Pre-marital counselling for a new beginning

These days it is all about the ‘wedding’; not much thought is given to the ‘marriage’. Marriage is what begins after the wedding ends. We are all so engrossed with buying the perfect lehenga, getting all the matching jewellery, having the best of food and all other decorative factors, that we actually forget the most important aspect of marriage. Both the partners should be absolutely healthy before getting into the institution of marriage, and it is the responsibility of every couple to ensure that they undergo a thorough health check-up that would ensure a healthy marriage. It is important to give the marriage proper thought and consideration; at least as much as we put into wedding planning and making it picture perfect.

Informed beginning

Premarital counselling is a unique opportunity to look further into the future and to plan for what the wedding is actually celebrating: the beginning of a marriage and the union of two people.

The complete awareness of your partner’s health condition by no means implies that marriage is not possible but it gives you the opportunity to make an informed consent and prepares you and your spouse to seek proper medical care early to prevent unnecessary stress and burden during marriage.

Though premarital counselling can be challenging, remember that it is all for the best and that you are putting in that extra effort to make your marriage work. Nowadays it is advisable for couples belonging to any religion to go for counselling and give themselves a better chance for a stable and satisfying marriage. Counselling can help the couple establish a positive attitude throughout their married life while helping to identify and deal with the seeds of future marital strife.

India being a country with the largest number of arranged marriages, it is important for a couple to go for counselling, not just to know each other better but also to be knowledgeable about their intending partner’s health.

Counselling is getting justified attention nowadays and with people becoming more and more accepting towards it, makes it a success in itself. Apart from counselling, it is imperative and advisable that the couple takes the initiative to undergo few health tests. The three mandatory tests suggested include:

1) Test for HIV and other sexual transmitted disease (STDs): With the current prevalence of HIV and STDs, it is advisable for couples to get screened before getting married.

The HIV, Gonorrhoea, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are lifelong conditions that can have serious consequences for you and your partner. A pre-medical test for STDs will save you as they are curable with proper medication.

2) Test for genetic disorders: These are tests that are important to know if you or your partner carry any genes that could manifest as a disease in your children. This includes conditions like thalassemia, hemophilia, sickle cell anaemia, Duchenne muscular dystrophy etc.

3) Fertility testing: A fertility test for both the couples will prevent a lot of potential problems in future. This is one of the most important tests that a couple should do before getting married.

And it is also important because fertility issues should be addressed as soon as possible without any unnecessary physical and emotional trauma.

Fertility tests include; hormonal assessment for both the couples — FSH and LH tests, prolactin, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone, seminal analysis for men to assess male infertility, test for ovulation for women and a pelvic ultrasound scan may also be needed to assess the internal reproductive organs for any congenital or acquired abnormalities.

Less than perfect

A perfect marriage involves more than throwing a perfect party or matching of horoscopes. Take the time to build a solid foundation for your relationship.

And also remember, every marriage is different in its own way and has its own difficulties; stay calm, try to figure out the problems and then try to find a solution, take professional help if that’s needed.

Marriage is a bond between two individuals, and if you work together you can solve any problem that comes your way.