This test checks for the presence of blood, ketones, glucose and protein in your urine and also checks the pH. An abnormal result may flag up a variety of conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease or an infection. The nurse will bring a specimen bottle for your sample. You are usually requested to provide a sample at the beginning of the appointment.
Blood Pressure Check
Approximately 16 million people have high blood pressure in the UK and many more may be unaware they have this condition. In most cases, a raised blood pressure indicates damaged arteries and is a sign that damage may be quite advanced. However, the sooner it is detected, the better chance a person has to prevent further damage to health. The blood pressure device measures the pressure that your artery walls are under when the heart forces blood around the body (systole) and the pressure between beats (diastole) when the blood vessels are resting.
A normal, resting pulse should be between 60 - 70 beats per minute. People who are unfit or have cardiovascular disease will often have a faster pulse rate, unless they take medication that affects this. The nurse consultant checks for rate, rhythm and strength of the pulse.
Weight and Height
Checking your weight and height will determine Body Mass Index (BMI). This is a score used by health practitioners that divides your weight by your height. Below 19m2 is underweight; 20 - 24.9m2 is normal; 25 - 29.9m2 is overweight; 30 - 39.9m2 is obese; over 40m2 is morbidly obese. BMI scoring is not totally accurate because considerations need to be taken for a person’s build (determined by wrist measurement) and the amount of body muscle or fat. The more overweight you are, the less likely you will be able to conceive.
Body Composition Percentage
The Body Composition Monitor is a medical device which measures the percentages of fat, water and muscle in your body. Too much fat over muscle, or too little water in the body can all have a detrimental effect on health. Knowing these percentages can help the nurse to give the most appropriate diet and lifestyle advice.
The nurse consultant will check this measurement as it is a useful predictor of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Women should measure less than 88cm and men should measure less than 102cm.
Waist to Hip Ratio
By dividing the waist by height measurements, men should be 0.90 or less. For women, that figure is 0.85. The higher the number above these values, the greater your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Pulse Wave Analysis
This medical device measures Forced Expiratory Volume (FEV1) from the lungs to check for early signs of Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease. This is particularly useful for smokers, or those living or working in a dusty or smoky environment. The PulmoLife™ is also able to estimate the biological age of the lungs.
This test is similar to the PulmoLife™ for checking lung function and measures the amount of air expelled in one big breath. It is measured in litres per minute and your score is compared to a chart to check if your lung capacity is normal. Smokers and asthmatics often have a lower than predicted score.
At the end of the health assessment, the nurse consultant explains your results, points out any potential health risks and gives appropriate diet and lifestyle advice for you to follow. You will also be sent a Personal Profile a few days later with a summary of the assessment, including your results and recommendations on lifestyle which may improve health and increase your chance of conception for a healthy baby.
You may also be advised to have certain blood tests, depending on the result from your assessment. A Hair Mineral Analysis would also be helpful to check for any mineral imbalances or heavy metal build-up which can affect fertility or cause birth defects.
If any abnormality is detected during your health check, which requires further investigation by a doctor, you will be given a letter to take to your GP.
For information on how to book a Pre-Conception Health Check, click here.
The few months leading up to conception can significantly affect the health of your future baby and that includes the father-to-be, too.
The Pre-Pregnancy Health Check takes approximately two hours for one partner and three to four hours for a couple. It consists of the following: