Periconceptional care was established in 1984 in Hungary and was expanded to a national network in 1989. Periconceptional care consisting of counseling, examinations and medical interventions for voluntary and eligible couples based on three steps: check-up of reproductive health (i.e. preconceptional screening), a 3-month preparation for conception, and best possible protection in early pregnancy for the most sensitive early development of the embryo. Periconceptional care is provided and/or supervised by qualified nurses. This care helps participants with a positive family history, case history, a genitourinary infection or infertility to have a more effective access to secondary care. Periconceptional care is optimal for introducing periconceptional folic acid/multivitamin supplementation and for reducing smoking and alcohol consumption in females prior to conception. The rate of major congenital abnormalities in the children of couples attending for periconceptional care (20.6/1,000) was significantly lower than expected (about 40/1,000) during the study period. Periconceptional care also provides an opportunity for the primary prevention of common complex diseases, e.g. coronary artery disorders; it may be called a 'euphenic' model. In conclusion, periconceptional care is feasible and has many benefits, because proper preparation for conception is the earliest and probably the most important approach for health promotion and for the prevention of congenital abnormalities.
- Community genetics
- Euphenic model
- Periconceptional care
- Prevention of common complex diseases
- Prevention of congenital abnormalities
ASJC Scopus subject areas