Preconception health care: a critical task for family physicians.

D. K. Gjerdingen, P. Fontaine

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Health care leaders in the United States have recently advised that preconception care be made available to all prospective parents because health in pregnancy depends on health status prior to pregnancy. Prenatal care usually begins after the early critical period of pregnancy has passed, and optimal early prenatal care can be achieved only through preconception care. Family physicians, who are ideally suited to provide this care, can readily integrate it into the routine health maintenance they currently provide for their patients of childbearing age. This review highlights components of the medical, family, and social histories, current health, and physical examination that are important to preconception health. There is good evidence that attention to patients' health needs before conception is related to improved perinatal outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-250
Number of pages14
JournalThe Journal of the American Board of Family Practice / American Board of Family Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 1991


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