Planning to try for a baby? Get a preconception health check!

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Last updated September 2013

MEDIA RELEASE – EMBARGOED UNTIL 7AM SUNDAY 1 SEPTEMBER
Fertility Week 2–8 September 2013
Planning to try for a baby? Get a preconception health check!
It’s the first week of spring, it’s Fertility Week – and would-be parents are encouraged to book a preconception health check-up with their doctor.
Fertility Week is an initiative of Your Fertility, a campaign that aims to inform all Australians about the key factors that affect their ability to conceive and have healthy children. During Fertility Week, the Fertility Coalition is urging health professionals and those who are planning to try for a baby to ‘talk about making babies’. The Fertility Coalition is the Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority (VARTA), Jean Hailes for Women’s Health, Andrology Australia and the Robinson Institute of the University of Adelaide.
Through a preconception health check, doctors can identify, treat and give advice on factors that could help or hinder the chances of conceiving and having a healthy baby: like weight, smoking, alcohol use, and timing sex to coincide with ovulation. Doctors can also check on whether any prescription or alternative medicines could be harmful for conception or the health of the child.
At the Your Fertility website www.yourfertility.org.au men and women who are planning to try for a baby can fill in a preconception health questionnaire. The results can be emailed and printed out to take to the doctor, making the conversation easier and time-efficient.
During Fertility Week:
1. Fertility experts will speak to health professionals and the public about the top five fertility factors at the Healthy Development Adelaide seminar, Thursday September 5, presented by the Your Fertility campaign and Fertility Coalition partner, the Robinson Institute of the University of Adelaide.
2. In Sydney, from September 2-4, the Your Fertility campaign will be represented at the Fertility Society of Australia (FSA) annual conference. Your Fertility spokesperson Louise Johnson will speak at the conference about the Your Fertility campaign and the importance of age and lifestyle for conception and a healthy baby.
3. The Fertility Coalition is proud to release a new animation aimed at educating young
people that some sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can affect fertility.

Your Fertility spokesperson Louise Johnson said that having a preconception health checkup could pre-empt problems with conceiving and ensure a healthy pregnancy and healthy child. ‘Use of IVF and other assisted reproductive treatments continues to rise and is an emotionally and financially demanding process,’ Ms Johnson said. ‘People who want to try for a baby can start optimising their chances for conception and a healthy child by getting a preconception health check-up at the outset.’
Visit www.yourfertility.org.au for more information about the key factors that affect fertility,
the preconception health questionnaire and videos.