Fertility is complex and influenced by numerous factors in both the male and female partner. If you’ve been trying unsuccessfully to conceive for a year (or 6 months if you’re over 35) a fertility specialist may perform any of the following tests:
• Semen analysis: A semen analysis is the first line of inquiry when checking for male infertility. The semen is examined under a microscope to determine the number, health, and motility of sperm.
• Hormone testing: If the sperm count is found to be low, a blood test is used to check testosterone, FSH, LH and prolactin levels to determine the source of the problem.
• Ultrasound: Sometimes an ultrasound is performed to examine the reproductive tract and look for blockages or other issues that may be hindering the production or delivery of sperm.
• Ovulation testing: a combination of blood tests, and ultrasound used to determine whether ovulation is occurring. Hormone tests usually measure the following hormones at different times during the woman’s menstrual cycle: Luteinizing hormone, FSH, estradiol, progesterone, prolactin, free T3, testosterone, DHEAS, and androstenedione.
• Cervical Mucus Tests: This is a post-coital (after intercourse) test meant to determine whether sperm can survive in the cervical mucus.
• Ultrasound: sonogram imaging of the uterus (to check the thickness of the endometrial lining), the fallopian tubes, and the ovaries.
Additional tests may be performed as needed.
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