Male and Female Fertility Testing
For some people, getting pregnant seems to happen very quickly while other couples take months or even years to conceive.
Many factors may determine the ability to get pregnant that range from hormone levels, semen count, diet, and lifestyle. Because there is such a wide variety of potential reasons, it is important for both men and women to opt for fertility testing if conception does not occur after one year.
It may feel overwhelming to start fertility testing, but preliminary testing is straightforward and easy to process. In the end, the results will offer potential solutions and allow people to seek the proper resources to continue their path toward starting a family.
Female Fertility Testing Options
Before starting the initial testing phase, the very first step is completing a thorough physical exam to rule out any outlining factors that could easily be the culprit for infertility issues.
Your physician may ask for details concerning:
- Menstruation cycle
- Previous birth control methods
- Medications used (past and current)
- Sexual history
- Work and home environment
- Surgical history
Once the preliminary exam is complete, it is then time to move forward with specific testing to pinpoint any areas of concern.
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- Ovulation Testing – Ovulation test kits are available for personal use or from your medical provider. The doctor will also evaluate ovulation through ultrasounds, temperature charts, and blood tests.
- Ovarian Testing – It is important to determine that the proper hormones are produced throughout the ovulation process. This is determined via an ovarian testing that includes Day 3 FSH, Day 3 Estradiol, ultrasounds and blood tests.
- Hormone Testing – Hormones play an incredibly important role in fertility. A large range of hormones will be tested to see if levels are too low or too high. In some instances, medication may assist in regulating hormones to make it easier to get pregnant.
- Cervical Mucus Testing – Mucus testing is necessary to determine if semen can penetrate and thrive in the cervix.
- Ultrasounds – Ultrasounds are used to ensure that the ovaries and fallopian tubes are functioning and properly developed.
Male Fertility Testing Options
It has been an incorrect assumption that women are more likely the reason for infertility issues. The reality is that nearly male infertility is responsible for about 50% of all infertility cases. Therefore, it is incredibly important that men also partake in fertility testing.
Just as with women, men should expect a total physical exam with their doctor. Be prepared to answer similar questions about sexual history, current health, and lifestyle factors.
- Semen Analysis – Semen analysis is the initial phase of male fertility testing. A sample is provided, and a lab technician examines the color, count, shape, and movement of the sperm. Some men opt for at-home testing for comfort.
- Urinalysis – Testing the urine can indicate if there is an infection or if there is semen in the urine. If sperm is present, it could mean that there is an issue with proper ejaculation.
- Blood Tests – Blood tests will describe certain hormone levels. If testosterone levels fall outside of a standard caliber, then supplements may be required.
Why You Should Get Tested
If you have been trying to conceive for a year or longer, then it is important that you and your partner participate in fertility testing. A medical professional can assist with determining which tests are the most appropriate for you. In the end, the results will allow you to make critical decisions about your reproductive health.