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Premarital checkups in China: Why you need to get one

If you’re planning a wedding in China, you’re probably busy finding the perfect dress and finalizing the venue, amongst a million other things. It’s fair to say that premarital checkups are the last thing on your mind.

With that said, premarital checkups are a vital, but often overlooked, aspect of getting married. In this Pacific Prime China article, we’ll go over what premarital checkups are, what they consist of, and why you need to get one.

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About premarital checkups

Premarital checkups are very similar to routine health screenings, with some extra tests for couples getting married and planning for a family. These tests help you identify health issues and hereditary defects, in order to reduce the likelihood of fetal or pregnancy abnormality.

Crucially, these tests can also help you detect and address infertility, which is defined as the inability to get pregnant despite engaging in frequent and unprotected intercourse for a year or longer.

In China, premarital screenings are encouraged – so much so that it used to be mandatory before it was made optional in 2003. While premarital checkup rates naturally dropped since then, the percentage of complications found in the checks has increased.

The government is now hoping to raise the premarital checkup rates, which it has largely succeeded in doing through offering free premarital health checks, setting up more institutions providing relevant services, etc.

According to the country’s National Health Commission (NHC):

  • More than 61% of Chinese newlywed couples went for premarital health checkups in 2018, which is significantly higher than the figure of 2.7% in 2004.
  • Between 2004 and 2018, more than 102 million people went for premarital checkups across the country.
  • Likewise, between 2004 and 2018, 8.73 million people have been diagnosed with certain infectious and/or genetic diseases during the checkups.

What do premarital checkups consist of?

Before conducting tests, an ob-gyn will go through yours and your partner’s medical history and any relevant health information. Unsurprisingly, there are slightly different tests for you and your partner, but these typically involve:

General health assessment

To evaluate your overall health condition, you’ll be getting tests related to:

  • Weight
  • Height
  • Blood pressure
  • Respiratory functions
  • Cardiovascular functions
  • Breast examination
  • Abdominal examination

Blood tests

In addition to your general health and wellbeing, blood tests allow you to screen for any genetic and underlying conditions, including:

  • Blood test group
  • Underlying diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes
  • Inherited diseases, such as thalassemia
  • Serological test

Gynecological exam

For women, gynecological examinations are designed to assess your reproductive health. You’ll be aware of any underlying conditions that may affect the chances of pregnancy through examinations of your cervix and vagina, along with information about your medical history.

4 reasons why you need a premarital checkup

Still not convinced on the merits of a premarital checkup? Whether it’s preventing birth defects or saving time trying to get pregnant, here are four reasons why you need a premarital checkup before you tie the knot.

1. Don’t know if either of you are carriers of a genetic disease? Find out through pre-marriage genetic testing to prevent birth defects

Many genetic diseases won’t affect you if you’re a carrier, but may affect your child if your partner is also a carrier. Instead of leaving it to chance when trying to conceive, going through with simple pre-marriage genetic testing can rule out the possibility of this happening and put your mind at ease.

For instance: Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder, in which the body makes an abnormal form or inadequate amount of hemoglobin. Being a carrier of thalassemia will not generally cause any health problems, but if both you and your partner are carriers then you’re at risk of having a child with severe problems.

2. For women, gain control over your fertility window to enjoy a healthy pregnancy

Women are the most fertile between the ages of 18 and 35. While you may have heard the saying “your biological clock is ticking”, having a baby later on in life isn’t impossible. Going for a premarital checkup and consulting an ob-gyn can help you understand any abnormalities and improve the chances of a healthy pregnancy.

3. Understand what your options are for starting a family, allowing you to plan ahead without stress

Even if you’re not immediately looking to start a family, going for a premarital checkup can help you and your partner avoid any nasty surprises later on. You’ll get a firm grasp on the problems you’ll be dealing with (if any), giving you plenty of time to plan ahead without stress.

For instance: You may want to consider alternatives like in vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, etc. However, these are time-consuming and expensive processes that you shouldn’t decide or commit to in a haste. Adequate planning beforehand is highly recommended.

4. Avoid post-marriage problems by knowing what to expect down the line

In some cases, couples decide against premarital checkups because they fear that a negative test result will ruin their wedding. Nevertheless, avoiding this altogether may cause problems down the line when you’re trying for a pregnancy. Premarital checkups enable you to be frank about your health condition and facilitate healthy communication.

Looking to conceive? Planning ahead is important if you want to secure maternity insurance

While planning ahead for a pregnancy enables you to get a premarital checkup, it also enables you to get maternity insurance, so that all the pregnancy costs are covered. This is because the majority of maternity insurance plans have a waiting period of at least 10 months.

If you want to learn more about maternity insurance in China, you can check out Pacific Prime China’s Maternity Insurance Guides for Beijing and Shanghai. In addition to learning about how the insurance works, you’ll also get an insight into the cost of pregnancy in both cities.

As a health insurance agent, we are able to help you secure the best-value insurance plans from the top insurers in the region, including expat health insurance and family health insurance, as well as maternity insurance if you’re planning a pregnancy.

Our knowledgeable and friendly advisors also provide you with support and assistance throughout the process. Reach out today for an unbiased insurance consultation and a no-obligation free quote!

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Disclaimer: Pacific Prime China solely represents, operates and manages locally regulated insurance products and services in the territory of PR China. Any references to Pacific Prime Global Company or Group, the international services, insurance products or otherwise stated written or verbally, is for introduction purposes about our overseas network only as each entity is fully independent.


Content Creator at Pacific Prime China
Suphanida aims to demystify the world of insurance by creating informative and engaging content. As a wordsmith, she spends the majority of her day writing and editing website content, blog posts, in-depth guides, and more.

Outside of work, Suphanida enjoys traveling to new places and immersing herself in different cultures.