What tests are done for fertility? - How is a woman’s fertility tested?
At your very first visit at Audubon Fertility you’ll be introduced to the fertility workup, which starts with your medical and fertility history. This is important as our team prides itself on personalized care and makes a point to avoid unnecessary testing which might delay your treatment. The entire workup usually takes less than a month and may include one or more of the following tests:
AMH Blood Test
Genetic Carrier Screening
The Antimullerian hormone is primarily released from the ovary and is an important measure of ovarian reserve. This simple lab test is a great peek into your reproductive potential, and clinically it helps us chose the right treatment for you. A low AMH usually means your reserve could be low and when treating you we would move toward more aggressive dosing and treatment sooner. This is important as we value your time and resources and would not want you to go through treatment not likely to result in pregnancy. Likewise, we can use this test when counseling patients about fertility preservation. For example, if a woman is considering oocyte or egg cryopreservation, a low AMH may help in decision-making by alerting her to low or diminished reserve so she can freeze eggs now before it is too late.
At least 1 in 4 couples experience male factor infertility. The semen analysis can help us gain insight into male reproduction by examining sperm shape, motility or movement, and number. Our fertility laboratory at Audubon Surgery Center follows the most current criteria in evaluation, in accordance to the World Health Organization. For abnormal results, patients can be referred to Dr. Eric Laborde, a fellowship-trained specialist in male infertility and a board-certified Urologist. You can conveniently see Dr. Laborde in our clinic, emphasizing our dedication to providing complete and holistic care. Furthermore, treatment will be tailored to adjust for results from this test, making it one of our most valuable tools for the care of our male patients.
One of our favorite tools by far at Audubon is the ultrasound. Our office has 4-6 ultrasound rooms available at any time. Your ultrasound will be performed by the providers, not just technicians, and every scan is informative as the uterus and ovaries change throughout the menstrual cycle. Your ultrasound will be performed at a specific time during your menstrual cycle and our providers will carefully evaluate the uterus and ovaries and explain their findings at the same visit. Often the ultrasound can reveal uterine pathology such as fibroids or uterine anomalies that can lead to miscarriage. For example, a uterine septum is a common cause of miscarriage that is easily surgically corrected in an outpatient surgery called a hysteroscopy. The ultrasound is a simple noninvasive tool that helps us identify these critical fertility issues and help us address them in a timely fashion in order to give you the best chance of conceiving.
The hysterosalpingogram, better known as the HSG, is a test designed to look at tubal patency or openness. This test is not performed in every couple but reserved for those with concern for tubal disease. This could include patients with a history of chronic pelvic pain, endometriosis, prior abdominal surgery, or pelvic inflammatory disease. At Audubon Fertility, only our board-certified physicians perform HSG’s to ensure the procedure is as comfortable as possible. The truth is a normal HSG or a patient with open fallopian tubes usually has very little or no discomfort, especially because the test is performed by our physicians who routinely do pelvic exams. In addition, staff who assist in this procedure are warm, friendly and attuned to the needs of our patients. Our patients tell us this support is crucial on their journey to fertility success.
Genetic Carrier Screening
At Audubon Fertility we believe knowledge is power. We discuss the option for Genetic Carrier Screening at your very first visit as this test screens you and your partner for genetic mutations that you may carry even though you are not affected. The reason being, if you both carry the same mutation, it could affect your pregnancy. Your physician will order this test for you and review your screening results with you. Genetic Carrier Screening also includes access to skilled and articulate genetic counselors who are available over the phone to take questions and discuss your results in detail. The outcome of this valuable test can lead patients and their families down different treatment paths to avoid a potentially heart-breaking situation where a pregnancy and child could be affected by genetic disease.
If you have any questions about your fertility journey or would like to schedule your fertility workup, please give us a call today. We would be honored to be a part of your fertility journey!
Here, Dr. Wells talks about the top five fertility tests that she recommends with her patients: