J Korean Soc Matern Child Health.  2020 Jul;24(3):123-132. 10.21896/jksmch.2020.24.3.123.

Introduction of Community-Based Preconception Care for Men and Women of Childbearing Age in Seoul

  • 1Civil Health Bureau, Seoul Metro Government, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Urology, National Police Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, CHA Gangnam Medical Center, CHA University, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Korea University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 5Department of Pediatrics, Soonchunhyang University Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 6Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Konkuk University Medical Center, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 7Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea
  • 8Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, National Medical Center, Seoul, Korea
  • 9Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Inje University Ilsan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Goyang, Korea


Community-based preconception care for men and women of childbearing age has been introduced in Seoul. The program aims to focus on problem areas such as low birth rate, fertility issues potentially due to late marriages, preterm or premature births, and low-birthweight in newborn babies. The district administration officials of Seoul, as well as, academics from the Korean Society of Maternal and Child Health, developed a protocol by using a questionnaire and laboratory test for screening risk factors in pregnancy. The protocol was tested on a trial basis in four local districts in Seoul from July 2017 to 2018, extended to 12 local districts in 2019, and all 25 districts in Seoul in 2020. The protocol includes AntiMullerian Hormone tests to assess women’s ovarian reserve and male health checkups that include semen analysis and physical examinations of genitalia. These tests are conducted for early detection and treatment of infertility, especially in cases of late marriages. In order to prevent women being abandoned during pregnancy (leading them to single-parenting), the protocol also emphasizes building a gender-sen sitive environment by encouraging more male participation. A monitoring group comprised of Seoul city district officials and academics from the Korean Society of Maternal and Child Health, regularly visited the local districts to observe improvements and keep the program officials up to date. In addition, the group also conducted a mobile phone survey for feedback on the program. The interest and support of the resi dents in Seoul city, and positive results and development in pregnancy care and childbirth, are needed to stabilize and extend this protocol.


Preconception care; Community; Gender sensitive
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