FAQ | getpoplin

FAQ

Preconception Testing

What is pre-pregnancy wellness?

Pre-pregnancy wellness is the state of your health prior to getting pregnant (usually 1 year beforehand) that influences your fertility and the health of your future pregnancy and baby. Pre-pregnancy can also be referred to as the preconception period.

Who should get preconception testing?

Any woman or couple who desires to become pregnant in the next 12 months.

When should I get preconception testing?

We recommend starting the preconception journey at least 12 months before you desire to become pregnant. This will allow you time to correct any abnormalities that might be detected on your tests (which can take 3-6 months, in some cases). This way you’ll be in your best health when you’re ready to start trying.

Isn’t it early to start planning for a pregnancy 12 months before I want to become pregnant?

Not at all! Think about how much of your life you may have spent trying to prevent pregnancy. It only makes sense that planning for a pregnancy deserves some time and attention as well! Many of the tests that are included in preconception care can detect abnormalities that can be corrected before pregnancy (that’s the beauty of preconception testing!). In order to be able to correct these abnormalities, you need to give yourself time to do so! By completing your tests early, you give yourself the space and time you need to change your lifestyle, start taking a medication, or find an experienced healthcare provider to help you on your journey.

Why do I need preconception testing? Won’t my provider test for everything at my first prenatal visit?

The number one goal of preconception testing is to prevent complications in a future pregnancy. By addressing abnormalities before you become pregnant, you can make changes that can improve your health and your future baby’s health. In comparison, the main goal of prenatal testing (i.e. testing when you’re already pregnant) is to diagnose problems during a pregnancy. While some of these problems can be corrected during pregnancy, the best time to make these changes is before your baby starts to grow (this means before you become pregnant!).

My provider said preconception testing isn’t important? What should I do?

Unfortunately, many providers are still not aware of the benefits of preconception testing, and even the ones who are may not know which tests to recommend. As a matter of fact, this is one of the reasons why we started Poplin! We’ve worked with so many clients who had seen other providers before their pregnancy but were not given the appropriate tests or information they needed (and deserved!). This resulted in them learning about preventable medical problems after conception. After seeing woman after woman repeat this same story, we knew something had to change. As the first (and only!) online service to provide women with direct access to preconception testing without having to schedule a doctor’s appointment, we feel so fortunate to be able to offer you access to these tests through Poplin. We hope this empowers you to seek out the information you deserve so that you don’t have to go from doctor to doctor searching for someone who has experience in preconception care. No more waiting for an appointment. No more disappointing conversations. No surprise bills. Just the information you need, available at your fingertips whenever you decide to start your pregnancy planning journey.

I don’t have any medical problems; do I need preconception testing?

Yes! Preconception testing is recommended for everyone! While certain tests may be more important for women with a personal or family history of certain medical conditions, the tests offered by Poplin are appropriate for anyone! In fact, a majority of women with abnormal preconception labs have NO symptoms, which is why it’s so important to get screened in advance of a potential pregnancy.

Can I take your preconception tests while on hormonal birth control?

Our Essential and Plus panels can be taken while on hormonal birth control. For our Premium panel, hormonal birth control will impact a small subset of the results, in particular some of the hormone values. If you elect to take the Premium test panel while on hormonal birth control, we recommend that you discuss your results with one of our pre-pregnancy educators to understand which test results are impacted. If you are planning to discontinue hormonal birth control, we advise waiting 8 weeks until taking the Premium test. Certain medications and supplements may also affect test results; please consult with your healthcare provider if you have questions about how your medication may affect test results.

What is included in each of the test panels?

You can see the comparison of test panels for females here (https://lp.getpoplin.com/product-panel-female) and for males here (https://lp.getpoplin.com/product-panel-male). In addition, here is our glossary of individual tests: https://getpoplin.com/pages/glossary-biomarkers.

Will I need to have these tests again once I’m pregnant?

This will depend on many factors including whether your tests are normal or abnormal, when you become pregnant, and if you’ve had any changes in your medical history since you had testing done. Most women will have at least some of these tests repeated during the first trimester of pregnancy. For example, pregnancy may change the results of a Complete Blood Count (CBC) so repeating these tests during early pregnancy may help your provider determine whether you’ve had any pregnancy-related changes. Other tests — such as rubella or varicella immunity and genetic carrier screening — are unlikely to need to be repeated if they’re normal because they don’t usually change over time. It’s important to have an ongoing conversation with your healthcare provider before, during, and after pregnancy to ensure that you receive the care that is best for you. To help with this, you can share your Poplin test results with your provider to initiate that conversation.

When should I repeat my preconception tests?

If any of your initial preconception tests were abnormal, you may want to consider repeating those tests after making the recommended changes. This will ensure that these tests are normal before you become pregnant (which is the ultimate goal!). Repeat testing should also occur under the following circumstances:

After a miscarriage or stillbirth, before attempting to conceive againAfter a healthy pregnancy, before trying for another pregnancyIf you’re not pregnant but it’s been more than 12 months since you’ve had preconception testingAfter any change in your personal or family health history

We do not limit the number of tests you’re allowed to order; however, your healthcare provider may be able to determine whether repeat testing is recommended for your specific situation.

Are your testing panels only relevant for first time pregnancies?

Absolutely not! In fact, it's just as important to make sure that you are replenished after a previous pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum period, all of which can be incredibly taxing on the body. It is important to ensure that your nutrient stores, hormone balance, stress levels and so much more have been normalized prior to another pregnancy. Secondary infertility is on the rise and this information can help you address potential issues early and set you up for success when it comes to getting pregnant, having a healthy pregnancy and giving birth to a healthy baby - the second / third / fourth time and beyond.

Are preconception tests the same as fertility tests?

No! Preconception tests are tests that are recommended before you try to become pregnant. Preconception tests are recommended for everyone. Fertility tests are tests that are typically only recommended if you’re having difficulty becoming pregnant. Fertility tests are not recommended for everyone. While abnormalities in some preconception tests (such as TSH and vitamin D) may decrease your chances of becoming pregnant (and therefore affect your fertility), these tests are not typically considered fertility tests. With that said, if an abnormality discovered by one of these tests is corrected, it may improve your chances of becoming pregnant!

I’m planning to use an egg donor, gestational carrier, and/or sperm donor — is preconception testing still recommended?

Yes! There are certain abnormalities detected through preconception testing that can affect the health of your eggs and/or your uterus. If you’re planning to use an egg donor (using someone else’s eggs) but carry the pregnancy yourself (using your uterus), your health affects the health of your pregnancy just as much as a woman who becomes pregnant with her own eggs.

If you’re planning on using your eggs, but a gestational carrier (also known as a surrogate) will be carrying the pregnancy, preconception tests should be performed on the gestational carrier before an embryo transfer and on yourself before an egg retrieval. Abnormalities in certain tests have recently been shown to affect egg quality. Correcting these levels before you have an egg retrieval may improve the number of high-grade embryos that are produced. In fact, many of these tests are REQUIRED by state or federal law before you can have procedures such as IVF (in vitro fertilization).

Can I take your pre-pregnancy test if I’m already trying to conceive or undergoing in vitro fertilization / intrauterine insemination procedures?

Absolutely! Our testing can be done at any point during your pre-pregnancy journey. Our test panels may help identify concerns that are missed by less comprehensive testing approaches — and we have many clients for whom this has been the case! Whether you’re trying to conceive naturally or through assisted reproductive technologies, understanding your blood, immune, hormone, metabolic and nutrient status will help you identify underlying areas of improvement, which when addressed will optimize your chances of conceiving and having a healthy pregnancy and baby.

Can I take your pre-pregnancy wellness tests even if I'm not planning to conceive in the next year?

Yes! It's never too early to know what you're working with and find out your pre-pregnancy wellness baseline. We work with individuals across the spectrum of reproductive milestones, including those several years out from conception, those preparing for upcoming egg freezing cycles, those currently trying and those preparing for upcoming IUI or IVF cycles. We measure your whole health, which is relevant at every stage of the fertility journey.

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Can I cancel my order?

You may cancel your order and receive a full refund up until you have your blood drawn. Once you’ve had your blood drawn, we are unable to cancel your order. Please email us at support@getpoplin.com for any cancellation requests.

Why can’t I order a test panel if I live in New York, New Jersey, or Rhode Island?

Unfortunately, certain state laws in New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island currently restrict consumer-driven ordering of online tests for residents of these states. We’re hopeful this will change in the near future. Please feel free to email us at support@getpoplin.com if you have any further questions. And of course, if you’re interested in working to change restrictive laws like this, we encourage you to contact your state representatives to express your concern.

Do you accept insurance?

We currently do not accept insurance, but you are welcome to submit your test purchase to your insurance company to see if they will reimburse a portion of the purchase. In addition, if you have a health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA), you can consider trying to use those funds. See FAQ below for further details on using your FSA or HSA funds.

Can I use the money in my health savings (HSA) or flexible spending accounts (FSA) to pay for a test panel?

Yes, you can! The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) defines medical expenses as “the costs of diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease…[including] payments for legal medical services rendered by physicians and other medical practitioners.” Because our test panels are ordered by board-certified physicians, and your test results can help you and your healthcare provider diagnose an underlying medical problem that may affect a future pregnancy, these tests are eligible for use of HSA/FSA funds. A receipt may be requested by the organization that manages your funds, so we recommend keeping a copy of your Poplin test receipt!