Family planning during the COVID-19 pandemic

Published: May. 20, 2020 at 4:59 PM CDT
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The current pandemic has upended so many aspects of everyday life, but for people considering pregnancy or already pregnant, those changes can feel even more overwhelming. With medical appointments delayed or moved to telemedicine sessions, many women may feel more uncertainty about their healthcare.

On Wednesday, genetic counselor and women’s health expert Julia Wilkinson joined NewsChannel 7 at 4 to share specific steps you and your partner can do during this time while you’re at home to make sure you’re ready for your next appointment, either via telemedicine or in person.

The first thing Wilkinson talked about was the importance of doing your research. Gather information from both your and your partner’s relatives to learn about your family’s health history.

“Find out if there’s anything in that history that you might be concerned about for your own health or for the health of your future children,” she said.

Also, she said to track your menstrual cycles if you’re not already doing so. Also consider taking an ovulation test or fertility test if they’ve been irregular.

Wilkinson said you should also be gathering your medical records into one location, especially if you’re been seeing different physicians in the last five years. Contact their offices to obtain your medical records. If not, make a list of any health events or significant medical activities. It’s also a good way to be sure you’re up to date on vaccines.

Lastly Wilkinson said that genetic testing is incredibly important for everyone to have. Parents may have genetic conditions that can be passed onto unborn children. Leading health organizations recommend carrier screening be offered to all women who are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant. Tests kits are available online and can be done right at home.

“That way you can do everything you need to do to prepare for that next appointment,” she added.

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