What is fertility testing?

Fertility Test Ottawa

When a woman has experienced difficulty conceiving a child, there could be a number of causes.  To discover potential issues, there are a number of tests that can be performed.

Statistics show that about half of all fertility issues can be traced to a single partner.  About a quarter of fertility issues are the result of both partners having problems.  The final quarter is attributed to an inability to discover a cause.

Generally, both parties are tested in an attempt to find the cause and it is possible that several different tests will need to be performed.  The results of these tests will help the physician determine the best course of action as a follow-up.

The first tests are the simplest and least expensive.  These are:

  • Blood tests – These will check the hormone levels and include follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), and progesterone.
  • Blood screening – This will check for diseases like Chlamydia and rubella that may be affecting fertility.
  • Sperm – This will determine the sperm numbers, their motility, and overall quality.

If these tests return negative results, the next step is additional tests.  These are more expensive and can be more invasive.

  • Hysterosalpingogram – This is a special type of x-ray.  A dye is injected into the cervix.  By following the spread of the dye it can determine if there is a blockage in the fallopian tubes.
  • Hysterosalpingo Contrast Sonogram (HCS) – This is a sonogram test where a probe is inserted into the vagina.  It will show if there are any blockages within the entire genital tract.

When this second round of tests fails to expose the problem, the next round of tests will include:

  • Laparoscopy – This is where a small camera is inserted into the abdomen.  This procedure is used to examine the ovaries and surrounding tissue.  It is used to look for fibroid tumors, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, adhesions, and scar tissue.
  • Hysteroscopy – This test is the same as a laparoscopy except that in a laparoscopy the camera is inserted through a small incision and a hysteroscopy is when the camera is inserted vaginally.

A DNA medical testing facility is used to perform most of these tests.  If none of them result in definitive issues, the problem is classified as that 25% of unknown origin. Choosing a lab is vital to this process. Labs like DNA Medical Clinic in Ottawa, which specialize in fertility testing, are the best to turn to for this purpose.