Symptoms of infertility may be present when trying to conceive. It can be challenging to determine if you are fertile or not. Some individuals may not become pregnant due to underlying health issues, while others may require fertility treatments. To determine the cause of infertility, specific diagnostic tests are used.
Diagnostic Tests for Women’s Fertility:
If you are a woman who has been trying to conceive for the last 12 months through regular unprotected sex but have been unsuccessful, it’s time to see a doctor to determine if you have fertility issues. If you are over 35 and have been trying to conceive for at least six months through regular unprotected sex, it’s also time to see a doctor. The doctor may ask about your contraceptive medication history and previous gynecologic health history and perform a physical and pelvic examination. After this, the following diagnostic tests may be done:
- Ovulation Testing: a blood test that measures hormone levels to determine if ovulation is occurring.
- Hysterosalpingography: an X-ray test used to evaluate the uterus and fallopian tubes for abnormalities such as blockages.
- Ovarian Reserve Testing: a test to evaluate the functioning of the ovary and the number of eggs available, performed through a blood test and a transvaginal ultrasound.
- Imaging Tests: pelvic ultrasound, a transvaginal ultrasound, and a hysterosonogram are used to examine reproductive organs. The hysterosonogram determines the internal status of the uterus, while the transvaginal ultrasound assesses uterine and ovarian abnormalities.
- Urinary Luteinizing Hormone: an over-the-counter ovulation prediction test kit that measures the presence of the luteinizing hormone in the urine and predicts ovulation.
- Hysteroscopy (in rare cases): a test in which a thin, lighted device is inserted through the cervix into the uterus to detect any potential abnormalities.
- Laparoscopy (in rare cases): a minimally invasive surgery in which a small camera device is inserted through a small incision to examine the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and uterus.
Diagnostic Tests for Men’s Fertility:
- Semen Analysis: semen is obtained by masturbating or interrupting intercourse and ejaculating into a clean container for laboratory analysis. In some cases, urine may be tested for the presence of sperm.
- Hormone Testing: a blood test that measures testosterone and other hormone levels to determine fertility capability.
- Genetic Testing: a test to assess for congenital defects contributing to infertility.
- Testicular Biopsy: in some cases, a biopsy may be performed to identify abnormalities or retrieve sperm for assisted reproductive techniques such as IVF.
- Imaging: in certain situations, imaging studies such as a brain MRI, transrectal or scrotal ultrasound, or a vasography may be performed.
- Other Specialty Testing (in rare cases): tests to evaluate the quality of sperm, such as assessing a semen specimen for DNA abnormalities.
- It is essential to consult with a doctor to determine the cause of infertility and proceed with the appropriate diagnostic tests.”