Infertility Basics: Understanding the Process

by | January 11th, 2011

If you have decided to seek help in your journey to parenthood, the infertility treatment process can seem overwhelming. Developing an understanding of the tests and evaluations you will undergo can help you feel more in control. While the exact procedures and protocols may vary from practice to practice, your infertility workup will generally follow these steps:

  • Complete Medical History

To gather all relevant information, Dr. Douglas will take a comprehensive history, including questions about your medical, surgical, gynecological background as well as lifestyle choices. These details will help Dr. Douglas identify potential fertility roadblocks.

  • Physical Exam

As part of the evaluation, we will perform a thorough exam that may include a pelvic ultrasound. These tests can help identify physical issues such as abnormalities or scarring that are contributing to problems getting pregnant.

  • Assessment of ovulation and ovarian reserve

Approximately 25 percent of all infertility occurs because of disrupted ovulation. Often, this type of problem can be addressed with fertility medication. Dr. Douglas will also check your ovarian reserve, which provides information about the quantity of eggs a female patient has available.

  • Evaluation of the Fallopian tubes

Usually, Dr. Douglas will perform a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), an x-ray procedure where a liquid, dye-like solution is injected through the cervix to view the the inside shape of uterus and fallopian tubes. The results from an HSG study will let Dr. Douglas know whether the tubes are open or damaged, and whether the uterine cavity appears normal.

  • Semen Analysis

Because infertility can impact men as well as women, your partner will provide a sample for assessment. A semen analysis will look at the number and quality of sperm present. If necessary, Dr. Douglas can refer your partner to a urologist for more detailed testing.

  • Blood tests

Depending on the situation, Dr. Douglas may decided to check levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), testosterone, prolactin, or progesterone. If you have experienced recurrent miscarriages, he may also suggest a lupus anticoagulant (LAC) and anti-cardiolipin antibody (ACL) test.

For more information about an infertility workup, contact our office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Douglas.

| Infertility


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