Understanding Standard Infertility Tests

What do you need to know about infertility testing? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Dr. George Grunert, a reproductive endocrinologist and founder of Houston Fertility Specialists, and Dr. Virginia Mensah, a reproductive endocrinologist with Reproductive Science Center of New Jersey.

Hit the Highlights
  • What are some of the questions a doctor will ask at the first appointment to help make a diagnosis?
  • What are some of the basic tests that should be run to determine the cause for someone not getting pregnant within 1 year of unprotected sex if under age 35 (or within 6 months if older)? Is a physical exam helpful? What information are you looking for with a physical exam?
  • Assessment of ovarian reserves: what tests are used?
  • What blood tests are a part of the standard workup?
  • About what percentage of infertility is caused by PCOS? How can you test for polycystic ovarian syndrome?
  • What other issues can cause ovulation problems and what tests are done?
  • Rather than go through infertility tests, why not just try Clomid to see if it works?
  • How to determine if the tubes and uterus are normal?
  • Which tests can be completed at my gynecologist and will still be accepted by an infertility clinic? Will my insurance be likely to pay for them if they are done at the gynecologists office? Do they need to be coded in a way to be diagnostic rather than treatment?
  • Does the birth control pill affect long term fertility after you stop taking it?
  • Tests for male infertility.
  • How often is male factor infertility or a defect in the sperm a cause (or contributing cause) for infertility?
  • Tests for immunological issues that could be impacting the ability to get or stay pregnant.
  • Tests for the cause of miscarriages. Does it matter what trimester the miscarriage occurred?
  • What tests can be done to diagnose endometriosis?
  • When is surgery or laparoscopy called for? When does it make sense or should you try IVF first?

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Image credit: lee roberts