Being up to date on certain vaccinations is an important step in pre-conception care. Most of us have had all the vaccines necessary administered back when we were kids, but there are a few that might need a refresher.
One of the reasons why it was important for me to get it all out of the way before I get pregnant is because certain vaccines contain live viruses and can be potentially harmful to a pregnant weakened immune system. But specifically because of that weakened immune system it is important to make sure you are up to date and won’t catch some nasty chicken pox and step on a rusty nail ( Yikes! I still remember my childhood’s best friend going for a swim in a muddy lake and stepping right through a long rusty nail. The nail went all the way through her foot and stuck out from the top. Ew!).
So about a week ago I got my Tdap vaccine ( tetanus plus some) and my flu vaccine just in case. I have not had a flu or a cold in such a long time due to living in sunny Florida. The only few times I got sick were when “Northerners” (damn you!) brought the sickness with them while visiting us. When I am pregnant and my immune system can’t keep up with the onset of all kind of bacteria, the last thing my body needs is having no immunity to flu virus. Especially considering that having flu a certain time during pregnancy is known to cause miscarriages and horrible birth defect. Thank you, sir, not gonna happen!
My doctor advised me that I need to research which vaccine I got when i was a kid and also when I immigrated to US over 8 years ago. After spending 3 hours on the internet trying to figure out what they vaccinated for back then, I decided that the only thing missing was Hep A and Chicken pox ( which i could have been vaccinated against as a kid). So on my last visit to my OB, we did a titer test to see if i had antibodies for all Hepatitis and chicken pox. Still waiting for the results.
Ok, this is a sort of awkward subject, but here we go. In my 8 years of being an adult, I have never been tested against STDs. And that was not because I didn’t ask. Oh no, I insisted. Me, the eternal perfectionist and health control freak. I asked and begged but the answer was always the same: “You’re not in the high risk category!” or “This would be unnecessary testing!”. Screw that! Unnecessary testing my ass! Why can’t one be proactive about one’s health? If there was more “unnecessary testing” maybe we would all be healthier and less money would be spent on health care.
But I digress… So finally I insisted that I get tested against every STD in the book. I mean if i had never been tested, how do i know that there isn’t smth sitting there waiting for me to get pregnant and then BAM! “Hello some weird unknown disease that is going to make my pregnant life hell and make me eat evil antibiotics or worse- ruin my baby!”
Ok i know I’m exagerating, but it’s true- some STDs can cause miscarriages and other cause inflammation which is harmful to babies as well, and then there’re those antibiotics :)
So the results should be back next week! he-he
What? Come on! I had a wild time too!
Update: all the results came back negative :)
Part IV- Choosing Doctor and Hospital