Fertility tests are an essential part of fertility evaluation and treatment. Through testing, it may be possible to discover what is preventing a patient and their partner from achieving pregnancy. A regular gynecologist may do some basic testing, but a reproductive endocrinologist (a doctor specializing in fertility) or a urologist (for male infertility) usuallu performs the more thorough fertility testing.
Fertility testing involves both partners. While we may think of pregnancy as happening in the woman's body, conception takes two! According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, one-third of infertility cases are due to female factor infertility, one-third are due to male factor infertility, and the remaining third are due to problems on both sides or unexplained infertility.
Female Fertility Tests
Not every fertility test will be done for every case. The more invasive fertility tests, like diagnostic laparoscopy, are only done when symptoms or other tests point in that direction, or when a cause for infertility cannot be found otherwise.
For women, fertility testing may include:
Blood work, which may check hormones, including LH, FSH, thyroid hormones, androgen hormones, prolactin, estradiol (E2), and progesterone. AMH, or anti-mullerian hormone, may also be tested for. Some of this blood work must be done on a particular day of the menstrual cycle. For example, FSH is usually checked on day 2, 3 or 4 of your cycle, and progesterone is usually checked around day 21 (or one week after ovulation) of the cycle.
The following tests are part of the fertility evaluation:
Male Fertility Tests
Semen analysis is the main fertility test for men. It involves the man providing a semen sample for a lab to evaluate. Ideally, the test should be performed twice, on separate days, to confirm the results.
Usually, only a semen analysis is needed to diagnose male infertility. However, further testing may also be performed, including:
After Fertility Testing
Once fertility testing is complete, you will meet with Dr. Levi to discuss what the results mean, what treatment would be appropriate, and decide the next step to take.