IVF Tests for Men and Women

If you have been trying to conceive for a while but it hasn’t yet happened, you may be wondering what your next step is. It’s highly likely that the thought of IVF has already crossed your mind. The reason I am writing this post, is down to the fact that before my husband and I started IVF, we hadn’t thought about all the tests involved. I really wish someone had written a guide or I had done more research into what was involved. I’m not an expert. I’m just someone who has been through IVF and wants to try to help others, whether that be by providing information such as this post and my other IVF posts or simply by having someone to talk to. I hope this helps you or if you think it will help someone you know please share it with them. Thank you.


Fertility Tests For Women

AMH
This stands for Anti-Mullerian Hormone. Essentially this tests a woman’s biological clock and it can be done on any day of a woman’s menstrual cycle via a blood test. You may have heard people speaking about Ovarian Reserve Testing. Well, this test is exactly that. AMH is produced by the ovaries and it helps eggs to mature. Some facts about AMH:

  • The older a woman is, the lower her ovarian reserve is, although this isn’t always the case
  • Women with Polycystic Ovaries usually have a high AMH
  • A high AMH often means a better chance of IVF being successful and more eggs being collected
  • A high AMH is considered to be anything over 3.0 ng/ml
  • A low AMH is considered to be anything between 0.3-0.9 ng/ml
HSG
This stands for Hysterosalpingogram. This is an x-ray of the uterus and fallopian tubes. A dye is injected using a catheter and if there are no blockages, the dye will flow into the abdominal cavity. I had this test and found it pain free. I experienced mild, period like cramps during the test but afterwards I felt 100% normal.

Hycosy Scan
Similar to a HSG, this test checks the patency of a woman’s fallopian tubes by using a catheter to inflate a small balloon in the uterus whilst an ultrasound scan is performed vaginally. This test is usually carried out between day 8 and 10 of your cycle.

Laparoscopy
A surgical procedure used to diagnose endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease and many other conditions. You will be unconscious during this procedure, as a general anaesthetic is used.

Hysteroscopy
This test is carried out to examine the inside of the uterus. Using a narrow tube with a telescope at the end, images are sent to a computer to give a closer view of the uterus. 

As well as the tests listed above, there a few more that may be required. Page down to the bottom of this post for a list of other tests.

Fertility Tests for Men

Sperm and Semen Analysis
A sample is supplied and a trained medical professional will assess a man’s sperm count, mobility, shape as well as some other things. 

Physical Exam
As the name suggests, a physical exam looks at the scrotum, size of the testicles and the penis is checked for warts, discharge and irregularities. This test also involves a prostate exam.

Urine Sample post-ejaculation
This test is used to detect sperm after ejaculation. 

Ultrasound Scan
This is particularly helpful to determine the size of the testes and also to detect cysts, abnormalities and tumors, as well as blood flow.

Hormone Evaluation
Testosterone and other hormones produced in the brain are tested. These hormones control the production of sperm.

Genetic Tests
If a man is seriously deficient in sperm with no apparent obstruction, genetic testing can be used to identify DNA fragmentation, chromosomal defects and the possibility of a genetic disease.

As well the tests above a number of other blood tests may be carried out, including:
  • Anti cardiolipin
  • BHcG
  • Blood Group
  • Chlamydia (swab or urine test)
  • Chromosomes
  • Cystic fibrosis gene
  • CMV
  • Full blood count
  • FSH
  • Gonorrhoea (swab or urine test)
  • HIV
  • Hepatitus B & C
  • Syphilis
  • HTLV 
  • LH
  • Prolactin
  • Progesterone
  • Rubella
  • Testosterone
  • Thrombophilia screen
  • Thyroid function

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