Diagnosing Female Infertility

For the woman, basic testing begins with the medical interview and physical exam.

A complete related medical history interview will cover:

  • Menstrual history
  • Pregnancy history
  • Birth control history
  • History of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Current sexual patterns
  • Medications
  • Surgical history
  • Other significant health problems
  • Lifestyle and work environment

A complete related physical examination will include:

  • Thyroid exam – palpation of throat area
  • Hair distribution- any unusual or excessive hair patterns on your face and body
  • Breast examination- size, shape, and whether nipples leak
  • Pelvic examination- signs of unusual growths, sores, discharge, or infection; PAP smear, cervical fluid sample

Additional testing — via urine or blood tests and pelvic imaging — may be performed to confirm if ovulation is occurring, predict upcoming ovulation cycles, evaluate ovarian reserve, and measure how ready the uterus is for a pregnancy during certain parts of the woman’s cycle.

Home Testing

If the woman has regular menstrual cycles, the couple can do the following tests at home to make sure they are having sex at the woman’s most fertile time:

  • Basal Body Temperature Charts: Tracking BBT (basal body temperature) is a way to document whether ovulation has occurred.
  • Ovulation Predictor Kits: Measuring the LH level in urine can indicate that ovulation will likely occur within the next 36 hours.

Physician Testing

Testing performed in the fertility physician’s office and lab will be conducted at different points in a woman’s cycle.

Blood tests performed specifically on the third day of the woman’s menstrual cycle will measure levels: follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and estradiol (a type of estrogen.) These tests can give an indication of egg cell quality.

Blood tests can also measure the amount of prolactin, androgen and thyroid stimulating hormone.A transvaginal ultrasound may be performed several days after the LH surge to determine if ovulation has occurred. A blood test in the last part of your cycle can measure progesterone to indicate that ovulation has occurred.

The following procedures are sometimes used to diagnose any structural problems with the reproductive system:

The Reproductive Science Center of the Bay Area is a leading pioneer in infertility treatments including IVF with egg donation and LGBTQ family building. We’ll work with you to help you achieve your dreams of having a baby.

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