If you’ve been struggling to get pregnant, a fertility health check can prove invaluable at diagnosing the issue. While it’s common for couples to try for at least a year before they conceive, if you’re still trying to get pregnant after a year it could be a sign that something is amiss.
Going for a fertility health check can be daunting, especially if you have no idea what to expect. However, the process isn’t as gruelling as you might think and if a problem is detected, there are numerous treatments on offer to help increase your chances of conception.
Below, you’ll discover what to expect from a fertility health check to help ease your concerns. However, it is worth keeping in mind that health checks are carried out dependent upon personal circumstances. Therefore, some of the tests mentioned below may not relate to you.
Fertility health check: going over your medical history
The first thing that will be addressed at your fertility health check is your medical history. This helps the specialist to identify any medical issues, both in the past and present, which could be impacting your fertility. Some conditions such as sexually transmitted diseases, thyroid disease and diabetes can contribute to issues with fertility.
You will also discuss any medications you currently take, along with the frequency and times that you usually have intercourse. Understandably, many patients find it embarrassing to open up about their sex life, but the specialist will help to make you feel comfortable and you can guarantee there’s nothing they haven’t heard before.
Fertility health check: basic fertility tests
Once you and your partner have had a chat about your medical history, some basic tests will need to be carried out. Men will be required to provide a sperm sample and undergo a blood test to check hormone levels. The sperm sample is analysed to detect the number, motility and shape of the sperm.
The woman will start by undergoing an ultrasound to identify the number of resting eggs and assess the uterus. A blood test will also be carried out to identify her reproductive hormone levels. These basic tests will then either identify the cause of the issues, or further tests may be required.
Fertility health check: additional fertility health tests which may be required
If an initial cause cannot be identified or based upon your medical history, you may be required to undergo the following additional tests:
- Blood tests
- Cervical mucus test
- Endometrial biopsy
- Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)
Blood tests may be required to test the thyroid levels, the follicle stimulating hormone and Oestradiol levels. A Cervical Mucus test may be carried out to determine how well sperm survive in the woman’s body after intercourse. A laparoscopy is a surgical procedure which is used to examine the fallopian tubes, ovaries and uterus, while an endometrial biopsy looks at whether there is a hormonal imbalance preventing the woman from sustaining a pregnancy. Finally, a Hysterosalpingogram is an x-ray procedure which can detect whether the fallopian tube passages are blocked.
These are just some of the additional tests which could be required. However, most are minimally invasive, and the fertility specialist will help to put your mind at ease every step of the way.
Overall, while it may be daunting heading to a fertility health check-up, there really is nothing to worry about. It can help you to get to the bottom of your fertility troubles and put you on the right treatment path to increase your chances of conception.