If think that you're facing infertility, you may wonder exactly what to do next. The first step is to make an appointment with a physician specializing in infertility to discuss your concerns and get a complete evaluation.
An infertility evaluation is a multi-step process that takes both partners and several menstrual cycles for you to complete.
On your initial visit, your doctor will complete a detailed medical history of you and your partner:
Some questions focus on you and your partner's sexual history, and are intimate in nature:
There are also questions primarily focused on you:
At some point early on in your infertility evaluation, your male partner will be required to have his sperm count tested. This is a low-cost, non-invasive procedure that can save a woman from more invasive and costly testing. As mentioned in "Infertility: Introduction, Definition, and Causes," the CDC reports that the man’s sperm is the cause of infertility in one-third of cases.
When your doctor suspects that your reproductive system may be the cause of infertility, you will undergo a series of procedures, labs and imaging tests. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) note several basic tests for infertility:
While the above tests are generally standard, your infertility doctor may also have other tests conducted, depending on your health history:
In addition to the basic lab tests listed above, you will also undergo a series of imaging tests. The tests your gynecologist performs will depend on your health history and what your doctor deems most useful:
It is important to remember that even if your doctor can't find a cause for your infertility, the ACOG notes that infertility may still be successfully treated. To learn more about infertility treatment, read our third article in our series, "Treating Infertility".
While this information is meant to help you understand the standard procedures that surround infertility testing, it's important to note that each case is different and a board-certified physician is still required for getting the tests and interpreting the results. The compassionate physicians at Florida's All About Women are here to help you through the taxing process of infertility evaluation. Contact our Gainesville or Lake City office to schedule an appointment today.