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Before Pregnancy

Preconception is the time period across the life span, from the time a girl starts her period to menopause, when women and girls are not pregnant, including the time spans between pregnancies.


Preconception health is the health status of women, men and couples during preconception periods.

  • Use effective birth control if you do not want to be pregnant.
  • Take a daily multivitamin that contains 400 mcg of folic acid.
  • Maintain a normal weight.
  • Do not smoke.
  • Do not consume alcohol unless you are using effective birth control consistently.
  • Do not use drugs.
  • See a health care provider to be tested for sexually transmitted infections.
  • Talk with your health care provider to make sure your vaccinations are up to date.
  • If you take prescription medications, talk to your health care provider about birth control methods that are safest for you.
  • If you have a chronic illness such as diabetes or asthma, talk to your health care provider about effective birth control methods or how your illness might effect a pregnancy.

Preconception care for women is a series of interventions to identify biomedical, behavioral and social risks that, if implemented when a woman is not pregnant, can improve a woman’s health but that also have the potential to improve the health of future children. 


Preconception care for men are interventions for men that are important for improving family planning and pregnancy outcomes, enhancing reproductive health and health behaviors, and preparing men for fatherhood.  Preconception care for men offers an opportunity for disease prevention and health promotion. 

A Reproductive Life Plan is a set of personal goals about having (or not having) children, including action steps around how to achieve those goals. Colorado completed an evaluation of a tool developed to help women identify those goals.


The data briefs below discuss the health status of women in Colorado prior to pregnancy.


A variety of initiatives to address the health status of women and men before a pregnancy are occurring around the U.S. The reports below summarize information collected on some of those initiatives through interviews conducted with other states in 2011.