It has become very important for intending couples to conduct some essential medical tests before marriage. Knowing each other’s sexual health status helps in the decisions that are taken prior to marriage.
He advised that tests should be done for HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s), Genotype, Rhesus, Fertility Profile, Chronic Medical Conditions and COVID-19.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s)
According to Dr Atangwo, up to 50% of people with Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) do not know they’re infected.
He, therefore, advised people to first check if their partners have lifelong STI’s like HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Herpes and also check for the curable STI’s like gonorrhoea, syphilis, yeast infections and Chlamydia
Genotype and Rhesus
Dr Atangwo also stated that checking for genotype compatibility is very important.
AA+AA – All children will be healthy
AA AA+AS – 1 in 2 children will be carriers, AS others healthy
AA+SS – All children Carriers
SS+SS – All children will be sicklers
AS+SS – 1 in 2 children will be a sickler, others will be carriers
AS + AS – 1 in 4 children will healthy (AA), 1 in 4 children will be a sickler (SS) and 2 in 4 children will be carriers (AS)
For Rhesus, Dr Atangwo indicated that you can either be Rhesus positive or negative.
“If a Rhesus negative lady marries a Rhesus positive man, there’s a 50% chance their baby will be rhesus positive. If care is not taken during pregnancy and childbirth, this could cause Haemolytic Disease of the Newborn,” he stated.
Since most couples would like to have kids, Dr Atangwo advised that couples take at least these three common tests to check fertility: seminal fluid analysis, hormonal assay and pelvic ultrasound scans. He indicated that the scans will check the state of the internal reproductive organs.
Chronic Medical Conditions
He also advised couples to check for chronic medical conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease and liver disease.
“Knowing this will enable you seek medical assistance early enough and also make the needed lifestyle adjustments,” he added.
Dr Atangwo also advised couples to test for COVID-19. He indicated that COVID-19 is not a sexually transmitted infection, but it can be passed on through kissing and close body contact, including having sex.
Advising intending couples, Dr Atangwo stated: “It’s always better to be on the safe side. No matter how mad you are in love with him or her, don’t jump into signing that marriage certificate without knowing your partner’s sexual health status!”
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