Before you say ‘I Do’

By Amarachukwu Okpunobi

I love attending weddings and watching the couples exchange their marital vows. I love the sweet atmosphere of love and happiness ad they both step down the altar holding hands together as husband and wife.

I love to know that two young people have agreed to tie the nuptial knots and people bear witnesses to that. It then saddens my heart when I hear that same wedding that culminated into marriage has been dismissed because of one thing or the other. Oftentimes, couples agree to marry themselves based on what they claim to have felt for each other.

It’s not enough to accept that proposal ring or wedding ring. It is not enough to accept to wed a person. Some of our ignorance and lack of knowledge has put so many marriages in jeopardy. It has also brought so many complications in the lives of the children born out of such marriage.

This piece therefore exposes you to the several medical test one have to perform before walking down the aisle. So whether you are titillated by the looks of a young woman or man, please ensure to check for your medical compatibility before going into marriage. Below are some of the medical tests necessary to take before you say I do as written by Dr. Kazeem Akano.

  1. HIV and STDs

First on our medical tests list because we expect things to get ‘steamy’. You should check for the possibility of lifelong infections such as HIV, Hepatitis B and C and Herpes, as well as curable ones like gonorrhoea, syphilis, bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections, Chlamydia, etc. Statistics show that 50% of young people will get an STI and not know it.

If everything checks out, that’s great. Not so? It’s okay, the knowledge of your partner’s status will help you take the right measures to protect yourself should you decide to go ahead. Having prior knowledge and taking the appropriate steps as directed by your doctor will also reduce the risk of infertility or miscarriages.

  1. Fertility Test

We do love kids over here and having ‘Junior’ is always on the cards when considering marriage. So it’s safe to consider doing fertility tests to avoid surprises and some of the emotional stress associated with it. You should test for both you and your partner because men are liable for up to half of all infertility cases. Fertility tests include seminal analysis, hormonal assay; pelvic ultrasound scans to ascertain the state of the internal reproductive organs and so on.

  1. Genotype

We’re still on the baby parade here and believe it’s important to ascertain both your genotypes beforehand to avoid having a child with the sickle cell disease. Sickle Cell disease is associated with a defect in the red blood cells and is a lifelong one – often resulting in serious illness. If you’re of the AA genotype, there’s nothing to worry about but if you are AS, you are a carrier of the sickle cell gene and care must be taken to know if your partner isn’t AS too. If they are, there is a 50% chance of having a child that is of the SS genotype.

  1. Blood Group

It’s important to ascertain the blood group of a potential spouse to avoid issues relating to blood group or rhesus incompatibility. Your blood group can either be A, B, O or AB but there’s another component referred to as the Rhesus factor. The Rhesus factor is either positive or negative. If a Rhesus negative woman marries a Rhesus Positive husband, there is a 50% chance the baby will be rhesus positive. In this case, if precautions are not taken during pregnancy, this could lead haemolytic disease of the newborn.

An understanding of both your blood groups will help you prevent Rhesus incompatibility issues during pregnancy.

  1. Chronic Medical Conditions

Having a chronic medical condition isn’t the end of the world. Knowledge will only help both of you be better prepared to look out for each other. Early testing for conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney disease, etc., will enable couples to seek medical assistance early enough and also make the necessary lifestyle changes. When it comes to your health, it is always good to know as this sets you on a path to making healthy life choices.

  1. Mental Health: A mental health screening is an exam of your emotional health. It helps find out if you have a mental disorder. Mental disorders are common. Not all who dresses well are mentally balanced. Do not fall victim of being ignorant of your spouse’s emotions and mental health.