Marriage is a harmonious agreement between partners that touches every aspect of a prosperous life. A healthy marriage covers several factors like sound health, mind, sexual compatibility between partners, social fabrics, and legal compliance. Inheriting these qualities, one can start a happy family and begets healthy children.

What is Premarital Counseling?

Premarital counseling in Dubai, otherwise known as Premarital Screening, is a process where couples( planning to get married) are tested for any existing blood disorders or infectious diseases. A premarital consultation in Dubai aims to test soon-to-be-married couples of these diseases mentioned above and provide medical advice about how to bear children free from blood disorders and infectious and sexually transmitted infections.

Objectives of a premarital consultation

The overall objective of premarital counseling in Dubai is to screen couples for diseases and conditions that could affect their married life in the future. After proper screenings, the doctor explains the results to the couples, answers their questions, and suggests suitable treatment options (if applicable).

The primary objective behind a premarital consultation:

  • It helps limit the spread of genetic blood diseases (sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, etc.) and infectious diseases (Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, HIV, etc.) to other partner and their future children.
  • It promotes awareness among individuals.
  • It eliminates the family suffering from psychological and social trauma that usually affects the children as well.
  • It lightens up the burden of health institutions and blood banks by avoiding future problems.
  •  It eradicates financial obligations from the family’s shoulder in the future.

Types of Tests taken in Premarital Consultation in Dubai

The premarital consultation services are offered to couples who are intended to marry each other. The couples must constitute male and females aged 18 years and older. The service applies to both national and expatriate residents in Dubai. Applicants younger than 18 must bring a guardian along with them.

Patients are tested for:

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • Urine Analysis
  • Peripheral Blood Smears, Blood group testing
  • RH typing & ABO
  • Infectious diseases- VDRL for syphilis, HIV I & II, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and other STDs
  • Hb Variants testing (Thalassemia, Sickle cell)
  • G6pd
  • Karyotyping
  • Male and Female fertility testing
  • Thalassemia

What is Thalassemia and why it plays a significant role in Marriages?

Thalassemia is a blood disorder being passed from parents to children. These are often inherited and are transferred through genes.

Like hair colour, skin complexion, and physical traits, children can also inherit thalassemia from their parents. Children with thalassemia often inherit symptoms like:

  • Abnormal growth
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Constant fever and abdominal issues
  • Facial bone deformities

Diagnosis of Thalassemia

Thalassemia is diagnosed through these following tests:

  • Complete blood count (CBC with blood smear)
  • Iron studies
  • Haemoglobinopathesis (Hb) evaluation
  • DNA analysis

Treatment of Thalassemia

Your doctor will analyse the type and severity of the disease and provide you with a course of treatment as required.

Why is premarital counseling necessary for a healthy marriage?

Conducting premarital counseling in Dubai brings many benefits to the table. From early detection of health defects to childbearing complexity to sex-related issues, the health professional ensures the couples live a happy married life.

  • Comprehensive health examination of couples:
    A premarital consultation in Dubai consists of three primary procedure- Accessing the medical history of patients, physical examination and laboratory tests. After a thorough medical history check, doctors help soon-to-be-married couples detect underlying diseases and visible symptoms of diseases and abnormalities.
  • The risk associated with conceiving children
    A premarital screening helps couples to evaluate any possible risks associated with conceiving children in the future. The doctor performs screening for detecting infertility in male and female. It also includes tests of infectious diseases among couples like HIV, TBC, hepatitis, toxoplasma, etc., that aids in eliminating chances of low child mortality & physical/psychological defects in children.
  • Avoid miscarriage and possible defects in babies
    Toxoplasma is considered the leading cause of miscarriage and defects in babies. When detected earlier, patients can avoid complications through proper medications. Doctors can ask couples to halt their pregnancy until their infection clears out.
  • Anticipate hormonal diseases
    Transmission of hormonal diseases amongst couples is hard to detect. However, through premarital screening, doctors can help to avoid the transmission of diseases between mothers to the child. Plus, risks associated with hormonal diseases like diabetes can be life-threatening for babies. Through screening, the mother can control her blood sugar and live a healthy life.
  • Screening of congenital diseases
    Congenital diseases such as heart diseases may not be infectious, but they can endanger the mother’s life during pregnancy. Doctors anticipate the risk associated with such pregnancy and offer sound advice.
  • Screening of Rhesus factor incompatibility 
    Rhesus Factor or Rh Factor assessment is essential before marriage. Sometimes a woman with a different Rh factor may carry a fetus with an Rh factor not similar to her. In such circumstances, the mother’s body treats the fetus as a foreign object. This can lead to miscarriage, or the body may be born with anemia, heart failure, swollen liver or jaundice. According to doctors, the risk of carrying different rhesus is relatively small among Asian couples. However, issues like this can easily be treated with Rh immune globulin shots.
  • Analyse men’s reproductive health 
    The premarital tests also constitute the assessment of men reproductive health. System disorders and risk factors can be avoided by eliminating smoking, radiation exposure and heat. If found any abnormalities, the doctor can prescribe medications or conduct operations.

Frequently Asked Questions:

The validity of the premarital screening certificate is three months. Therefore, couples planning to get married must approach premarital counselling in Dubai at least three months before their wedding date. The earlier, the better. Having more time at hand allows them to plan their lives better. Meanwhile, couples can retake the screening for infectious diseases multiple times.

Marriage and childbearing can be possible for people with thalassemia based on its severity and certain other factors. When doctors talk about 'thalassemia', they may categorize it into "part of thalassemia" and its "severity".

Hemoglobin constitutes two parts- alpha and beta. When we say thalassemia alpha, it means the patient's body cannot make hemoglobin alpha. Meaning, when a body cannot make hemoglobin alpha or beta, it doesn't have enough building blocks to generate a normal range of hemoglobin in their body.

The thalassemia severity is calculated with words like 'trait', 'minor', 'intermediate', and 'major'.

A person with the thalassemia 'trait' often shows no or mild signs of anemia (lack of RBCs). Meanwhile, people with thalassemia major shows severe symptoms of anemia, requiring regular blood transfusions.

Premarital Counselling in Dubai helps couples rule out all types of life-threatening and underlying diseases that could affect their marriage and parenthood in the future. Above all, premarital counselling is highly recommended for couples coming from related families or directly related, other known as consanguineous.

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