Box 1.

Key messages

  • Routinely asking all patients of reproductive age ‘… and are you thinking of having a(nother) baby in the next year or so?’ would identify the need for information and support to achieve optimal health before conception, or the need for effective contraception if relevant.

  • Preconception care should be offered to women and their partners planning pregnancy. In addition, system-wide public health interventions are needed to optimise the health of all women and men of reproductive age.

  • Preconception care needs vary widely and care should be tailored to an individual’s physical and mental health conditions, health behaviours, and social context.

  • Practices and localities can compare their preconception care with the data presented in this article.