Fertility tests for women
Around 1 in 7 couples have trouble conceiving despite having regular unprotected sex.
Infertility may be due to problems affecting the woman, the man, both of them, or in some cases the cause may not be known.
The infertility interview
Experts recommend visiting a doctor for an infertility evaluation after 12 months of unprotected and regular sex without pregnancy. Earlier interventions are recommended for women who have had cancer and cancer treatments, or for women over the age of 35. Initial infertility testing is best done by your GP who may then refer you to a fertility specialist.
The first step is a detailed interview. A thorough infertility interview should involve both partners, and ask about:
In addition, your weight and body mass index will be checked because if it is too high or too low, this will impair fertility. Your doctor may also recommend the woman to start taking a folic acid supplement, if she hasn’t done so already.
A doctor will probably ask a woman questions about her gynaecological history:
- Have you been pregnant before and what was the outcome of those pregnancies?
- How often have you had periods over the last year?
- Have you had irregular and missed periods or had spotting between periods?
- Have you had any changes in blood flow or the appearance of large blood clots?
- What methods of birth control have you used?
- Have you seen a doctor before for fertility problems and undergone treatment for them?
- Have you had any abnormal cervical smear test results in the past and any treatment for these?