When a couple does not conceive after one year of unprotected intercourse or after six months when a woman is over the age of 35, doctors recommend that both partners be evaluated. Patel & Patel, M.D., Inc. provides South Charleston fertility evaluation to help develop appropriate treatment for patients that have difficulty getting pregnant.
The prime questions that a woman should ask herself are things like are my menstrual cycles regular or are they coming at the same time every month with a little bit of variation here or there? This is fine if a woman looks back and reports that she gets her periods every two to three months a year. However, this could be an indication that she is not ovulating or releasing an egg every month, making it difficult for her to conceive.
For the woman, a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist can provide primary infertility and fertility evaluation and treatment. A licensed reproductive endocrinologist is the best specialist to provide fertility treatment. If there are sperm abnormalities, men should be referred to a urologist who specializes in male infertility.
Diagnosing a female patient
The essential infertility evaluation for a woman looks at her ability to produce eggs and her uterus and tubes’ condition and function.
- One of the most crucial areas to check is a woman’s menstrual cycle. Your doctor will evaluate if you are regularly menstruating and how often, this provides clues about if ovulation is taking place. An over-the-counter ovulation kit can also tell if a woman’s hormones are stimulating the release of eggs.
- The use of an ultrasound helps measure the growth of the follicles, which are the structures in the ovaries containing developing eggs. For women who do not have regular periods, it is essential to check hormone levels. When there are low estrogen levels or excess of certain hormones, ovulation may not occur.
- A test for ovarian reserve can check the number and quality of the eggs remaining in the ovaries, which is essential for pregnancy potential.
- Another important diagnostic test is H.S.G (hysterosalpingogram). This X-ray procedure determines if the fallopian tubes are open and see if the uterus’ shape is standard. A small tube is inserted through the cervix, and dye enters the uterus and flows out through the fallopian tubes.
- Another test is called S.H.G (saline infusion sonohysterogram), which uses an ultrasound and a water-based solution to image the inside of a uterus.
Diagnosing a male patient
During a semen analysis, men are asked to abstain from ejaculating for at least two days and then collect the semen sample, usually by masturbation. Under a microscope, the number, movement, and shape of the sperms are examined. A low sperm count diagnosis usually requires a repeat sample.
When the results of all the above tests are in, the couple’s physician can set up a plan for treatment or order additional tests if necessary. To learn more about fertility evaluation, check out Patel & Patel, M.D., Inc., or schedule a session online to start treatment.