What you need to know about the basics of fertility testing
So, you’ve come in for your first appointment and you walk away with a list of specific tests to do. You are trying to figure out what these tests will tell us and why you have to do them in the first place. It helps to understand the basics of fertility testing.
The infertility process is not the same for every person who comes into the office. Each treatment plan is custom-tailored to the specific needs of the patient. These tests help us determine the best course of treatment. Depending on your specific situation, your doctor’s recommendations may vary. However, here are some very common tests.
Exploring the basics of fertility testing
The first one that comes to mind is the hysterosalpingogram or HSG. This is a test occurs in an outpatient radiology center. It examines the inside of the uterus and the fallopian tubes using X-ray and a contrast material. This test enables the radiologist to take pictures of the contrast material (dye) as it passes through the uterus into the fallopian tubes. This test helps to determine whether there is a problem with the uterus or tubes such as. These problems include tubal blockage, fluid in the tubes, abnormal shape/structure of the uterus, polyp, fibroids and scar tissue
Cycle day 3 labs help evaluate your ovarian reserve (how many eggs you have left). This test gives us a bird’s eye view of your ovarian reserve. It helps the physician choose the right course of treatment for you. Ovarian reserve gives us an indication of the quantity and quality of the eggs a woman has. We test both estradiol and FSH hormones on cycle day 3 of full flow. Our physicians may also measure your ovaries or do a follicle count with an ultrasound, in the beginning of the cycle, to further help evaluate ovarian reserve. This is a key component of the basics of fertility testing.
Male infertility testing
Semen analysis is the main test that evaluates male fertility. This test is vital, because it helps to evaluate the sperm count, motility, and morphology. If the semen analysis results are abnormal, we may refer the male partner to a urologist for further evaluation.
Taking the next steps
After your initial evaluation, your physician will discuss the results with you as well as their recommendations for next steps. There may be other tests you need, but these are the basic tests for most patients. These tests provide us with a wealth of information about your specific situation.
The initial infertility evaluation is critical in determining the best treatment course for you. At TFC, you are not just a number who walks through the door. Each patient has their own treatment plan that is custom-tailored to their specific needs. You may feel like you have to do many tests, but remember each test helps us to get a clearer picture of what may be causing YOUR infertility to occur. Contact us to learn more about the basics of fertility testing.