At first, your Gynecologist will counsel you to understand your sexual habits and make recommendations to improve your chances of getting pregnant.
In some infertile couples, when no specific cause is found (unexplained infertility), the Gynecologist will need you to undergo some tests so as to reach closer to the diagnosis and better treatment plan.
Infertility tests for men
Male fertility needs that the testicles produce enough healthy sperms and that these sperms are ejaculated effectively into the vagina and travels to the egg.
Tests for infertility in men, attempt to determine if any of these processes are impaired.
Your General physical examination, including examination of your genitals.
Specific fertility tests may include:
Semen analysis. Your Gynecologist may ask for one or more semen specimens. Semen is generally obtained either by masturbation or by interrupting intercourse and ejaculating into a clean container. A laboratory analyzes your semen specimen. In some cases, urine may be required to test for the presence of sperm.
Hormone testing. You may be advised to get a blood test done to determine levels of testosterone and other male hormones.
Genetic testing. Genetic testing may be advised to determine whether there exists a genetic defect causing infertility.
Testicular biopsy. In some cases, a testicular biopsy may be prescribed to identify abnormalities contributing to infertility or to retrieve sperm for assisted reproductive procedures, such as IVF.
Imaging. In some situations, imaging studies such as a brain MRI, transrectal or scrotal ultrasound, or a test of the vas deferens (vasography) may be advised.
Other specialty testing. In rare cases, certain other tests to evaluate the quality of sperm may be performed, such as evaluation of a semen specimen for DNA abnormalities.
Infertility tests for women
Fertility for women depends upon the ovaries releasing healthy eggs.
The reproductive tract must allow an egg to pass into the fallopian tubes and merge with sperm for fertilization.
The fertilized egg must then travel to the uterus and implant in the lining. Tests for female infertility need to find out if any of these processes are impaired.
A general physical examination, including a regular gynecological check-up.
Specific fertility tests may include:
Ovulation testing. A blood test to measure hormone levels to determine if you’re ovulating.
Hysterosalpingography. Hysterosalpingography evaluates the condition of your uterus and fallopian tubes and looks for blockages or ant other problems. X-ray contrast is injected into your uterus, and an X-ray is taken to determine if the cavity is normal and to see if the fluid spills out from your fallopian tubes.
Ovarian reserve testing. This test helps to determine the quantity of the eggs available for ovulation. This approach genrally begins with hormone testing early in the menstrual cycle.
Other hormone testing. Other hormone tests are done to check levels of ovulatory hormones, as well as pituitary hormones that control reproductive processes.
Imaging tests. Pelvic ultrasound helps in identifying any uterine or ovarian diseases. Sometimes a sono-hysterogram, also called a saline infusion sonogram, is done to view details inside the uterus that are not seen on a regular ultrasound.
Depending on your situation, rarely your testing may include:
Hysteroscopy. Depending on your case and symptoms, your Gynecologist may avise a hysteroscopy to look for uterine diseases. During the procedure, your Gynecologist inserts a thin, lighted device through your cervix into your uterus to view presence of any potential abnormalities.
Laparoscopy. This is a minimally invasive surgery. It involves making a small incision beneath your navel and inserting a thin viewing device to examine your fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus. A laparoscopy may help identify endometriosis, scarring, blockages or irregularities of the fallopian tubes, and any problems with the ovaries and uterus.
Not everyone needs to undergo all, or even many, of these tests before the probable cause of infertility is identified.
You and your Gynecologist will decide which tests you will undergo and when.