The Need for Pre-marital Medical Checkup

Jan 18, 2011

Is Pre-marital Medical Test a MUST or a NECESSITY?

This question must be disturbing the minds of the parents as well as the youths. It is said that marriages are made in heaven, but in many cases they creates hell on earth. Discussion on sex or sexual matters is purposely avoided. We discuss about awareness of sex education and at the same time we read sex books, sexual articles in magazines, see adult films, read about sex in the newspapers and see TV Channels.

All these have direct or indirect adverse effects on the minds of the young generation, who are at risk of getting wrong or improper information through friends and media. It is very difficult to watch some of the TV serials along with our children not only because of the vulgarity but even delivery of double meaning dialogues. Unfortunately, there are no regular health tests and knowledge or awareness of the diseases in schools and colleges or educational institutions.

There are so many sicknesses and sexual problems among the youths in the present world, that they are afraid to discuss the subject with others. Whether the parents are rich or poor, children do not build up courage to discuss their sexual problems. In certain cases the youths do not know about the existence of sicknesses/sexual problems in them. Many are afraid even to talk about sex. It is considered a shame to talk on this subject sometimes. Those suffering from sexual problems increase their own problems. So in the absence of knowledge about the existence of any disease it is a better to go for the test before marriage.

Parents desire that their children should get suitable life partner and lead a healthy and peaceful married life. In the interest of both the parties, it is a healthy subject to discuss at the proposal stage itself rather than repent once everything is over. There are post-marriage problems like separation and divorce, and more fatal ones like murder, suicide, burning etc that take place in marriage. To avoid these problems, pre-marital medical test is necessary. I have heard about a couple of cases when the parents put forth this subject of ‘Pre-marital medical checkup’ at the time of proposal, the opposite party got disturbed and did not proceed further.

Some of the major areas we must stress during the pre-marital medical test are:-

Diabetes: India stands first so far as diabetic patients are concerned, the diagnosed cases or undiagnosed cases in India amount to 3.5 to 4 crore. Diabetes can be controlled by Ayurveda also. If it is not cured, the lust of the skin is lost. Therefore, there is a kind of despair both in men & woman. Today the ratio of diabetes is found in youngsters also.

Cancer: Cancer is not just one disease but many diseases. There are more than 100 different types of cancer. Most cancers are named after the organ or type of cell in which they start - for example, cancer that begins in the colon is called colon cancer. Common cancer types – bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon and rectal cancer, endometrial 
cancer, kidney (renal cell) cancer, leukemia, lung cancer, pancreatic 
cancer, prostate cancer, thyroid cancer, etc.

Impotency: If sexual ability is deprived, there remains no joy in life. In spite all, such a person cannot enjoy life. Only the ladies know such men cannot have the joy of sexual pleasure because, sexually they are weak. The wives of such men are not happy and cannot lead a happy married life.

AIDS: - The first AIDS patient in India was found in 1986. AIDS deprive strength. If AIDS virus enters into the body, the person becomes AIDS-affected. It takes a long time for the actual sufferance of AIDS. Therefore HIV test is necessary. If HIV test is taken, it does not mean that he is suffering from AIDS. The AIDS virus destroys T4 lymphocytes cells, hence even its entry leads to death. This is an issue that is affecting the entire humanity and hence adequate measures have to be taken to safeguard all.

Recently, the Kerala Women's Commission (KWC) has asked the state government to pass resolutions and, if necessary, a law to ensure that all those who get married undergo an HIV test. The commission made the request in the wake of several cases where men got married in spite of knowing that they were HIV positive.

Currently the divorce cases are on the rise, which may be due to lack of proper discussions before the marriage taking place. Marriage is not only union of two hearts, but also union of two families. Hence if things are discussed without hesitation with both family members in the initial stage, perhaps the marriage will lead to a healthy relationship. Hiding any sickness will also have an impact on the children to be born, so why should children suffer for the fault of their parents?

Keeping in mind the rate of increasing divorce cases and other post-marriage misunderstandings/conflicts taking place it is better that a step is taken to implement the practice of going for a pre-marital medical checkup.

Readers of Daijiworld may have their own positive or negative views on this subject, so it is left to the people to give a deep thought to this subject and write their comments for the benefit of the public at large irrespective of religion, caste or creed. 

By Percy Noronha, Muscat
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Comment on this article

  • pratap, mumbai

    Fri, Jul 15 2011

    Dear Sirs,Qudos,
    We have to keep ourselves with times and live accordingly,We need to discuss openly with the parents families of both for thier own good

  • Percy Noronha, Mangalore, Muscat

    Mon, Feb 07 2011

    Dear Sneha, My article was to bring awareness in the minds of the public and someone to take up the subject to higher authorities so that this would be implemented as mandatory document before the marriage takes place. Recently, the Kerala Women's Commission (KWC) has asked the state government to pass resolutions and, if necessary, a law to ensure that all those who get married undergo an HIV test. The commission made the request in the wake of several cases where men got married in spite of knowing that they were HIV positive. Similarly, if all the state governments initiate, this might one day help many couples getting married. I do not think at present any medical institution issues such certificate, but in our own interest, both the parties could go to any hospital and get tests conducted for any specific sickness, like Cancer, AIDS, etc.

  • Sneha, Bangalore

    Tue, Feb 01 2011


    This is indeed a great article. And I was actually looking for one article like this.
    Can you tell me which hospital in bangalore does this test? Because the hospitals I asked, they said they do not do it.

  • Felix F.,, India/Ksa

    Mon, Jan 24 2011

    Antiony Herbert Crasta, Mangalore/Sydney,Australia.

    The topic we are discussing is, " Is Pre-marital Medical Test a MUST or a NECESSITY? ." I am of the opinion it is a must, and I have given practical reasons to support my views.

    As regards cheating and bribing etc, are concerned, to get clean medical certificates, it is outside the purview of this discussion.

    Regarding, your question, "by the way, why this hue and cry and concern has come up now?."

    This is because, people have now become more health conscious. Internet has made people aware of many health issues which are important to lead a healthy life, which people in the past were unaware of.

    Though as you said corruption is rampant in India, Yet Indians are becoming more health conscious than the Europeans or middle est countries, and I am sure knowing the risks involved in a marriage, the concened parties themselves will want to have a pre-marital check up.
    I appreciate your support to Dr. Edward Nazareth`s comments. It is true, as a doctor, it will not be of any differnce to him whether one has these diseases before marriage or after marringe, since the medical procedures to treat and charge are the same.

  • Antiony Herbert Crasta, Mangalore/Sydney,Australia

    Mon, Jan 24 2011

    Mr. Felix F/India/KSA : Then do you have a better solution to the problem?. I know you advocate for the mandatory pre-marital medical check up and obtaining of clean medical certifcates for various diseases and illness. It may be perfectly in order for a country like Saudi Arabia, but in a country like India where rampant corruption exists in all spheres of life, what guarantee is there that such certificates are not bought out by huge bribing!? I tend to agree with Dr, Nazareth in this regard that such certificates are not really necessary. After all, where is the guarantee that, once the couple gets married and resume their normal married life, they will not be affected by such diseases and illness? In fact, they do happen in most of the cases as Dr. Nazareth has rightly put across! By the way, why this hue and cry and concern has come up now? After all, for decades and decades, and generation after generation, people did get married, raised families, and carried on their normal life and lived happily.

  • Felix F.,, India/Ksa

    Mon, Jan 24 2011

    Antony Herbert Crasta, Mangalore/Sydney,Australia.

    For your kind information, not only after live in relationship, but even after marriage, one will not be able to know what each one suffers from, unless it is too late, where one/both have to get medical help or they decide to go for medical check up on their own.

    Living together may help detect psychological problems not the medical problems under discussion

  • Antony Herbert Crasta, Mangalore/Sydney,Australia

    Sun, Jan 23 2011

    Perhaps, the best solution would be to get to know his/her partner well before the marriage, say, get engaged and live in a relationship for a period of 6 months to 1 year, so that the couple becomes aware of each other`s nature and situation, including the medical problems.

  • Percy Noronha, Mangalore / Muscat

    Sat, Jan 22 2011

    Thanks to Anwesha for your frank opinion. As you write, lack of communication between the couples is one of the reasons why marriages break. Your view on STD (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)too is equally a good point. Regarding statistical figures about the divorce cases taken place based on medical grounds, I leave it to the readers to write their comments. But the divorce cases itself rank highest in Sweden, followed by USA and so on. India rank the lowest. This is mainly because we have a traditional society and marriage is considered as permanent, except for the recent rise in the rate. As for the expenses to get a medical certificate, if the government takes the initiative, then this could be done free of cost at the government hospitals, unless the couples want to have it done through private hospitals. Cost to get a medical certificate goes un-noticed when we talk about the importance of the certificate. Here we cannot compromise the cost with after effect.

  • christine, manglore

    Sat, Jan 22 2011

    Thank you for this very enlightening article informative and an eye opener we should come out from our old mentality, things are changing,and before experiencing hell better be carefull. Everyone want happy life, no one exept hell. so please come out from blind trust. peace is is important than money. if want than try the best what u can.
    HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, hepatitis C Medical check up is neccessary before marriage diabetics, cancer, heart other sicknes can come for any healthy anytime may before marriage ok than also later can

    but we want happiness and joy long live happy married life than nothing must be secret. and only that can lead long happy life rather than spouse abuse and Life long burden. So I feel medical checkup boths together front of each other must be done, for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis. behind may can cheat report. When its complsary for everyone than no one will try to cheat.
    So please parents give important children happiness more than wealth, name… we may careless but from someone advising don’t neglect. wake-up please our mistakes let our children not suffer..

  • Anwesha, Dublin/Mangalore

    Sat, Jan 22 2011

    Dear Author,thanks for responding to some of our comments.However you should recognise that even I have the right to give my opinion.Also,can you enlighten me on the number of divorces that took place on medical grounds in India?If we are asking for enforcing a law, it needs to apply to the land we belong, we cannot have a law based on the statistics elsewhere.
    I did mention about an open communication between 2 parties and I again stress on that.Becoz if someone wants to hide their illness they can do so in more than one ways.Marriages fail because people dont communicate their problems to each other instead, expect their spouse to read their mind and understand the problem, which is not easy or sometimes not possible.

    If you read my comments,even I said there is a need to raise awareness about STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases).

    Regarding bearing children,it is your assumption that adoption is not the solution. Infact, it is the ultimate solution if one cant bear children and if they still want to raise them.I have many friends who have adopted children and leading a happy life,I dont know who you are referring to?
    Can you also let me know if this law is enforced, who this applies to? Is this only for those who can afford the tests or will it be free of cost?which means again that money will be spent from our tax money.How many illness you want get a clearance? And, lastly what about the person who has some illness-are they not supposed to get married?

  • Percy Noronha, Mangalore / Muscat

    Fri, Jan 21 2011

    I appreciate the comments given by the people on my article. My article is all about spreading awareness of the importance of Pre-marital medical test. Like in Roman Catholic Church, now it is 'Compulsory' to undergo 'Marriage Preparation Course' for all couples getting married in the Church. In similar way the Church can also 'initiate' the couples to produce a Pre-marital Health Certificate. If one religious authority initiates the move, rest will follow automatically. This is all in the interest of couples to lead a better married life. I presume, one of the main purposes of marriage is to have children and who do not expect their children to be born healthy. Getting sickness after marriage is totally a different issue, my subject is 'Pre-marital'. This comment by Anwesha, Dublin, really surprised me. "I don't agree that a person who has Cancer or Diabetes need to show his medical report before the marriage". Today, many NGO's in India are educating children at schools by giving periodical lectures on HIV/AIDS to raise awareness. If a conflict arises on medical issue and leads to divorce, will it be ethical and moral? There are many cases we hear and see in today's world, the couples live a unhappy married life for not bearing a child. Adopting a child is not the ultimate solution, though it may give some mental satisfaction. For a married woman, giving birth from their womb is a great joy/satisfaction of married life.

  • Anwesha, Dublin/Mangalore

    Fri, Jan 21 2011

    It looks like many readers think that diabetes(DM) n cancer(CA) can spread to a spouse!!These illness are not contageous.Other thing is even if the person comes clean on CA or DM their children could still get it if their grand parents/some ancestor had it.Again I would like to say that its not the medical tests that we need but AN OPEN COMMUNICATION where the person or his/her parents come forward to say their son/daughter suffers from such an illness and is either currently undergoing treatment or has been treated in the past.People do get married with such illnesses n live a happy life and For God Sake there are many ways to deal with impotency.
    None of you mentioned Leprosy,a disease which can go unnoticed if the other person doesnt confess,how do you think you are gonna deal with this?

    Re premarital sex,yes society doesnt accept it but that is person's choice.Here what U R trying to say is to impose law whic hbecomes a societal choice. Its like getting a medical clearance as you do for your visa!!!

    I understand the feelings behind what you all are saying but still I think even if this gets enforced by law, there are many ways where people can cheat if they want to.And, how many people can afford these tests?Is the Govt going to do these tests for free so that the couple could get married??Or does this applies only to the NRIs?
    Ofcourse we need a clean India but it should start from each one of us.

  • Atul Shetty, mangalore

    Thu, Jan 20 2011

    I think this is an excellent article and an eye opener. This issue should be treated in the same importance as given to spouse abuse. Pre Marital sex is not the issue. It is the 'disease' that can be spread to the spouse or cause a lifelong burden and financial ruin and I don't mean just the sexual but others mentioned in the article such a diabetes, cancer etc. I sound like a materialistic person but I would err on practicality. There is certain chance that disease are contracted after a few years of marriage and that is the fact of life, same as a marriage going bad. The point of this article is to clear or eradicate some of the issues before getting into marriage, especially arranged ones.

  • Alex d'Mello, Mumbai

    Thu, Jan 20 2011

    I think we should come out from our old mentality, things are changing. Many of the youth get infected with AIDS before marriage. If one is healthy, then why he/she has to hesitate for a pre-martial check up? There must be a compulsory checkup for AIDS. There is belief within certain communities that an infected person gets married to a virgin he will be cleansed of his infection. With one life infected why spoil the life of a girl? In Mumbai so many mangalorean boys working in hotels are infected. They take a lot of dowry by saying that they will have either their own shop or canteen with that amount but the truth is something different. Many volunteer to go of their own for such test. The trend has already started. It will be a reality very soon.

  • Felix F.,, India/Ksa

    Thu, Jan 20 2011

    Anwesha, Dublin/mangalore

    My comments did not classify impotency as life threatening. But should be checked, Since impotency cannot give life, and instead of trying to get children for years and years without success, and fighting between each other (husband and wife), as to, who is the culprit, if known and trated before marriage, Lot of unpleasnat situations can be saved or avoided

  • shammi, Karnataka

    Thu, Jan 20 2011

    Dear Anweshadublin/manglore.
    I donot understand ur point saying that these tests r against moral and ethical values.But what about PReMARITAL SEX,isnt that against moral and ethical values.When world can progress with that,then y not with the tests.

  • Anwesha, Dublin/mangalore

    Thu, Jan 20 2011

    I am not sure how much this can be done in reality..Because it is against the ethical and moral views of the society.Plus I dont agree that a person who has Cancer or Diabetes need to show his medical report before the marriage and I guess what you are saying applies only to arrange marriages!In future you would be saying that one with such conditions should not have children becoz these conditions are passsed on genetically or are heriditory.Its not all about one person who is not suffering from such illness, of course it makes sense if someone is hiding the fact from the other BUT WHAT IF ONE GETS SUCH ILLNESS AFTER THE MARRIAGE?Should you divorce then?I think we are beating arround the bush than facing the real problem.As U said we need to have SEX EDUCATION that too in schools to raise awareness on HIV/AIDS.And a marriage is not all about unprotected sex or are we in a society now where one gets married just for unprotected sex??I DONT AGREE WITH SUCH MEDICAL TESTS BEFORE MARRIAGE becoz its not a solution.As some one said then we will have only bachelors and spinsters inIndia except for blessed ones who have no such illness.

    For Mr. Felix, impotency is not life threatening/contageous but can be treated.

  • Felix F., India/Ksa

    Wed, Jan 19 2011

    The following statistics show the importance of Pre-marital Medical checkup.

    Since it was found that Many Saudis, have been found to be showing no interest in pre-medical tests. Therefore, the Ministry of Health and other relevant authorities have made it compulsory for all to undergo these tests.

    Pre-marital tests uncover HIV and hepatitis
    Reported by Saudi Gazette Friday, 29 May 2009
    RIYADH – Pre-marital medical tests uncovered 62 new cases of HIV/AIDS, 3711 cases of Hepatitis B, 871 cases of hepatitis C and 10,931 cases of sickle cell anemia in Riyadh last year.

    The director general of Laboratories and Blood Banks at the Ministry of Health, Ibrahim Al-Amr reiterated the importance of pre-marital medical examinations and said that last year saw 288,000 Saudi citizens take the tests. – Okaz/SG

  • Felix F., India/Ksa

    Wed, Jan 19 2011

    Reading Dr. Edward Nazareth's comments, I am of the opinion, he has not understood, the reason behind pre-marital medical checkup, when he says, personally feel pre-marital medical check up is not very much needed now.

    I am yet to understand what he means by "Now"

    To give an example, in Saudi Arabia, Aids test is compulsory and many, would be marriages are cancelled when such things are detected. Which goes to prove that pre marital tests, protects the other party from getting aids from the partner

    He says The real problem of HIV infection is in married people. We get good number of infected people who get infected after marriage.

    Getting infected after marriage is totally a different subject.

  • Mahadeva.Shetty, Chelairu (Riyadh)

    Wed, Jan 19 2011

    There is a law enforcing it irrespective of caste & religion.By this future of both the families will be happier & healtheir

  • Dr. Edward Nazareth, Mangalore

    Wed, Jan 19 2011

    Though it sounds fair to suggest pre-marital medical check ups, it is practically not possible to insist on this unless there is a law enforcing it. I have been involved in pre-cana meets conducted by the diocese of Mangalore and I advise the marriage aspirants to go for check-up secretly as revealing the pre-marital sexual encounters can lead to problems on the marriage. Many of the youth who had sex before marriage go for such tests to be sure that they are not infected.
    As far as my experience in counselling the newly married, I feel pre-marital sex is still not a major problem of our youth. Most of them remain pure till marriage and even those who had sex before marriage they take enough and more precautions.
    Other sexual problems like impotency, pre-mature ejaculation can not be tested before marriage and if anyone has such problem, the incidences are very less, they can be treated.
    The real problem of HIV infection is in married people. We get good number of infected people who get infected after marriage and in good number of cases the disease is in both. This problem is very difficult to eradicate, whatever extent health education we do.
    Again, marital dysfunction is more prevalent among married couple, married for few years to decades than newly married. Marital sexual problems are most of the time secondary to maladjustments.
    I personally feel pre-marital medical check up is not very much needed now.

  • Benal, Mangalore/India

    Wed, Jan 19 2011

    Mr. Noronha.. your article is very informative and an eye opener. However, I very much doubt whether a law can be introduced in our country to make it compulsory to have a pre-medical test. I don't think so. What can be done is to create awareness among young generation and especially during Teen years. This can be done in schools, colleges, youth seminars as well as sunday religious schools.

    Apart from deseases you mentioned above, there is another gene related sickness i.e. Thalassemia. A thalassemia carrier can marry a non thalassemia person but should never marry some one who has thalassemia sickness as the chances of having a healthy child is very difficult. Doctors always advise thalassemia carriers to check in advance that their partner is not thalassemic.

  • Jawar D'Souza, M'lore/Doha

    Wed, Jan 19 2011

    Pre-Martial Medical test's is the necessity of today's society, you may not know how you might contact Aids, you may get it from Hair dressing saloon's or even petty vendor's when thy cut and give something, if they have Aids.
    We have to be very careful because it is a incurable decease. Impotency is also not good but still there are many way's of satisfing the partner but the generation will be stopped without any offsprings.

  • Kumar Fernandes, Mudarangadi/ Dubai

    Tue, Jan 18 2011

    In my opinion, Law shall be enforced to do the pre-martial medical ckeck-up for HIV & Impotency.At least, Impotency is must.

  • Felix F., India/Ksa

    Tue, Jan 18 2011

    In my opinion, Pre-marital medical checkup is needed to detect mainly three types of illnesses, plus any other diseases which are contageous and life threatening.

    1. Aids and any other sexually transmitted diseases
    2. Impotency
    3. TB

    If medical exam is conducted to detect, rest of the deseases like, diabetics, cancer, heart and the like India will be a bachelor boy country.

  • Rakesh Dsouza, Mangalore, Dubai

    Tue, Jan 18 2011

    A Nice & Informative article......It's 100% truth that Medical check up is neccessary before mariage......Alwas precauton i bette han cure.....

  • Mathew, Kasargod/Ajman

    Tue, Jan 18 2011

    Pre-marital Medical Tests are not going change much. Those who have intention to cheat will cheat no matter what. Parents or Indian government are not in a position to impose pre-marital tests like those governments in Gulf countries which strictly impose medical tests before stamping residence permits.If at all such a resolution comes into effect in India, it will be on paper only like so many other resolutions.

  • A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.

    Tue, Jan 18 2011

    Times have changed. The old mindset of "blind trust" can be
    highly dangerous. Now, majority
    of the people are not afraid of
    misleading and lying to the second
    party, to conduct the marriage.
    Then, problems will start in the
    first week itself. Atleast, one
    worry can be avoided by checking
    the medical conditions of the
    parties involved.

  • shammi, Karnataka

    Tue, Jan 18 2011

    I strongly recommend HIV test as it is very important for both couples.Coz it imbalances the whole society if at all marriages happen without these tests coz AIDS virus r highly active n dominant n hence spread quickly.

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Tue, Jan 18 2011

    Mr. Noronha,

    Thank you for this very enlightening article. At the mention of premarital medical checkup, only one purpose goes to our attention : HIV. You are so right to say that through such a test we can detect many other impending disasters.

    In our society two type of marriages take place - (1)that the parents find suitable match and (2) that an individual grows up, settles in life and then goes on for next stage i.e. marital bliss. Previously type (2) was applicable to only men but these days women too wait till this stage and decide that they are ready for family life. It is in such stage that both members can convince each other the essentialness of such a test. However, in case (1) I dread that our society (especially parents) will take quite some time before posing such a bold question to prospective groom/bride.

    As for the vulgarity to watch in-front of our children, it is better we become of their age with our children i.e. watch cartoons or educative documentaries with them and de-tune the channels that broadcast the unhealthy serials. I am practically living such a life and its fun to grow allover again. The silly questions are interesting and replying at their level too is tactic. My six year old asked me how a woman can bring a baby only after the marriage why not before ! Origin of the question wasn't any vulgar movie but observation of what was naturally happening around. I expressed no surprise or shock but answered tactfully and satisfyingly.

  • Steve, Kuwait

    Tue, Jan 18 2011

    I agree with you Sir. Small initiative before marriage can make wonders in married couple's life.

  • Shyam Raj, Gurunagar

    Mon, Jan 17 2011

    It might be difficult for the parents of the bride or the bridegroom to discuss potential issues of AIDS, impotency or other sexual related issues. It is surely a mandatory requirement. A common friend can definitely initiate discussions related to above. Times have changed and we have to be more open to these issues as they will affect our future generations. Getting married in spite of having any of the above problems is a blunder on the part of the party concerned.

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