Q: What standard tests can you expect at your first visit to an infertility clinic?
A: According to Dr. Virginia Mensah, a reproductive endocrinologist with the Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey, couples can expect a number of standard testing which may vary by location or center, however most centers use very similar tests. Testing for the female patient typically includes hormonal testing and a uterine evaluation. The hormonal testing involves bloodwork and allows for evaluation of ovarian reserve (AMH, FSH, estradiol). It also often includes other preconception screening such as Rubella/Varicella and other viral or pathogen testing and thyroid studies. This testing is typically done shortly after the start of menses around day 3 of the menstrual cycle. As for uterine imaging, there are a variety of tests available including hysterosalpingogram (HSG) and FemVue, which are X-ray and Ultrasound tests respectively that allow for direct visualization of polyps or fibroids within the uterus and can confirm that the fallopian tubes are open. For the male partner, testing typically begins with a semen analysis to evaluate the sperm quality.
For more information on this topic, listen to the Creating a Family radio show Understanding Standard Infertility.
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Hi, I am a 44 year old single woman from NYC. NEVER in a million years did I think I would end up at this age marriage-less and child-less. I am sad beyond words. When all my friends were getting their eggs frozen at 40, I could not bring myself to talk about it. I always thought I had a back-up plan. That being said, I just got out of a 3 year relationship 2 weeks ago and my world was shattered–forced me to come to terms with the most devastating position any woman can be in. Now, my journey begins- I will do ANYTHING to have a child. I went to the Kindbody clinic last week, but would like a second opinion, can you recommend the best clinics/dr’s in NYC or close by. Can different dr’s yield diff results? Also, I am interested in ones that may provide financial help my insurance does not cover and I now this is going to be hugely expensive. If you can provide any support groups, as well, I would be greatly appreciative. This situation has totally consumed my life–I know I was put on this earth to be a mother and will stop at nothing to have one. All I need is some hope that is why I am reaching out for your help (in any way possible). Thank you in advance!
MD, I’m so sorry you find yourself in this position. I know how frustrating and scary it is to realize that you are going to have to work really hard to achieve your dream. It sounds like you are reeling and very fresh off of a breakup so give yourself some grace and kindness as you walk this next path. I highly recommend our Creating a Family Choosing a Fertility Clinic or Doctor: A Multimedia Guide For Those Considering Infertility Treatment (http://bit.ly/2ekqhck) It will help you know how to choose the best clinic and offers practical advice.
My second piece of advice may be harder to hear. I often see women your age start fertility treatment with a firm idea of the best way to create their family. They immediately change clinics when the doctor suggests using donor eggs because that always thought they were going to get pregnant using their own eggs. I have no idea what your test results show for your ovarian reserves, but the statistics are not on your side for getting pregnant at 44 for your own eggs. If money is no object and the infertility doctor is fine with proceeding using your own eggs, go for it! If you are not successful, then at least you know you gave it a try. However, if money and time are a consideration, then listen carefully with a clear mind to what your RE is telling you about your chances of conception using your own eggs.
You have lots of options for donor eggs-fresh, frozen, shared programs, etc. We will be doing a Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast on this topic in November. To get more info, sign up for our weekly newsletter. (https://creatingafamily.org/subscribe/) It’s easy to unsubscribe if you decide it’s not for you. Also, you might want to consider using donor embryo, which might be considerably less expensive.
I wish you the best of luck.