After an initial evaluation, there are a number of fertility tests that our fertility specialists may recommend, including:
Our fertility specialists use blood tests to measure the level of hormones in your blood that play a key role in female reproduction. There are two types of blood tests that we commonly use.
- AMH (anti-Mullerian hormone): Anti-Mullerian hormone is secreted by the follicles in the ovaries that contain a woman’s eggs. An AMH test, also known as the ‘Egg-timer test’, assesses your reproductive potential by giving an indication of the number of eggs remaining in your ovaries. As women mature, their egg count and anti-Mullerian hormone levels naturally decrease. While AMH testing can indicate whether your egg count is low, it’s important to note that this fertility test is unable to assess the quality of your eggs.
- Female hormonal assessment (LH, FSH, oestrogen, progesterone): These hormones fluctuate over the normal course of a woman’s cycle. Measuring these hormones at specific times of your cycle, including 7 days prior to your period starting and 2 days after your period starts, can help us to determine whether you are ovulating (releasing an egg from your ovaries) and if you have good ovarian function.
Alongside AMH testing and female hormone assessments, we can also use imaging studies to understand more about your fertility.
- Pelvic ultrasound: An imaging study of a female’s reproductive tract (uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries) can help us ascertain whether there are any structural abnormalities that may be preventing a successful pregnancy. We may also use this scan to assess the number of egg-containing follicles remaining in your ovaries. As each follicle contains an immature egg that could potentially mature and ovulate, this fertility test allows us to estimate your egg count. In addition, a pelvic ultrasound can help determine if and when you’re ovulating.
- Pelvic ultrasound with a dye (hysterosalpingo-contrast sonography): By injecting a dye into your reproductive tract and taking an ultrasound at the same time, we can get a detailed view of your uterus and fallopian tubes. This fertility test can help us determine whether your fallopian tubes are obstructed – which can impede the passage of sperm and the journey of an egg.
- Hysteroscopy: During a hysteroscopy, a camera is inserted into the female’s uterus via the vagina. This occurs under sedation and provides a view of the inside of your uterus, allowing us to determine whether there are any abnormalities present. If we do see any abnormalities, it is usually possible for us to treat these at the same time.
- Laparoscopy: A laparoscopy enables us to examine the inside of your lower abdominal cavity by inserting a camera through some small incisions we make in your tummy. This allows us to assess your uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries. Again, if we do spot any abnormalities, it may be possible for us to treat these at the same time. This procedure occurs under a general anaesthetic, and may be performed at the same time as a hysteroscopy.
If it has not already been done, we will also conduct routine pre-pregnancy testing. This involves blood tests to screen for certain infections that may harm your baby.
How can I arrange a fertility assessment?
You can book an initial fertility consultation with any one of our fertility specialists, who all have consulting rooms based in and around Melbourne. During this appointment, your fertility specialist will order any fertility tests required as part of your initial fertility assessment. These tests will either take place in your fertility doctor’s consulting rooms, at our main treatment centre in Box Hill, or at one of our service centres in Clayton and East Melbourne.
What about my partner?
Newlife IVF provides comprehensive fertility assessments for both males and females. It is important that both partners (where relevant) undergo fertility testing, as factors related to either one or both partners may be preventing you from conceiving naturally. For example, while the female partner may have a low egg count (particularly if she is older), the male partner could have a low sperm count, which is also contributing to your fertility issues as a couple.