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Content of Care for Women

Every Woman, Every Time

Patient with a doctor holding

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations emphasize that preconception care is not limited to a single visit to a health professional, but is a process of care that is designed to meet the needs of a woman during the different stages of her reproductive life.

All women of reproductive age are candidates for preconception care; however, preconception care must be tailored to meet the needs of the individual. For example, the provision of smoking cessation services is preconception care, as is choosing a medication for a patient with hypertension. Much of preconception care involves the provider reframing his or her thinking, counseling, and decision-making in light of the reproductive plans and sexual and contraceptive practices of the patient.

Given that preconception care ideally should occur throughout the reproductive years, some recommendations will be more relevant to women at specific stages in their lives and with varying levels of risk.

Clinical Care Criteria

The clinical content of care topics were selected based on the following criteria:

  • There is a good chance that the health of the mother or the infant will be improved if the condition is identified and addressed before pregnancy.
  • The burden of suffering and prevalence of the condition are sufficient to justify screening and treatment.
  • The condition is detectable in clinical care in either primary or specialty settings.
  • If screening is used, the screening methods that are available to detect the condition are sufficiently predictive to justify screening.
  • Clinical practice guidelines already exist that suggest that preconception interventions be implemented.

The clinical content of care items included on this website are limited to those that meet the following standards:

  • There is good or fair evidence to support the recommendation that the condition be considered specifically in a preconception care evaluation.
  • There is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against the inclusion of the condition in a preconception care evaluation, but recommendation to include or exclude might be made on other grounds.

Table of Contents

To see the complete list of the preconception clinical content and description of how the content was selected and rated, please read the full article.

Health Promotion

  • Family Planning and Reproductive Life Plan
  • Weight Status
  • Physical Activity
  • Nutrient Intake
  • Folate
  • Substance Use
  • STIs

Personal History

  • Family History
  • Known Genetic Conditions
  • Prior Cesarean Delivery
  • Prior Miscarriage
  • Prior Preterm Birth
  • Prior Stillbirth
  • Uterine Anomalies


  • Calcium
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Essential Fatty Acids
  • Folic Acid
  • Iodine
  • Iron


  • Hepatitis B
  • HPV
  • Influenza
  • Measles, Mumps, and Rubella
  • Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis
  • Varicella

Infectious Diseases

  • Chlamydia
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Gonorrhea
  • Hepatitis C
  • Herpes Simplex Virus
  • HIV
  • Listerosis
  • Malaria
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Syphilis
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Tuberculosis

Medical Conditions

  • Asthma
  • Cardiovascular Disease
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Eating Disorders
  • Hypertension
  • Lupus
  • PKU
  • Psychiatric Conditions
  • Renal Disease
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Thrombophilia
  • Thyroid Disease


  • Alcohol, Tobacco, Illicit Substances
  • Environmental
  • Hobbies
  • Medications

Psychosocial Risks

  • Access to Care
  • Inadequate Financial Resources

Special Populations

  • Disability
  • Immigrant and Refugee Populations
  • Survivors of Cancer