Making the Case: The Importance of Using 10 Key Preconception Indicators in Understanding the Health of Women of Reproductive Age

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2018 Jun;27(6):739-743. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2018.7034. Epub 2018 Apr 9.


In 2006, the Preconception Care (PCC) Work Group and the Select Panel on PCC published 10 recommendations promoting preconception health (PCH) and healthcare for women of reproductive age. In the years following the recommendations, much research focused on specific PCH behaviors, clinical provision of care, and care financing, but no comprehensive, well-defined set of indicators was identified. In 2011, seven states developed a set of 45 PCH indicators; however, to date, no one publication has assessed the usefulness of all 45 indicators in addressing PCH. This report makes the case for reducing the original 45 indicators to a condensed set of 10 for national and state reporting by describing the use of the 45 indicators to date, describing development of evaluation criteria for narrowing the number of indicators, and identifying gaps in indicator development for provision of PCC. Using the condensed set, states can set priorities, revise and develop programs and policies, implement system changes, and better allocate resources to support interventions to improve the health of women of reproductive age during the preconception and interconception periods.

Keywords: interconception health; preconception and interconception health indicators; preconception health; preconception health indicators.

MeSH terms

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S.
  • Female
  • Health Behavior*
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Preconception Care / standards*
  • Pregnancy
  • Reproductive Health*
  • United States