For the millions of couples who face the challenges of infertility, many factors come into play from both partners. Men’s issues account for approximately 50 percent of all infertility cases, but there are indicators that tell doctors if a woman requires further testing. Two general signs are:
- A woman under 35 has not become pregnant after one year of trying (with regular, unprotected intercourse
- A woman over 35 has not become pregnant after 6 months of trying
If your doctor recommends fertility testing, it’s important to know what to expect.
A complete guide to fertility testing for women
Many women who struggle to get pregnant have multiple problems contributing to their infertility, which is why there are many kinds of fertility tests available. What fertility test(s) a woman undergoes depends entirely on her unique situation. Still, there is a basic order of testing that doctors follow to pinpoint the source of infertility:
- Initial fertility appointment – When you first meet with your fertility doctor, he or she will review your birth controluse, menstrual and pregnancy history, current and past sexual practices, medications used and other health issues. Your doctor will also ask about your lifestyle and work/living environments.
- Physical exam – In addition to a Pap smear and pelvic exam, the doctor will examine areas such as your thyroid, breasts and hair growth.
- Blood tests – Initial tests may be conducted to evaluate thyroid hormone levels, prolactin levels (the hormone that makes you produce milk after giving birth), testosterone levels, and to screen for diseases like HIV or hepatitis.
- Ovulation testing – To confirm ovulation, the doctor may use a range of techniques, including reviewing your temperature charts, ovulation predictor kitsand 3D ultrasound.
- Hormone testing – During the ovulation portion of your workup, levels for follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), estradiol, progesterone, inhibin B and other hormones may be examined.
- Cervical mucus tests – These involve post coital tests (PCT) to help determine if the sperm can penetrate and survive in the cervical mucus. It also includes a bacterial screening.
If the above testing is inconclusive, more procedures may be recommended, including reproductive organ tests and genetic testing.
Excellence in fertility testing and complete reproductive care is close to home
If your purpose in life is to become a parent, yet that purpose remains unfulfilled, hope is just around the corner. With locations in Akron, Columbus, Canton and Youngstown, all the expertise, advanced technology, compassion and dedication it takes to help you have the baby you’ve always wanted is within reach.
Our team of reproductive endocrinology and infertility nurses, embryologists and onsite laboratory technicians surround you with support and expertise. They’re led by our board-certified physicians, who bring decades of combined experience, a wealth of innovative diagnostics and treatments, and a genuine passion for helping you realize the dream of parenthood.
To learn more or to schedule an appointment, click here to see the phone numbers for each office, or to use our online form.