Infertility specialists will order several tests to evaluate the common causes of infertility. Even if one cause is known (such as low sperm counts or blocked fallopian tubes), additional fertility tests will be recommended because there is often more than one cause of infertility.
Common Fertility Tests
Clomid Challenge Test (CCCT)-The CCCT is used as a measure of ovarian reserve (egg quality) and is predictive of how a woman will respond to fertility drugs. (FSH).
Endometrial Biopsy- This test was once routinely used to assess the development of the endometrium (lining of the uterus) during the menstrual cycle. Blood tests have largely replaced the biopsy because of expense and patient discomfort.
Genetic Testing- Many inheritable diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, can be identified in potential parents. Many other genetic testing options are discussed.
Hormone Evaluation- Levels of FSH, LH, and estrogen will be measured on day three of the menstrual cycle. High FSH levels are usually an indication of decreased egg quality. Anti-mullerian hormone levels, which also assess ovarian reserve, are often measured. Androgen levels will be measured to rule out PCOS. Thyroid hormones will be assayed to rule out " hyper" or "hypo" thyroidism.
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)- The hysterosalpingogram (HSG) involves following the flow of dye from the uterus through the tubes using X-ray images. The HSG verifies that the fallopian tubes are open and uterine abnormalities can often be identified.
Hysteroscopy- Hysteroscopy is used to examine the inside of the uterus to identify abnormalities such as polyps and fibroids.
Laparoscopy- Laparoscopy is performed to diagnose diseases of the reproductive organs, such as endometriosis or damaged fallopian tubes.. Laparoscopic surgery is used to correct many conditions, such as the removal of endometriosis.
Documenting Ovulation- Ovulation must occur regularly each month. Ovulation can be monitored/predicted by creating a basal body temperature chart (BBT). The more accurate urinary LH test kit is recommended. Increases in progesterone levels signals successful ovulation and follicle rupture (egg release) can also be monitored via ultrasound.
Post Coital Test- The cervical mucous may be evaluated to determine that it has the correct consistency for sperm to swim from the vagina into the uterus.
Saline Sonogram- A 3D (three dimensional) ultrasound vaginal probe is inserted into the vagina and to identify polyps and fibroids.
Ultrasound- Vaginal probe ultrasound is used to monitor follicles during ovulation induction cycles for IVF and stimulated IUI. It has many other uses including documenting release of the egg, measuring endometrial thickness, documenting pregnancy, and more.
Reproductive Care Center offers thorough fertility testing by board certified infertility specialists. We prepared an explanation of fertility tests normally required that can be downloaded.