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Preconception care: a means of prevention

Preconceptional health promotion should provide a prevention framework for interactions with all women of childbearing potential.

Preconceptional counselling is properly directed by specialists in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology, but a multispecialty effort will be needed to achieve adequate information for decision-making. Preconceptional health care offers an important opportunity for physicians involved in women's health to expand a primary care and a primary prevention focus. The obstetrician or gynaecologist is not only involved in acute diagnosis and treatment plans but also in disease prevention, risk and behaviour modification and counselling, which are integral parts of primary prevention and co-ordinated women's health care.