Before allowing you to marry the love of your life or arranging a rishta for you, your parents make sure they pick the most compatible person for you. However, most people overlook the health aspect of a marriage.
There are a few tests you should get before you tie the knot. It may sound like a fault-finding mission but it is better to know what the bride and groom might face in future when it comes to their own general health and more sensitive matters – like childbirth. It makes the couple aware of the obstacles they might face and how to tackle them in the long run.
Here are a few tests all brides and groom-to-be should take before they get married.
GENETICALLY TRANSFERRED ILLNESSES
Yes, there are certain diseases that are passed from parents to their children through the faults in their DNA. The list includes thalessemia, sickle cell disease, cancer, juvenile diabetes and some mental disorders. The tests include giving in a small blood sample of the bride and groom to a centre that provides the services.
Dominant and recessive gene markers are identified through this test and the chances of their children having the disease are calculated. Even if the test turns out positive the couple can still go ahead to marry and give birth after counseling with a genetic counselor.
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASE
Giving a test for sexually transmitted diseases is a taboo in Pakistan. It might be difficult for you and your partner. However, you should still take these tests because some sexually transmitted diseases are life-threatening – like AIDS – while other STDs such as hepatitis C, gonorrhea, and herpes are something which you have to deal with all your life.
You do not have to go to a special centre for this test. A small blood sample given at any hospital laboratory would suffice. Your doctor might want to do perform physical examination, which is normal when you want to get a test done.
It might sound inane to get this test done but your doctor might be able to tell you how important is it. It is basically about Rh factor in the blood. If you are A, B, AB or O positive your Rh factor is positive and if you are A, B, AB or O negative, your Rh factor is negative. A couple with opposite Rh factors may have difficulty giving birth.
If the baby conceived has opposite Rh factor to that of the mother, it can lead to severe complications and even death of the fetus. If this is the case with the couple, they can ask their doctor for preventive measures to side step the complications. The test simply involves one or two drops of blood taken from your finger. Any hospital lab will be able to perform this test.
This can be a make-it-or-break-it test for most couples. It is advised to do this test before you get married to avoid disappointment or shock after marriage. A lot of times, this is also a cause of divorce between couples. Young people do not really need tests, except a few: women who have irregular menstrual cycles and males who have noticed some kind of structural abnormality in the reproductive organs.
Tests for women include tests for different hormones that regulate the menstrual cycle such as follicle stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, estrogen and progesterone. Along with that, tests for anti mullerian hormone, prolactin and thyroid might also be recommended by your doctor in case of the bride being more than 30 years. The test includes giving a blood sample. Tests for males include semen tests for sperm count, sperm motility and viability. Men who have one testes missing in the scrotum are recommended to take this test. The test includes giving a semen sample.
You might be aware of your partner’s mental well being since you have spent time with them. However, things are not so easy in case of arranged marriages. One meeting cannot help judge a person’s mental well being; this is why this test is important. A simple psychometric test, which takes a day, will tell you about yours and your partner’s mental health.
Your psychologist will give you multiple choice questions, picture analysis etc. Mental illness diagnosed can be treated and tackled most of the time. It is, however, your decision to take up that kind of responsibility. Your treating psychologist will tell you about how to manage the person and the marriage.
Lastly, every couple should get premarital counseling other than these tests. Marriage counselors are trained to help new couples with their marriage. They guide the couple about various things: sexual intimacy and compatibility, emotional stability, interaction with in-laws and living in joint or nuclear family.
While getting married should be a joyful occasion, it is essential to bear in mind that it is a lifelong commitment and being aware of what you are getting into ‘health-wise’ is the greatest way to make it work.