Your Fertility Specialist will undertake an initial assessment of your previous medical history, current general health, your lifestyle and advise you of the tests/investigations that will be required. Your tests may include some or all of the following:
- A blood test to measure Estrogen, Luteinizing Hormone (LH), Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Antimullerian Hormone (AMH) and Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) levels in the first week of your cycle to ensure that these are normal.
- A blood test on Day 21 of your cycle to measure progesterone+/- prolactin. This test is undertaken to ensure there is an adequate uterine lining (endometrium) to support a pregnancy.
- A pelvic ultrasound to:
- determine if there are any physical changes, such as fibroids or polyps, that may affect your cycle, and also check for the presence of ovarian cysts;
- assess the ease of 'access' to your ovaries, as your eggs will be collected using an ultrasound-guided method;
- provide a 'baseline' report that can be used as a reference during your treatment cycle;
- Measure the size of your ovaries and count the number of small follicles present in your ovaries.
Occasionally you may need other baseline scans done prior to treatment cycles. Most women find a vaginal ultrasound to be a relatively painless and simple procedure. The woman's partner or a support person can be present during the procedure if she wishes. An empty bladder is required for this procedure.
- Urine test for Chlamydia/Gonorrhea
- Routine pre-pregnancy blood tests including the following:
All female patients attending Monash IVF are tested for Rubella (German Measles) immunity. If there is no natural immunity to Rubella, then vaccination must be undertaken before commencing treatment. This eliminates the potential danger of the effects of Rubella with early pregnancy.
- Sperm antibodies
Some blood from the female partner can be used to add to the fluid in which the eggs are grown, to act as a source of nutrients. Occasionally, this may contain antibodies to the partner's sperm which will prevent fertilisation. If the blood is sperm antibody positive, it is discarded and a donor's blood, or another source of nutrients, is used.
This is now the internationally accepted way of classifying the AIDS virus and stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. There are a few reasons for performing this test, although the risk of exposure to this virus is very low. The first reason is the risk of a pregnancy to a female who is infected with the virus. Pregnancy increases the death rate dramatically in an HIV positive woman. The second is the risk of transmitting the HIV virus to a child during childbirth.
We realise that this test is emotive for many patients, but we consider it an important part of our routine investigation process for both partners.
- Hepatitis B and C
Hepatitis has similar risks to HIV but is more infectious than HIV. Both partners should be tested.
- Semen Analysis to assess the following:
- Motility: The sperm’s swimming ability.
- Morphology: The shape of the sperm.
- Count: The number of individual sperm.
- Vitality: The capacity of the sperm to live and endure.
- IBT (anti-sperm antibodies). These antibodies can attach to the sperm’s tail and may impede the sperm’s ability to travel through the cervical mucus.