The field of premarital counseling is wide – very wide. It includes several ingredients like financial aspects, religious aspects, Beliefs and value system, communication styles, Medical check-up, and so on. It could be overwhelming and confusing. Most couples ignore it all together.
But, it is important. If proper premarital counseling is done, many marital conflicts, misunderstandings, separations and divorce would have been nipped in the bud –and completely avoided. Some problems are discovered in marriage when it’s already too late or when the damage has already been done.
Prevention, my people say, is better than cure.
As a medical doctor and sex therapist, I do premarital counseling for couples. I stay within my field. I deal with only the medical, sexual and health-related aspect. I am not a pastor – I don’t talk about religious compatibility or financial agreements.
Still, it gets difficult. It is still wide and confusing. And most of the stuffs we were taught are either irrelevant or not available in these parts of the world. So, I designed my own system!
So, I had to design a system to ease my work, and make sure I touch every important aspect (especially for Nigerians and these parts of the world where resources and technology are limited). Also, I considered problems unique to the African cultures. I called it The M.A.L.I.K. System of Medical Premarital Counseling.
The M.A.L.I.K. System of Medical Premarital Counseling.
This is a 5-part process I take my clients during premarital counseling and testing sessions. It is basic –and avoids extraneous, superfluous processes, tests, and questions.
M = Medical Tests and Check-up
A = Assessment of Medical History
L = Lifestyle and Social History
I = Intimacy and Sexual History
K = Knowledge of (and attitude to) health, sex and nutrition issues
#1: Medical Tests and Check-up
Here, I divided them into 4 groups for clarity:
#1: COMMON ONES like Genotype test [to prevent having a sickler]; pregnancy test; Blood group test [if you are a lady, and you’re O-, A-, B-, or AB-, any of the negatives, call me after reading this!]
#2: SEXUALLY-TRANSMITTED DISEASES TESTS like HIV test, Hepatitis B virus test, and so on.
#3: “FERTILITY” TESTS. For the lady: hormonal test [LH, FSH, and Progesterone] and abdomino-pelvic scan; for the guy: hormonal test [testosterone] and semen analysis [for things like sperm count and so on]
#4: OTHERS: You could add tests like Blood glucose [to check for diabetes], Lipid profile [for blood fat], X-ray [to check the chest] and ECG [to check the heart]…the list, my brother, is endless!
#2: Assessment of Medical History
Here we will want to know any major health event or disease the person has or had. Also, to ask for family history of some inheritable diseases.
Any personal or family history of: Hypertension, diabetes, epilepsy, asthma or sickle cell disease, depression, suicide?
Any personal medical history of admissions, blood transfusions, surgeries, accidents?
Appropriate counseling and treatment might be commenced. A physical examination of the couple (including reproductive organs) may be required.
#3: Lifestyle and Social History
Use and addiction to Alcohol, cigarette, marijuana, codeine, diazepam, and so on. And assess the extent of damage and addiction to know if it could affect the marriage, fertility, or health in general. And counsel appropriately or commence recovery process as the case may be.
#4: Intimacy and Sexual History
Here we will open up and have a honest assessment of the past sexual history of both partners and make a conclusion of the implications – if fertility will be affected, if treatment is needed, or if transmission of infection is possible, if the health is in danger, and so on.
Virginity status (and extent of intimacy)? Multiple sexual partners? Ever diagnosed of any sexually transmitted disease (say, gonorrhea, Hepatitis, or HIV) before? Used contraceptives before to prevent pregnancy (and details of type and duration, etc.)? Pregnant before (and number of times)? Had abortions before (number of times and details of procedures)?
Use of pornography and sex toys; any bisexual or gay tendencies, and so on.
#5: Knowledge of (and attitude to) health, sex and nutrition issues
This section is wide –and the elaborateness will depend on how much the couple already know and practice. This is to ensure the couple come to terms and agree on some major aspect of life, health, and wellness.
Here, I assess how much the couple already know about health, sex and proper nutrition. I also assess their attitude.
Issues like hygiene, prevention of illness, family planning (and child spacing), sex tips, healthy nutrition, fitness tips, sex tips, lifestyle advice, and so on, are addressed and compared.
Allow couples to ask questions relating to health, weight, sex or nutrition.
Virgins are also given specific tips to make the first sex act less painful and less cumbersome!
There you have it! A brief guide to help guide you in checking medical compatibility.It could help you, personally; and you could use it on your own. However, if you would require a thorough, professional assessment (with your partner), book a virtual counseling session, and details will be communicated thereafter.
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