The Infertility Evaluation
Fertility tests evaluate the separate processes that must occur for pregnancy to result. HRC infertility specialists will oversee a thorough screening of each couple's medical history and hormonal health as well as a physical exam to determine the likely cause of infertility and to create a treatment plan.
The most common causes of infertility in the female include ovarian disease, tubal disease, endometriosis, uterine disease, cervical disease, immune disorders and a category known as unexplained infertility. "Unexplained infertility" means that a specific cause of a couple's infertility cannot be identified.
Fertility tests will be ordered to assess ovarian function including the day 3 hormone evaluation (FSH, LH, E2 and others). Elevated levels of FSH on day 3 may indicate diminishing ovarian reserve and infertility. Ovulation may also be assessed using urinary test kits, progesterone hormone measurements, ultrasound visualization and other means.
Fertility tests are also used to access the tubes and uterus. The tubes must be open and free of obstruction for the eggs to travel from the ovaries to the uterus. Fertility tests are used to evaluate the condition of the uterus and include the hysteroscope, hysterosalpingogram, ultrasound and others. The uterus must be regularly shaped and free of obstructions such as fibroids and/or polyps. The laparoscopy is a very valuable fertility test that allows the specialist to directly visualize the reproductive organs. In many cases, conditions such as endometriosis are treated during the diagnostic laparoscopy.
Fertility tests, such as the post coital test, assess the characteristics of the cervical mucus. The cervical mucus supports the transport and nourishment of sperm and must be free of antisperm antibodies and be of the correct consistency.
It is important to remember that no fertility therapy, including Clomid, should be administered to the female until the semen analysis has been evaluated. Approximately 47 percent of all infertile couples will have a male infertility component.