Infertility tests

What tests are carried out to detect infertility?

Your GP will ask you a series of questions which include how long you have been trying to conceive. If you have been trying for a year or more then you are clinically defined as infertile which means that further investigation is required.

Even if you think only one of you is affected it is better for both of you to visit the doctor as it’s important that you support each other. And this will become even more important when you undergo fertility treatment.

Your GP will examine both of you before taking a full medical history. He/she will ask you about your lifestyle, if you are taking any medication and your sex life in general.

This can be embarrassing but it is better if you are frank and honest with him/her as the problem may be due to sexual intercourse.

He or she will refer you for tests which apply to both of you or are gender specific. These include:

  • Blood test (check hormone levels in both sexes)
  • Ultrasound scan (women only)
  • Chlamydia test (to check for this sexually transmitted disease)
  • Thyroid test (to check the function of your thyroid gland)
  • Semen analysis (men only)
  • MRI/CT scans
  • Post coital test (examination of the woman’s cervical mucus)
  • X-rays
  • Laparoscopy (keyhole surgery)

These are just some of the many tests which can be undertaken in order to detect a fertility problem.

Are these tests likely to be painful?

Most of these tests are relatively painless although there might be some mild discomfort.

But there can be some pain following a laparoscopy, hysterosalpingogram or biopsy although painkillers can deal with this.

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