Some couples find it hard to get pregnant naturally, which might warrant seeking medical attention. Fertility doctors test for infertility to recommend proper treatment. You and your spouse might be having trouble with fertility, but a physical examination and diagnosis are the first step on the path to treatment. Here are some ways doctors check if someone is fertile.
Women conceive based on their ovary’s ability to release healthy eggs which travel down the fallopian tube. Mature oocytes that fuse with sperms become embryos and implant on the lining.
The following gynecological and specialty infertility tests seek to find impairments in the reproduction process:
Your fertility specialist takes a sample of your blood to test for progesterone. High progesterone levels indicate that you are ovulating. Doctors can then recommend the best time to try conceiving during your fertility window.
For people with irregular periods, doctors measure gonadotrophin hormones. These hormones often stimulate your ovaries to produce eggs to kickstart ovulation.
Experts conduct a genetic test to determine if the cause of your infertility stems from your DNA. A blood analysis helps determine if mutations or fragile X syndromes are causing ovarian insufficiency.
One common cause of infertility is sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia. The fertility specialists conduct a chlamydia test using a swab to collect cells from the cervix. Experts can recommend antibiotics or stronger medication to deal with chlamydia, depending on the test results.
Medical imaging helps to check for infertility problems by assessing the physical properties of the reproductive system. Fertility specialists use ultrasound scans to check the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and uterus. Imaging also helps identify conditions of the womb, such as fibroids and endometriosis, which can impede pregnancy.
X-ray imaging can also help determine if the uterine cavity is normal. Doctors inject x-ray contrast into the uterus to identify any fluid spills in the fallopian tube.
This method involves inserting a tube with a camera (laparoscope) to examine the womb and ovaries. Specialists only recommend this method when it is likely that you have a problem. They may insert dye through the cervix to highlight blockages or perforations within the fallopian tubes.
Changes to your fallopian tube can cause an imbalance and impede the delivery of mature oocytes into the uterus. An HSG test checks for abnormalities in the reproductive system that can be causing infertility. Experts can then recommend corrective surgery or medication to regain your fertility.
Male infertility is also a common issue among couples who have difficulty conceiving. The causes of infertility range from defects or abnormalities preventing sperm delivery to abnormal sperm function and low sperm count. Specialists conduct unique tests to get to the root of the problem and recommend viable solutions.
Here are some fertility test options for men:
It is common to find abnormalities causing infertility in patients who have challenges conceiving. Fertility specialists conduct a testicular biopsy to retrieve healthy sperm that do not make their way outside. Retrieving healthy sperm helps with assisted reproductive techniques like In Vitro Fertilization (IVF).
Genetic defects are a common cause of infertility among men, so the experts have to run tests to rule them out. There are several genetic tests that specialists can opt for depending on a patient’s case, like:
- Karyotype Analysis (KA) – Karyotypes detect chromosome rearrangements and Klinefelter syndrome, contributing to infertility.
- Y-chromosome microdeletion testing
- CFTR mutation testing
This is the most common fertility test for men, and includes doctors analyzing a semen specimen. The semen is tested in a lab to confirm that the sperm are moving correctly and that you have a normal sperm count.
Doctors may recommend medication or lifestyle behavior changes to improve testicular function. Exercising, sticking to a balanced diet, and avoiding drugs help increase the production of quality sperm.
A blood test can help establish testosterone levels and other hormones in the patient. This analysis can help determine if the conditions are favorable for the production of healthy sperm. Doctors recommend certain medications for patients with a low sperm count to boost their testosterone levels.
Imaging helps determine the condition of the male reproductive organs and establishes the causes of infertility. Doctors use scrotal or transrectal ultrasounds to identify blockages within the urinary tract. They may also perform a vasography – an x-ray of the vas deferens – to test for underlying issues.
Fertility tests help seek medical solutions to infertility issues among couples. Your fertility doctor can recommend treatment or lifestyle habit change to restore fertility, depending on the results. Their recommendations improve the chances of conceiving naturally. You can also get artificial reproduction solutions such as IVF to become pregnant easily.