When Simone sees you for the first time, she will want to organise some baseline investigations for you both. While there are some routine investigations required, additional testing will be organised based on your particular circumstances and history up to that point.
If you have seen a fertility specialist in the past, please ensure that you let the front desk know so that results can be followed up. Please sign and return the release of information form as soon as possible – as without this, we are unable to receive copies of results. Please bring any information with you that you have kept from previous investigations and treatment.
The most basic investigations concentrate on eggs, sperm and their ability to meet.
Simone will want to confirm if ovulation is occurring. It may be suspected that this is not the case – such as in women who are not having regular periods. The most helpful test to confirm ovulation in a progesterone blood level collected approximately 1 week after ovulation has occurred. If a woman has a 28 day menstrual cycle – this blood test will be timed for day 21 of the cycle. Other hormones are also measured at this time – and Simone will speak with you regarding the need to organise Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH)- this is an indicator of ovarian reserve, and the result is very important when deciding which, if any fertility treatment option is the best for you and your partner.
Other general hormones are also assessed – oestrogen, Luteinising Hormone (LH), Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH). Infectious screen (Hepatitis, HIV, rubella, varicella etc), and Blood group. Vitamin D, as well as genetic testing (karyotype) are often ordered for you both. Some specific blood tests may include Glucose Tolerance testing when appropriate. If recurrent miscarriage is the problem you are facing – there are extra investigations that will be discussed with you both.
There are essentially two options available to assess whether fallopian tubes are open. The first is a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) – an X-ray performed early in the menstrual cycle (when there is no chance of a pregnancy). The process uses a speculum (the instrument used during a pap smear), a soft catheter is passed into the uterine cavity, and dye is injected into the cavity and flows out the tubes. X-Rays are taken to assess the result. The other way to assess tubes is to look directly at them and push some dye through at laparoscopy ( can we put a link to laparoscopy her? I know it is explained in some detail on the website).
The male partner will require a semen analysis – depending on how far away you live, this can be organised for either a drop off, or collect on site at the fertility unit. At times a DNA fragmentation assessment of sperm is required to assess how damaged the sperm are. This can be assessed on a normal semen analysis specimen.
Bloods for the male partner will also include male hormones (testosterone, LH and FSH).