Have you and your partner been trying to conceive for more than a year? It is possible that you or your partner, or both, may have issues with infertility. It is advisable that both of you get fertility tests right away.
For females, the first thing to do is to consult a fertility physician. The specialist will discuss your medical history and lifestyle. Did you use birth control? Is your menstruation regular? Did you have previous pregnancies? Had you had surgery. What medicines do you use and what are your sexual practices.
You will also undergo a thorough physical exam to check your thyroid, breasts and hair growth. A pelvic exam is also important, along with a pap smear. Then do the initial female fertility tests, which can include the following.
Ovulation is when your body releases an egg during menstruation. It is released only when it is mature, then it travels down the Fallopian tube where sperm meets it and fertilization takes place.
The hypothalamus in the brain controls ovulation and the release of hormones during menstruation. It sends signals to the anterior lobe and pituitary gland to secrete luteinizing hormone (LH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
Problems throughout the whole ovulation process can lead to Female Infertility. This can be evaluated through the following tests.
To see if ovulation has occurred, check your temperature charts through ovulation predictor kits, blood tests, and ultrasound.
Ovarian function tests
To check if the hormones are functioning during the ovulation cycle, there are certain tests. These include the Day 3 FSH (measuring follicle-stimulating hormone), Day 3 Estradiol (measuring estrogen), ultrasound (to confirm ovulation occurred) and blood tests to determine the levels of inhibin B.
Luteal phase testing
To check progesterone levels, your doctor gives you more extensive hormone testing and possibly an endometrial biopsy.
The most important test for parameters of female fertility is AMH. Other more comprehensive hormone tests include: Luteinizing Hormone, Follicle Stimulating Hormone, Estradiol, Progesterone, Prolactin, Free T3, Total Testosterone, Free Testosterone, DHEAS, Androstenedione.
Other tests for a first evaluation
The above mentioned female fertility tests are the common tests done. But it does not mean that you have to do everything. Sometimes, you need only a few tests to get the necessary results. It really varies with each individual.
Other tests that doctors commonly use during the first evaluation are the following:
Cervical mucus tests
A post-coital test (PCT) will determine if the sperm can penetrate and survive the cervical mucus, a fluid secreted by the cervix to nourish and protect the sperm as it goes through its long journey to meet the egg. This test also involves bacterial screening.
Here, the doctor assesses the thickness of the lining of the uterus. He also checks the development of follicles and the overall condition of the uterus and ovaries. Two to three days later, another ultrasound will check if an egg was released.
Additional female fertility tests
If the semen analysis and the above-mentioned tests produce normal results, your fertility specialist might recommend additional testing. These include:
A dye is injected through the cervix into the uterus and Fallopian tubes. Then, an x-ray is performed to check for blockages and other problems.
If the HSG sees the presence of possible abnormalities, the hysteroscope is inserted through the cervix into the uterus. This is done so your fertility specialist can see and take pictures of any abnormality, scarring or growth.
While you’re under general anesthesia, a narrow, fiber-optic telescope is inserted into the abdomen to provide a view of the uterus, Fallopian tubes, and ovaries. If abnormalities are found, such as scar tissue and other adhesion, these are removed by laser. Before performing this test, it is important to confirm that you are not pregnant.
To determine if the lining is thick enough for a fertilized egg to implant and grow, a small amount of tissue is scraped off the endometrium, just before menstruation. Again, it is important to confirm that you are not pregnant before this test is performed.
Once again we stress that these female fertility tests are the common tests but they are not mandatory. Your fertility specialist will know what tests to take considering your present condition and succeeding test results.
It is important that you consult a competent and experienced fertility specialist doctor. Dunya IVF has free consultations for you if you are having problems getting pregnant. Contact them now and click here.