Basic Evaluation and Work-up
About 85% of couples will become pregnant after 12 months of regular unprotected intercourse. The remaining 15% of couples are termed infertile, and they should get a basic evaluation and workup to figure out what’s causing their infertility and what treatment choices they have. Ovulation and ovarian function, tubal and uterine anatomy, and probable male factor concerns are the key components of the workup. The key to assisting couples in achieving their ultimate aim of a healthy baby is efficient and thorough testing.
A basic fertility workup is an initial step in determining all of the possible causes of infertility in a couple. When you’re having difficulties conceiving, the unknown can be frightening, and your worries may be high, but recognising potential problems will help you and your medical team find answers. The following is a simple step-by-step guide on what to expect when scheduling your initial infertility workup.
During your initial visit, your healthcare professional will ask you extensive questions about your medical history, including inquiries about any medical and lifestyle variables that might contribute to infertility. Following this appointment, the doctor will devise a diagnostic strategy that is unique to you. Your medical professional may try to address questions like these in this plan:
Typically, the female is subjected to a number of routine tests during the workup procedure:
The AMH (Anti-Müllerian hormone), which is the most reliable predictor of a woman’s egg production, will be tested during the bloodwork along with other hormones like thyroid. AMH is not affected by a woman’s menstrual cycle and does not change from month to month. Testing of other hormones is usually not advised and not useful in most cases.
An ultrasound of the uterus, ovaries and the pelvis in general will be performed as part of the workup. The ultrasound will establish whether the woman’s uterus is normal and will also identify the antral follicle count, which is a measure of the number of eggs accessible for a prospective pregnancy that month. This can also help in finding potential problems like polyps or fibroids which could interfere in pregnancy.
This test helps in knowing whether the fallopian tubes are open or not and can also shed some information on the anatomy of the uterus. It also looks to see if there are any fibroids, polyps, or scar tissue that could hinder you from getting pregnant. However, this is a painful procedure with high false reports and is less advised or performed in recent times.
A follicular study is used to follow the development of follicles in the ovaries of a woman. A follicular scan, or follicular monitoring, is another name for this procedure. A series of scans will be performed to determine when the mature egg will be discharged and the uterine walls will thicken. Natural cycles and IUI/ IVF treatments both need follicular monitoring.
In 40 to 50% of infertile couples, the male partner has a problem that is causing or contributing to infertility. Consequently, analysing their sperm count and health is vital. In comparison to female infertility testing, these tests are far less invasive.
Semen analysis involves taking a sample of sperm and analysing it in a laboratory. A semen analysis will be performed by an andrologist to determine the sperm’s ability to fertilise an egg. The amount of sperm and whether or not they are normal, as well as their swimming ability, will be examined. It assesses factors such as sperm count, motility, and shape (morphology).
Visit us at Dr Banker’s Fertility Clinic if you’re thinking about fertility treatments. We will be delighted to discuss the fertility process and your choices with you.