What happens during fertility testing?
Fertility testing begins with a doctor going over a patient’s medical history and performing a comprehensive physical exam. Doctors can employ many tests that vary by sex to test for hormone levels and the quality of the reproductive system. Finding a cause for infertility can take months, but is possible.
Fertility testing for women
A doctor will perform a comprehensive pelvic exam to check the pelvis, breasts, and thyroid. A pelvic ultrasound can determine the thickness of the uterine lining, or endometrium, and identify uterine or fallopian disease. A blood test checks hormone levels associated with ovulation. Women may need to keep track of ovulation patterns throughout testing.
When the first tests don’t reveal an apparent cause, a doctor may perform a hysterosonography or hysterosalpingogram to get a clearer picture of the uterus and fallopian tubes, respectively. Small incisions and biopsies may be needed to test uterine lining or identify any other abnormalities in the ovaries and uterus.
Fertility testing for men
A doctor will begin testing men for infertility by performing a physical exam. Semen analysis checks for the quality, shape, and size of the sperm, as well as the amount, count, and mobility. Doctors may also perform a blood test to check for hormone imbalances that can make pregnancy more difficult. Several other fertility tests can also detect irregularities in the sperm or reproductive system.
Infertility treatment options
Infertility treatment depends on the cause of fertility issues. Treatment may be needed for just one person or both partners. Treatment includes healthy lifestyle choices, medication, hormone therapy, and surgery. When sperm and eggs are compromised, couples can use donor eggs or sperm to improve the chance for conception. In vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) are two of the most popular fertility treatment options for couples looking to overcome reproductive obstacles.
Talk to a specialist
Finding the right fertility treatment begins with fertility testing to find the underlying cause of fertility problems. A fertility specialist can help couples determine the cause and offer therapies to stimulate ovulation and sperm production, improve hormone production, and offer other reproductive assistance.