Fertility Tests for Women
There are many obstacles to fertility, including problems with ovulation, blocked or damaged tubes, and endometriosis. In order to diagnose the cause of a couple or female patient’s infertility, specialists employ different types of fertility tests for women, including hormone evaluation, hysterosalpingogram, transvaginal ultrasound, and diagnostic laparoscopy.
When Should a Woman Start Testing for Infertility?
Since infertility can be caused by a variety of factors, the fertility treatments that are most suitable for you can only be determined after the cause of infertility is identified. Typically, fertility specialists recommend that couples in which the female partner is in her twenties or early thirties try to conceive for a year before undergoing fertility testing. Women between the ages of 35 and 39 should be evaluated for infertility after six months to one year of unprotected intercourse.
How Doctors Test for Infertility: The Types of Fertility Tests for Women
To establish the source of a couple’s infertility, doctors may use multiple types of fertility tests for women. Read about the different types of testing, including how they work and what they reveal, below.
Female Hormone Evaluation: What Hormones are Tested for Infertility?
There are several hormones that must work together in the female body for pregnancy to occur and progress properly. Levels of reproductive hormones FSH, LH, and estradiol are measured on day three of the woman’s menstrual cycle to determine her ovarian reserve (remaining egg supply). Hormone fertility testing can also detect the presence of excess androgens — male hormones produced by a woman’s ovaries and adrenal glands. Elevated androgen levels may indicate polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
Transvaginal Ultrasound: What Does It Show?
A transvaginal ultrasound test uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. This image allows the physician to detect any irregularities. It can also help your physician monitor the growth of the ovarian follicles.
Saline Infusion Sonogram (SIS): What It’s Used For & How It Works
A Saline Infusion Sonogram is generally performed to exam the uterus and uterine cavity. This Ultrasound test is done after a saline solution has been infused into the uterus through the cervix. The saline solution distends the uterus and acts as a contrast to the internal structure. The procedure provides more detail than a conventional ultrasound, helping to detect any abnormalities.
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) Test for Infertility
An important part of a basic infertility evaluation, a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is a radiology procedure that is used to detect irregularities inside of the woman’s uterus and fallopian tubes.
Hysteroscopy is a procedure frequently utilized in the diagnostic evaluation of infertility. It is also commonly performed prior to more advanced fertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization.
Hysteroscopy is generally performed under anesthesia or conscious sedation. It involves placing a small camera through the cervix and directly examining the uterine cavity. Abnormalities, such as endometrial polyps, scar tissue, and small fibroids can be identified and frequently treated in the same procedure. It is also possible to evaluate the status of the fallopian tubes with hysteroscopy by utilizing a tubal catheterization procedure. Your physician will discuss if this procedure is an option for you.