Fertility testing can be an empowering way to take charge of your reproductive health. By having knowledge and data ahead of time, you can better plan for the future – even if that future is down the road. In this blog post, we’ll explore what’s involved in fertility testing, how to determine if/when it’s right for you, and what to expect after your results.
Fertility testing is becoming increasingly popular for women and couples who want to know more about their health. Testing can provide valuable information about potential medical issues that could affect fertility before starting a family. By detecting any potential issues early on, you are better equipped to address them and improve chances of a successful pregnancy.
It’s important to have a conversation with your Axia Women’s Health provider to determine the best timing for testing. Factors like age, family health history, and any other pre-existing health conditions can help guide your decision.
There are some other signals that may be “red flags” to indicate you should seek out fertility testing. For example, women who have a history of abdominal or pelvic surgery, endometriosis, or pelvic infections may develop adhesions in the pelvis or have damaged fallopian tubes that could affect fertility. In addition, women living with uterine fibroids may seek help from a fertility specialist, as the number, location and size of fibroids could affect fertility. Women who have irregular menstrual cycles or PCOS should also be evaluated.
Let’s not forget, fertility isn’t just a woman’s issue. While not as often discussed, male infertility is also possible. If you have a male partner who experiences issues with erections or ejaculations, they may want to receive testing by a urologist.
Your provider will determine the specific tests for you, but generally speaking, there are some common tests included in a fertility workup:
For women, a transvaginal ultrasound is often recommended. This is a quick in-office procedure that evaluates the fallopian tubes and uterine cavity. Bloodwork is also required, most commonly tests to measure FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) and AMH (anti-Müllerian hormone). Together, these tests can help your provider to assess your ovarian reserve (egg supply).
For men, fertility testing is based on a semen analysis. This involves dropping off a semen sample for analysis by an andrologist (a specialist in male reproductive health). The andrologist will examine the semen under a microscope to look at sperm count, motility (ability for sperm to travel), and morphology (shape of the sperm), and other important sperm parameters.
Discovering a fertility issue can be difficult news to process. It’s important to know that in many cases there are still options! Don’t give up hope. A physician skilled in the field of reproduction and infertility can help you interpret the findings and make the best decision for treatment, if necessary. Thanks to advances in medicine, there are now many options to help you achieve your dreams of parenthood. Whether it’s through the help of medication, surgery, or assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), there are many paths to parenthood. Even if you don’t have a diagnosis of infertility but want to be proactive, egg freezing can be a great option.
A reproductive endocrinologist trained in supporting couples with infertility can help you to explore your options. Our fertility partners are here to help you through each step!
May 22, 2023