If you and your partner have concerns about fertility, the most important first step you can take is to talk to a fertility specialist.
This first step in fertility treatment – contacting a clinic – is not easy. But it is important to remember that you are not alone. Infertility can affect as many as one in six couples of reproductive age.
If you’ve experienced any of the following, a consultation with our experts is advised:
“¢ No pregnancy after six months of trying
“¢ Menstrual periods shorter than 25 or longer than 35 days
“¢ History of pelvic infections or tubal pregnancy
“¢ Repeated miscarriages (two or more)
Once you have decided that speaking with a specialist is necessary, the next step in the patient process is to get a fertility evaluation. This is where you will meet your physician, who will document your medical history, develop a fertility plan, and determine what testing is needed in order to provide the best treatments possible.
A series of tests will then be scheduled (for both males and females) – to determine the cause(s) of infertility. Once these tests are completed, you will again meet with your physician to discuss test results and options for your treatment.
The most critical test is the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) test. This hormone stimulates the ovary to develop a follicle that contains an egg. If FSH is elevated too early in the menstrual cycle, it may indicate that the ovary is having a hard time responding to this signal. One way to test the function of the ovary is to determine the FSH hormone on day 3 of the menstrual cycle along with assessing the amount of estrogen (produced by the ovary) in the blood. These hormones give an indication of how the ovaries are functioning, and are sometimes referred to as the “ovarian reserve” – which is the quality/amount of eggs within the ovary.
Another important test is called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG). This test is an x-ray of the outline of the uterine cavity (where implantation of an embryo occurs) and the Fallopian tubes to determine if the tubes are open.
A semen analysis is a test for male partners that determines whether there are sperm abnormalities that may be contributing to a couple’s difficulty to conceive. Once the results of these tests are available, our specialists can recommend an appropriate treatment.