A woman should consider fertility testing if she has been actively trying to get pregnant, by having unprotected intercourse on a regular basis with her partner, for more than one year. If a woman is age 35 or older, she should consider fertility testing after six months of trying to get pregnant. According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, infertility affects men and women equally, so both partners should be tested.
Fertility tests for women help identify the cause(s) of infertility so the condition can be properly treated and the couple can have the best chance to conceive. Fertility tests for women often involve:
In addition to women unable to get pregnant for a year (six months if over age 35), women with the following conditions should consider fertility testing:
The following tests for female infertility are performed by providers at Women & Infants Fertility Center:
At the initial visit, the fertility specialist will ask questions about the woman’s health and sexual history. Learning about the patient’s history is an essential part of how the physician diagnoses the cause of infertility. For example, the physician may learn of a prior sexually transmitted infection or infrequent ovulation/menstrual periods that may be the cause of infertility. The first appointment will provide information for the doctor to determine if further testing should be conducted.
Blood tests are done at different times during a woman’s menstrual cycle to measure hormone levels in the blood. For an egg to reach maturation and the ovaries to release an egg, a woman must have balanced hormone levels. The doctor performing the blood hormone test will determine if the woman is producing high quality eggs and if the brain is properly sending hormonal signals to the ovaries. An evaluation for follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) levels drawn on cycle day three (three days after a woman’s period starts) is a common test for women. Other possible blood tests for hormones include anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) and estradiol.
Testing for ovarian reserve assesses the potential number of eggs a woman has in her ovaries. Ovarian reserve testing may involve an ultrasound or blood tests.
These tests are recommended if a woman is at high risk of having a depleted ovarian reserve. These risks include:
Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgery in which the doctor inserts a camera and small surgical instruments into the abdominal cavity through a small incision in the belly button. Laparoscopic surgery is used to evaluate and treat endometriosis and to remove uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts and scar tissue.
Sonohysterogram uses a saline solution to fill the uterine cavity and a transvaginal ultrasound to create a clear image of the uterus. The procedure helps diagnose uterine lesions and irregular growths including fibroids or polyps.
A noninvasive way to examine a woman’s reproductive system, an ultrasound helps diagnose anatomic problems such as uterine fibroids and ovarian cysts. At Women & Infants Fertility Center, this procedure will most commonly be performed transvaginally.