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Pre-marriage couple testing : checklist

“Marriages are made in heaven” is an often stated phrase.

It’s tempting to believe this as many never expected humans seem to be associated through marriage and take it to its so-called successful outcome. It’s hard to believe as many predicted- to -be compatible relationships eventually land into bitterness and separation. True love in marriage is not about being there when it is convenient but being there when it is not. In the current societal situation where divorces are occurring at the drop of the hat and where perceptions about life, relationships are changing faster than a wink of the eyelid, the necessity of the institution of the marriage is questionable. But marriages even in the beginning were probably created by the civil society for security and furthering of a civilised race. Today they are found to be necessary for social harmony. Many marriages fail for various issues related to incompatibility. Compatibility has many facets but medical or physical compatibility are what will be addressed through this write-up.

Marriage may still be made in heaven but good marriages require work, sacrifice and compromise. Also, they need to be practical and rational. It’s about being compatible with the incompatibilities and many health issues can be tackled on the “dehleez “ aka threshold of marriage

I am amazed at the lack of information about health issues that couples have, who decide to align through wedlock. Marriage, as perceived by me, is an alliance between a couple for social acceptance, security, nurturing of love and a sense of belonging and to create a future healthy generation. Health begets health. If the parents are healthy; the society and the children will be healthy.

What health healed issues should be considered as part of premarital assessment or testing ?

Many aspects of health would be taken into account before embarking on marriage. Factors like metabolic disorders ( e.g diabetes PCOS, hyperthyroidism ), medications if any being taken such as anti-epileptic medications, asthmatic medications, any chronic physical illnesses such as anemia, behavioral disorders, addictions, physical disability and fertility to a particular extent are better to be evaluated and discussed. It’s rational to use marriage as an opportunity to evaluate the general health of the couple. These tests are not done to decline a relationship but as a window of opportunity to assess these issues.

Which physical assessments can be done as a part of premarriage assessment ?

Simple tests such as assessing whether the individual has obesity where the BMI Body Mass Index( ratio of weight to height ) is more than 26, presence of any deformity, allergies, presence of excessive acidity, digestion’s or chronic illnesses can be assessed and tackled. Times is witness to many successful marriages based on the foundation of trust which was created by such mutual understanding between couples about their medical ailments and joint effort to combat the serious consequences. A health checkup which includes assessment of BMI, blood pressure, evaluation of the cardiovascular system and presence of any autoimmune disorders and nutritional deficiency related illnesses can be done. This way such illnesses can be detected early and proper planning to treat them can be considered. Clinical breast examination is recommended from the age of 20 in women taking into account the rising incidence of breast cancer.

Are there any laboratory tests that can be done before marriage ?

Blood groups are better to be known and if not tested for already, marriage can be used as an opportunity to test the blood group. There is a myth that a couple, of the same blood groups, may suffer miscarriages and this is not true. Also if the woman is rhesus negative then it is better to seek pre-pregnancy advice. Simple tests such as screening for anemia, thyroid disorders and diabetes is a good idea. Additionally screening for blood disorders such as sickle cell disease and thalassemia can help in preventing furthering these diseases through the transmission to the offspring and proper planning and early genetic detection can be undertaken.

Are there any infectious diseases which can be transmitted sexually and can be tested ?

Disease such as HIV-AIDS, Hepatitis B, syphilis is sexually transmitted diseases which can be tested and spread of the disease controlled with strategic planning through medical advice. Any more diseases such as gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis and chlamydia also are transmitted sexually and medical guidance for the existence of these diseases can be taken. Many times ignorance and shyness prevent the individuals from seeking this advice.

Are there any sexuality or fertility tests that can be done before marriage ?

The need for these tests and extent to which they are to be done have to be determined individually by the doctor (gynecologist) and the couple. Marriages are not only about sexuality and reproduction. These are the mainstay for sure and proper guidance and information about this definitely helps in understanding what to expect, accept and improvise. it’s better to get such information from the right source such as your doctor. Additionally, it is important that the couple is well informed about pregnancy planning and chooses appropriate methods of birth control and timelines to plan pregnancies.

Are there any vaccinations or shots the couple can take before marriage ?

Yes, infectious diseases transmission can be prevented by protecting against certain communicable diseases such as hepatitis and HPV ( Human papilloma virus which can cause genital warts and cancer of the cervix). Additionally, women can be immunised against rubella infections which can cause congenital rubella syndrome in babies affected due to unprotected mothers.

All these tests have been mentioned as a gross overview to stimulate thinking in the young generation embarking on a wonderful relationship as a marriage which is to be nurtured into a healthy association for the betterment and stability of the society. Many more aspects such as emotionality, psychological compatibility are also important aspects and these have to be tackled with a mature and progressive approach. Finally, marriages are an essential fragment of the sound social structure and all efforts have to be made to protect the institution which has proved its contribution to a stable society for a long long time. Premarital health assessment score and proper health and pregnancy planning can go a long way to contribute to the improvement in the health status of the society.

Happy Married Life ! 

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