Preconception Health and Health Care Is Important For All

Preconception Health

Couple jogging outdoors

Preconception health refers to the health of people during their reproductive years, or the years they can have a child. It focuses on taking steps now to protect the health of a baby they might have some time in the future.

All people can benefit from the principles of preconception health, whether or not they plan to have a baby one day. Preconception health is about people getting and staying healthy overall, across their lifespan. In addition, no one expects an unplanned pregnancy. But it happens often. About half of all pregnancies in the United States are not planned.

Preconception Health Care

Did you know?

There have been important advances in medicine and prenatal care in recent years. Despite these advances, birth outcomes are worse in the United States than in many other developed countries. Many babies are born early or have low birthweight. Among some groups of people, the problems actually are getting worse. Preconception health and preconception health care can make a difference.

Preconception health care is the medical care a person receives from their doctor or other health professionals that focuses on the parts of health that have been shown to increase the chance of having a healthy baby.

Preconception health care is different for every person, depending on their unique needs. Based on a person’s health, the doctor or other health care professional will suggest a course of treatment or follow-up care as needed. Ask your healthcare provider about preconception health care, especially if you plan to become pregnant.

Preconception Health for Women

Preconception health is important for every woman―not just those planning a pregnancy. It means taking control and choosing healthy habits. It means living well, being healthy, and feeling good about your life. Preconception health is about planning for the future and taking steps to get there!

I want to get ready for pregnancy »

I’m not even thinking about pregnancy »

Preconception Health for Men

Preconception health is important for men, too. It means choosing to get and stay as healthy as possible―and helping others to do the same as well. As a partner, it means encouraging and supporting your partner’s health. As a father, it means protecting your children. Preconception health is about providing yourself and your loved ones with a bright and healthy future. Taking care of your health now will help to ensure a better quality of life for yourself and your family in the coming years.

Information for men »

Page last reviewed: September 20, 2022