If you have been trying to conceive for at least a year, you must get an appointment with your GP to check if there are any problems that may be impairing your fertility. This check up includes a physical examination and female fertility tests.
Your GP may refer you to a fertility doctor to have further investigations.
A blood test can be requested to check the levels of your hormones, like:
Hormones regulate several body functions, including ovulation, egg development and release, uterus preparation, menstruation etc. Abnormal levels of hormones are a common cause of infertility and the test if fairly easy to do.
Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that can affect fertility. The test can be done with a swab that collects cells from your cervix, or alternatively, a urine test can be used.
If the test comes positive for chlamydia, you will be prescribed antibiotics.
An ultrasound uses a small probe, in your vagina or in your abdomen to allow the doctor to check your ovaries, womb and fallopian tubes.
Some causes of infertility related to these organs are endometriosis, fibroids, blocked fallopian tubes.
To check if the fallopian tubes are blocked, a small amount of fluid may need to be injected into the cervix – this is called a hysterosalpingo-contrast-ultrasonography.
If any of these problems are present, you may need more invasive treatment.
This is called a hysterosalpingogram and can also be done to identify problems in your fallopian tubes.
This is a procedure that involves scraping a small amount of tissue from the endometrium just prior to menstruation. This procedure is performed to determine if the lining is thick enough for a fertilized egg to implant in and grow.
Laparoscopy is a surgical procedure that involves small cuts in your abdomen to allow a camera to be inserted to check your womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries. This is an invasive procedure and will only be done if you have endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease or a blockage in the fallopian tubes is suspected.
Andreia Trigo RN BSc MSc