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The most common exams for women

To identify the cause of infertility, the fertility specialist will request the following information:

  • Medical history
  • Physical exam history
  • Menstrual history
  • Medical records (including emotional history)
  • Test history in order to conduct complementary tests
  • Medication records
  • Lifestyle (alcohol use, drug use, smoking history, etc.) and
  • Physical exercise regimen and history

The most common tests and exams that you may need to undergo are listed below.

Blood test

Hormone levels 

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and estrogen levels 

Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) level

AMH indicates the level of the ovarian reserve--the number of follicles left in the ovaries and of the quality of the eggs remaining.

Thyroid function and prolactin level 

These indicators have an indirect impact on female fertility.

Imaging tests

Should the blood test not indicate any abnormality, tests will be conducted to identify potential tubal or uterine problems. These tests include: 

Ultrasound

This procedure monitors the uterus and ovaries to detect fibroids, tumors or ovarian cysts. This exam is the most effective exam to diagnose polycystic ovaries. The exam entails no risk, and may cause slight discomfort.  

Transvaginal sonohysterography (TSH)

The TSH uses an ultrasound with saline infusion into the uterus to obtain a more accurate reading than a standard ultrasound. 

Hysteroscopy

A hysteroscopy is used to detect endometriosis, polyps, fibroids, blockages of the fallopian tubes and pelvic scar tissue. 

During this procedure, a long flexible tube (hysteroscope) is introduced into the vagina and through the cervix to the uterus. The specialist views the uterine cavity using the scope's fiber optic light and a minute camera. The uterus is inflated with saline or carbon dioxide to enhance visibility. The procedure can cause temporary cramping.

The hysteroscopy can be performed at the OB/Gyn's office or in an operating room, depending on the type of anesthesia used.


Hysterosalpingography

This procedure is used to detect possible fallopian tube blockages or uterine abnormalities. It may also reveal fibroid tumors, endometrial polyps, or functional abnormalities of the uterus or fallopian tubes.

During the hysterosalpingography, a dye is injected via a tube inserted into the cervix. The dye then passes into the uterus and through the fallopian tubes. In x-rays taken of the organs, if the dye emerges from the end of the fallopian tubes, this indicates that there is no blockage. If the x-rays show that the dye has not emerged from the fallopian tubes, this may indicate blockages or abnormalities. To ensure accurate results, the test may be repeated.

The test could cause temporary cramping or discomfort.

Laparoscopy

Laparoscopies are used to identify endometriosis and other adhesions that could affect fertility. The procedures require general anesthesia and are performed in a hospital operating room. During the procedure, an incision is made below the navel and a laparoscope is inserted in the incision. The laparoscope enables the surgeon to view the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. 

Infertility diagnosis

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