FIGO Preconception Checklist: a valuable new tool to address health risks during the preconception period

Banner image with logos

FIGO and IJGO are pleased to announce the publication of the “FIGO Preconception Checklist: Preconception care for mother and baby”. This paper was written by the FIGO Committee on Well Woman Health Care and the FIGO Committee on the Impact of Pregnancy on Long-Term Health, 2021-2023.

The FIGO Preconception Checklist is a valuable tool for healthcare providers to use with their patients to assess risk factors and health issues that can contribute to maternal and perinatal death and disease. It is designed to facilitate planning and healthcare management of patients during the preconception period, with the aim of ensuring that patients are in the best possible position prior to pregnancy, along with the broader objective  of homogenising preconception care across countries around the globe.

The preconception period is a “window of opportunity”

Maternal and perinatal deaths and diseases are a major global health issue. In order to reduce the global average maternal mortality rate and eliminate deaths of newborns and children under five years, implementing preventative care is a crucial step. Therefore, addressing health risks and establishing healthier habits during the preconception period is important to the prevention of maternal and foetal mortality and morbidity.

Preconception care involves biomedical, behavioural and social health interventions prior to conception for women and couples. It aims to reduce habits and factors that could contribute to poor maternal and child health outcomes and improving maternal and child health in the short and long term.

FIGO’s commitment to preconception care

The FIGO Preconception Checklist addresses key factors, such as pre-existing chronic medical conditions, poor nutrition, weight conditions, harmful environmental exposures, infectious diseases, unhealthy lifestyles, insufficient vaccination history and inadequate inter-pregnancy intervals.

FIGO recognises the vital role that public health services play in addressing all preconception health care needs effectively. Healthcare professionals should provide appropriate preconception care to all women during routine visits, regardless of pregnancy intentions.

FIGO advocates for the importance of preconception care and commits to promoting implementation initiatives across its member societies through the following activities:

  • Developing and distributing resources for healthcare professionals on preconception care, such as the FIGO Preconception Checklist.
  • Ensuring all healthcare systems, policymakers and providers are aware of the impact of preconception care on the short- and long-term health of their populations.
  • Advocating for supportive capacity building for healthcare providers and educators.
  • Supplying resources to support data collection and monitoring mechanisms at institutional and national levels to assess and monitor existing preconception care practices.

Read the “FIGO Preconception Checklist: Preconception care for mother and baby” here.