In vitro fertilization is a highly successful treatment for infertility. While your doctor recommends IVF as a solution for myriad fertility issues, the process itself is multi-faceted and requires dedication on the part of the patient. From stimulating your ovaries to retrieving your eggs, fertilization and embryo transfer the path to parenthood via IVF is fairly involved. To that end, your doctor must make sure your body is up to the task.
Various Infertility Tests Your IVF Provider Requires
Before you begin IVF, your doctor performs several necessary tests. Here we offer our list of the various infertility tests which determine your eligibility for IVF and confirm your diagnosis prior to planning a course of treatment.
Blood Group Test
Before your doctor begins your IVF cycle, they need to confirm your blood type and that of your partner. This prevents any complications related to blood group such as Rh hemolytic disease which causes a range of pregnancy complications including miscarriage, neurological damage and severe anemia in infants, and ABO incompatibility which may result in organ damage to the baby as well as jaundice, anemia and even heart failure. This test requires a blood draw from both you and your partner.
Blood Glucose Test
A blood sugar test confirms whether or not you have diabetes. There are some additional protocols for those females with diabetes. Your doctor may combine this test with your blood group confirmation test using the same blood draw.
Assessing your ovarian reserve begins with a blood test determining your hormone levels. The concentration of certain hormones such as estrogen, FSH (Follicle stimulating hormone) and AMH (Anti-mullerian hormone). The levels of these hormones alert your doctor to the quality and quantity of your eggs.
At the same, time the doctor performs an ultrasound scan of your ovaries ensuring they are healthy. Healthy ovaries respond better to fertility medication.
Fallopian Tube Test
Also called a tubal patency test, this test checks for damaged or blocked fallopian tubes. Whether or not you have open fallopian tubes dictates the type of treatment necessary for successful pregnancy.
This test, called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), is a mildly invasive procedure performed in an imaging center. Sometime during the first ten days of your menstrual cycle your doctor performs the HSG by injecting dye into your uterus and using a series off X-rays which follow the dye through the fallopian tubes. If the dye stalls at any point during the test, it may indicate a blockage.
If the test indicates a blockage your doctor may suggest further testing. You may experience mild discomfort post-HSG. Other common side effects are:
- Minimal amount of vaginal bleeding lasting no more than a few days.
Depending on the level of discomfort, you may resume normal activities right away.
Screening for Infectious Diseases
Your doctor performs a blood test as a thorough screening for specific diseases that may impact your pregnancy. These include hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections or diseases, rubella, HIV, and chlamydia. Your partner must also undergo this type of testing.
These specific infectious diseases put your pregnancy at risk and may cause serious complications for both you and your baby. Testing positive doesn’t rule out IVF, but your doctor may perform additional tests and treatment prior to beginning your IVF cycle.
Your doctor asks your male partner for a semen sample so the laboratory may analyze it for count, motility (movement) and shape. Should the lab find any sperm abnormalities that may interfere with conception your doctor may suggest certain procedure in conjunction with IVF such as intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) where the lab injects sperm directly into the egg. Depending on the results of the semen analysis, your doctor may suggest using a sperm donor.
Take the First Step
These tests help your doctor determine a course of treatment. Your IVF provider may require additional testing, but that doesn’t necessarily rule out eligibility. You won’t know how you and your partner should proceed until you take that first step and schedule your consultation.
These Infertility Tests Help You Prepare for The Road Ahead
We hope this list of the various infertility tests today’s IVF providers use helps prepare you for the road ahead. At LA IVF, we want our patients to know what to expect. Our caring and compassionate team is available to answer any other questions you have and help you understand the IVF process as it unfolds. Contact LA IVF too learn more about treatment for your infertility.