Female Fertility Tests

Fertility & Conception
 
Key Points

  • If you have been trying to conceive for 1 year, seek medical help.
  • Your GP will be able to request basic fertility tests.
  • A fertility specialist can do further investigations to identify what is keeping you from getting pregnant.

Medical History

The doctor will ask you relevant questions about your medical and sexual history. Questions may include previous pregnancies, miscarriages and children, how long you have been trying to conceive, sex life, contraception, medication, symptoms, and lifestyle (including smoking, weight, alcohol, drugs and stress).

Questions also include your menstrual cycle, duration, whether it is regular/irregular, if periods are painful. If you have been tracking your cycle, you can share this information with the doctor.

Physical Examination

  • Weight, to see if you have a healthy body mass index (BMI)
  • Abdominal examination to check for lumps, pain or tenderness (could be a sign of fibroids, ovarian tumours, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease)
  • Gynaecological examination to check for infections or anatomical problems.

Ultrasound

An ultrasound uses a small probe, in your vagina or in your abdomen to allow the doctor to check your ovaries, uterus, uterus lining and fallopian tubes.

Endometrial Biopsy

An endometrial biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue from the endometrium, which is the lining of the uterus. This tissue sample can show cell changes due to abnormal tissues or variations in hormone levels. Taking a small sample of endometrial tissue helps your doctor diagnose certain medical conditions.

HyCoSy

HyCoSy stands for Hysterosalpingo Contrast Sonography. It is an investigation of the fallopian tubes. This test involves the use of a dye (contrast agent) specially designed for use with this type of test. The dye is safe and will not affect future fertility or have any effect on the fallopian tubes; it is used so that we can see the fallopian tubes much better on the ultrasound scan.

Blood Tests

Blood tests can be requested to check for infections and to check hormone levels. Hormones regulate several body functions, including ovulation, egg development and release, uterus lining, menstruation. It can also give information about egg quantity. Abnormal levels of hormones are a common cause of infertility and the blood test is fairly easy to do.

  • HIV 1&2 antibodies
  • Hepatitis B s Antigen
  • Hepatitis B c Antibody
  • Hepatitis C Antibody
  • Chlamydia
  • Full blood count
  • TSH
  • Free T4
  • Vaginal swab
  • Hormonal Profile:
    • AMH
    • FSH
    • LH
    • E2
    • Prolactin
    • Progesterone

Chromosome Analysis

Genetic karyotyping—also known as chromosome analysis—can reveal certain genetic abnormalities. It can be used to confirm or diagnose a genetic disorder or disease; or the testing may reveal that a couple is at risk for having a child with a genetic or chromosomal disorder.

Your doctor may request a chromosome analysis if:

  • You've been unable to conceive for more than a year.
  • You've experienced two or more consecutive miscarriages.
  • You've experienced a stillborn birth.
  • The male partner has no sperm in his semen or an extremely low sperm count.
  • The female partner has been diagnosed with primary ovarian dysfunction.

Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that involves small cuts in the abdomen to allow a camera to be inserted to check your womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries. This is an invasive procedure and will only be done if you have endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease or a blockage in the fallopian tubes is suspected.

The Small Book of Fertility Hormones

X