How to Evaluate Your Fertility Levels | What to Expect from Your Doctor

Women who are undergoing standard fertility level evaluation will first discuss their medical history with their doctor. At this time, patients should mention any previous problems with getting pregnant, miscarriages, and any history of uterine problems such as fibroids, or PCOS. Women who have a family history of uterine or fertility problems should also discuss this with their doctor.

Once medical history is discussed, women will undergo a thorough physical examination. The doctor will then perform a series of standard fertility tests. Additional test may be needed based on the findings.

 

WHAT’S NEXT: STANDARD FERTILITY LEVEL TESTS

Standard fertility tests include blood typing and blood count, AIDs, syphilis, virus screening, hepatitis B and German measles testing. A pap smear and a chlamydia test are also standard. Once this initial round of testing has been completed the doctor will begin ovulation testing.

The aim of ovulation testing is to confirm that ovulation is occurring. The doctor will help women complete ovulation temperature charts and may recommend the use of an ovulation predictor kit. Typically an ultrasound scan is performed to confirm ovulation has occurred. Ovarian function tests are performed to assess hormone levels during an ovulation cycle. These tests measure estrogen, progesterone, and follicle stimulating hormone.

 

THE NEXT ROUND: SECONDARY FERTILITY LEVEL TESTS

Sometimes a fertility expert will recommend further tests to help determine what is causing fertility issues. These may include a variety of test including HSG, hysteroscopy, laproscopy or biopsy.

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)
This X-ray of the uterus and fallopian tubes enables the doctor to see if there is a blockage which is causing infertility.

Hysteroscopy
If the HSG test indicates abnormalities a hysteroscope is inserted into the uterus to enable the doctor to see any scar tissue, growths or other abnormalities.

Laparoscopy
A laparoscopy is performed under general anesthesia. A fiber optic telescope is inserted into the abdomen so that the doctor can see the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes and check for abnormalities. If abnormalities are found, laser removal may be recommended.

Endometrial biopsy
Just prior to menstruation, a small sample of tissue is scraped from the endometrium. This will determine if the uterus lining is thick enough for healthy egg implantation.

 

CONCERNS AND QUESTIONS

Women who are concerned about their fertility levels should talk to their doctor about having a fertility evaluation and possible fertility treatments. There are many options available and many couples have had success with infertility issues.

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