem if it’s the mother’s first pregnancy.
But antibody formation can happen after fetal blood enters the mother’s circulation during birth, miscarriage or abortion.
In this case, the woman’s immune system reacts and creates Rh antibodies. These antibodies help drive an immune system attack against the baby, which the mother’s body views as a foreign object.
If precautions are not taken during pregnancy, this could lead to haemolytic anaemia of the newborn which can result in jaundice, liver failure and heart failure. It can however be prevented when a woman receives the Rhogam injection at various points during the pregnancy.
Although, Rhesus incompatibility is not necessarily a reason not to get married to your partner, it is great to be informed so precaution can be made available when necessary.
Before getting married, it is important to know if you have any chronic disease. This will help you and your partner better prepare to look out for each other, should there be something wrong.
Early testing for conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, will enable couples to seek medical assistance early enough and also make the necessary lifestyle changes.
Carrying out these tests is also important because existing chronic disease can affect the outcome of pregnancy.
These tests usually take longer than the normal blood test. So invest in a thorough check up.
MENTAL HEALTH EXAMINATION
A sound mental health of both partners is important for a happy marriage. Some mental health conditions can be passed on to offsprings, so it’s important for you to know about them beforehand.
Conditions like schizophrenia, depression, mood disorders, mania are among tests for mental examinations. The tests should also include behavioural and personality disorders.
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