Comprehensive infertility testing for both men and women can help you maximize your chance of achieving success in the shortest time necessary. Women age 35 and under who have been trying to conceive for one year without success should seek the assistance of a fertility doctor. Women over age 35 who have been trying to conceive for six months without success should also see a fertility doctor.
What to Expect
Your OBGYN, your urologist and/or your fertility doctor can perform infertility testing, also known as an initial work-up. At RMA, we usually complete an infertility work-up in 30-days or less. Certain hormones, such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), anti-mullerian hormone (AMH), and estrogen (estradiol E2) can provide important clues about female fertility, like what your egg quality is like or how many eggs you have. For men, a semen analysis can provide a critical understanding of sperm motility or morphology.
Ovarian function is assessed through blood tests and a transvaginal ultrasound. AMH, day 3 FSH, and estrogen levels assess egg reserve. Through transvaginal ultrasound, your doctor will assess your follicle count (another marker of egg reserve) and look for any abnormalities on the ovaries. If you have irregular periods, your RMA doctor will check your thyroid function (TSH), prolactin, 17- hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP), androgens, and markers of insulin resistance.
Your uterus may be evaluated with a transvaginal ultrasound, a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), and/or a saline sonogram. Transvaginal ultrasound provides information on the shape of the uterus and detects some uterine abnormalities, including fibroids. An HSG is used mainly to determine if your fallopian tubes are open or blocked. A saline sonogram can provide more information about the interior of your uterine cavity, identifying problems such as scar tissue, polyps, or problematic fibroids.
Sperm will be assessed through semen analysis and anti-sperm antibody testing. Partners usually collect their sample in the office. RMA specialists assess ejaculate volume, sperm concentration, sperm motility, and sperm shape. For patients using donor sperm, we are happy to help you identify sperm banks and coordinate shipping sperm to RMA.
Genetic screening is an important component of your initial evaluation. All patients are at risk of having a child affected by a genetic disorder. Fortunately, modern fertility treatment techniques can reduce your risk of having an affected child. While genetic screening tests cannot prevent all birth defects, they are a key risk-reducing measure.
We will also order additional lab work to screen for general health concerns and sexually transmitted diseases. If you have a preexisting health problem, such as diabetes or hypertension, we will order specific blood tests and may require you to obtain clearance for pregnancy from outside doctors monitoring your condition(s).