Preconception care is a group of interventions designed to identify and modify women's medical and behavioral risks, specifically issues that benefit maximally from change before conception. The Undergraduate Medical Education Committee within the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics has included preconception care as one of 58 educational topics areas that must be covered within the curriculum for medical students. Among the eight learning objectives included under the Preconception Care topic area, six are Priority 1 (i.e., students must learn and master) and two are Priority 2 (i.e., should be learned). This tutorial has been designed to address these learning objectives and to supplement any Obstetrics and Gynecology clerkship curriculum. The 30- to 60-minute online tutorial serves to ensure the teaching/learning of preconception care in an evidence-based, interactive format. The tutorial provides an overview of preconception care and goes into detail on how to apply this type of care in practice. Topics that are relevant to preconception care covered in this tutorial include immunizations, chronic hypertension, diabetes, genetic abnormalities, advanced maternal age, substance abuse, nutrition and exercise, medications, and environmental hazards. Pre-/posttests are included for learners to both measure their current knowledge of the topic and their acquired knowledge after working through the module.
By the end of this session, learners will be able to:
- Define preconception care and explain its context in healthcare.
- Effectively counsel patients regarding smoking and drinking habits, including the risks these habits pose on future reproduction.
- Collect reproductively relevant genetic information from patients to determine who should be referred to genetics for further evaluation.
- Explain the pregnancy risks of patients over the age of 35 years of age.
- Describe vaccine-preventable diseases and their effects on reproductive outcomes.
- Describe the effects of poorly controlled diabetes on pregnancy as well as the impact of excellent glycemic control that yields optimal maternal and fetal outcomes.
- Counsel reproductive age hypertensive patients about the effect of hypertension (including its treatment) on pregnancy outcomes.
- Classify reproductive age patient-weight status and explain the associated reproductive risks.
- Explain the benefits and the consequences of dietary deficiency and daily 0.4 mg folic acid supplements for all reproductive age women.
© 2010 Stafford et al.
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Stafford F, Walsh-Covarrubias J, Goepfert A. The fundamentals of preconception care: an online tutorial. MedEdPORTAL. 2010;6:7946. https:/
doi. org/ 10. 15766/ mep_ 2374- 8265. 7946