Female Infertility Evaluation: What to Expect
Making the decision to partner with a fertility specialist usually occurs after a couple has exhausted other options, including timed intercourse and basic fertility testing in an obgyn office. Enlisting a fertility specialist propels you toward resolution, beginning with the fertility evaluation process.
There is a good reason fertility specialist Dr. James Douglas with IVF Plano appears in healthcare provider lists under the ‘Obstetrics/Gynecology’ heading as a reproductive endocrinologist (RE).
The sub-specialty of reproductive endocrinology requires obgyn doctors to master 1) two to three years of additional study and fellowship training, 2) board certification exams and 3) additional years of experience practicing as an RE.
All REs are considered fertility specialists, but not all fertility specialists have earned the RE distinction or are board certified as an RE.
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Often, the first question couples or individuals ask when seeking help with fertility evaluation is: When should I see a reproductive endocrinologist (RE), and why? An RE specializes in reproductive disorders and directs laser-sharp focus toward infertility diagnosis and treatment.
Your first visit to see a reproductive endocrinologist like Dr. Douglas may take some time, but rest assured that appointments with a results-driven fertility clinic are worth the wait.
In fact, more than 80 to 85 percent of couples that see a fertility specialist and stick with the plan will become pregnant. *
What to expect with female infertility evaluation
Many patients who visit IVF Plano have already had multiple physical exams and have extensive notes in their medical history from their obgyn or primary care provider. We will only repeat a fertility test if medically necessary, or if previous notes are unclear.
If Dr. Douglas recommends performing a basic female fertility exam, the analysis may involve:
- A physical exam, including vaginal sonogram to check for fibroids, endometriosis, cysts and overall structural integrity of the ovaries and uterus
- Cervical mucus tests and bacterial screening to rule out infection and cervical mucus that repels sperm
- Mid-cycle post-coital testing (PCT) to determine the presence of sperm, and sperm motility (movement) in cervical mucus
- Extensive fertility blood work
Targeted testing for ovulation disorders
Ovulation disorders and ovarian reserve are the most common causes of infertility in women.
By testing ovarian reserve–a woman’s remaining egg supply–Dr. Douglas will have an estimate of fertility treatment success.
Dr. Douglas will order blood work to measure hormone levels and perform a transvaginal ultrasound examination of ovarian volume and follicle count. Because healthy follicles produce estrogen and low amounts of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), high amounts of FSH, luteinizing hormone (LH) or estrogen point to diminished ovarian reserve and female infertility.
Scheduling a female fertility evaluation is a step in the right direction
Choosing to partner with a fertility specialist, or reproductive endocrinologist, can bring to light underlying causes of infertility. Dr. Douglas has served women in the Dallas, Plano and Frisco areas for more than two decades, and reassures new patients by expeditiously diagnosing the problem and developing a pregnancy plan of action.
Contact our fertility clinic to schedule a new patient consultation to take advantage of the advanced training, intuition and expertise that an RE can offer.