Fertility Testing: What Women Should Expect

The first step in a woman’s fertility evaluation is an interview with a healthcare provider to review the patient’s medical history. The physician will inquire about any underlying medical conditions which may affect fertility, such as thyroid disease, hormone imbalances, diabetes, and sexually transmitted diseases. The doctor will also ask about any medications that are currently being taken. Other questions will be related to the patient’s sex life and frequency of sexual intercourse, as well as reproductive history.

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Physical examination

After the doctor has taken the patient’s medical history, the next step is a physical exam. This will include a PAP smear, an abdominal examination, and an examination of the cervix. These tests aim to discover any abnormalities with the uterus or cervix and any signs of cervical cancer.

Hormone screening

Next, the doctor will take samples of the woman’s blood and urine to check various hormone levels. These are the hormones which are necessary for successful ovulation and implantation. Blood and urine may need to be sampled several times throughout the woman’s menstrual cycle to assess the presence and level of each hormone at the appropriate point in time.

Ultrasound exam

This is a painless procedure in which the doctor will insert the ultrasound wand into the patient’s vagina. The sound waves are transformed into images on the monitor. The ultrasound exam allows the doctor to see the condition of the patient’s uterus, ovaries, and follicles. Ultrasounds can detect any medical issues such as ovarian cysts and fibroid tumors.

Cervical mucus test

Typically, for this test, a small piece of cervical mucus is extracted from the woman’s vagina a few hours after intercourse. The aim of this test is to see if sperm could survive in the patient’s body and be able to approach the egg. This test is usually performed just before ovulation.

Additional evaluations

In some cases, the doctor may recommend further testing to evaluate the patient’s uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. These tests may include a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), endometrial biopsy, or laparoscopy. These additional tests will show the doctor if there are any issues such as blocked fallopian tubes, endometriosis, or abnormalities of the uterus.

Getting advice

Couples who are struggling to conceive a child should talk to a fertility expert. This will allow an opportunity for the couple to find out the underlying cause of infertility. A fertility expert can also discuss the different treatment options.

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