What is preconception care?

Preconception care is an opportunity for you and your partner to improve your health before you start trying for a baby. A healthcare professional can help you to assess your health, fitness and lifestyle, to identify areas that you may want to improve.

Preconception care may be useful if:

  • you want to find out how a condition such as diabetes or epilepsy can affect pregnancy
  • you’re having trouble conceiving

It can also help if you just want to give your baby a good start.

Allow plenty of time for preconception planning and care before you start to try for a baby.

You will increase your chances of getting pregnant if you are both in good health. A bad diet, smoking, drinking and unhealthy working conditions can affect the quality of sperm and stop you getting pregnant. You should both try to make your lifestyle as healthy as possible before you try to conceive.

If you need advice about preconception care before you try for a baby, your GP or a midwife can give you more information. Preconception care is also provided by some practice nurses, health visitors, family planning clinics and well-woman clinics.

Read the answers to more questions about pregnancy.

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 14/01/2014

Next review due: 13/01/2016