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How Does a Fertility Evaluation Work?

How Does a Fertility Evaluation Work?

A fertility evaluation is key to discovering problems underlying your struggle to get pregnant. A fertility specialist performs a fertility evaluation to gain insight and answers toward diagnosing infertility and recommending a treatment plan. Various underlying issues can make it difficult to get pregnant. However, most fertility issues can be treated successfully.

Board-certified gynecologist Lillian Schapiro, MD, and board-certified nurse practitioners Kathryn Garren, WHNP, and Tiffany Morgan, WHNP make up the team of compassionate women’s health practitioners at Ideal Gynecology. 

Our team is devoted to helping women live long, healthy lives. Roughly 15% of couples struggle to conceive after 12 months of trying. If you’re struggling to get pregnant, a fertility evaluation can help you get answers so that you can accomplish your goal to have a child. Here’s what to know about fertility evaluation.

If you're ready to have a child and are having trouble getting pregnant after a fertility evaluation is beneficial. Discovering the underlying cause is key to treatment that will help you start or expand your family.

Hormone testing

As you might already know reproductive hormones are necessary in the right amounts for conception to occur and to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Hormone testing is one step in fertility evaluation that checks the levels of key hormones in both men and women who are having trouble conceiving. 

Hormone testing for women involves checking the following hormones:

Hormone testing for men typically includes the following:

Additionally, your provider may check the level of thyroid hormone for both partners.

Ovulation testing

Ovulation involves the release of a mature egg from the ovary. Each month, an egg matures in one of your ovaries. Upon release, the egg travels down the Fallopian tube and is made available for fertilization. Ovulation is necessary for a successful pregnancy. Without a mature egg pregnancy cannot occur.

Your provider will perform an ovulation test to check your ovulation status. This is done using blood tests, ultrasound, and ovulation predictor kits.

Ovarian function test

Your provider performs an ovarian function test to see how your reproductive hormones are working when you ovulate. Checking follicle-stimulating hormone on day three of your ovulation cycle, as well as estrogen, provides a better idea of how your ovaries are functioning. An ultrasound is useful to see if ovulation has occurred, and blood tests give insight into your ovarian function.

Luteal phase test

The luteal phase starts following ovulation on day 14 and continues until the first day of your period. This is essentially the second half of your menstrual cycle. During the luteal phase, a spike in progesterone plays a key role in preparing your body for pregnancy. A luteal phase test checks that this is happening appropriately. A shorter or longer luteal phase can provide clues to underlying fertility issues.

Semen analysis

Hormonal problems and sperm abnormalities can lead to male infertility. Fertility evaluation includes testing for both partners as fertility struggles aren’t just a woman’s issue. A semen analysis checks the quality and amount of semen. Low sperm count, low semen volume, impaired sperm motility, and other abnormalities can cause issues conceiving.

Genetic testing

Specific gene mutations can cause trouble getting pregnant. Genetic testing looks for specific genetic based issues that may be underlying your struggle to conceive. Identifying any genetic contributing factors helps you know how to proceed in choosing the right treatment. 

The team at Ideal Gynecology is devoted to guiding and helping individuals and couples on their journey to having a child. If you’re having trouble conceiving, schedule a visit with an Ideal Gynecology provider. We have offices in Atlanta and McDonough, Georgia. Call the office nearest you to schedule your initial consultation

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