When to Consider Fertility Testing and What to Expect

Blog

13 March 2021

A man and woman cuddle in bed. The woman rests her head on the man's chest, and he kisses her head. They are holding hands.

Fertility testing gives you a chance to understand your body better and what it needs to provide you with the best possible chance at starting a family. There is no right or wrong point in your journey to begin fertility testing. Some will choose to start fertility testing after a few months of trying to conceive, and others decide to wait a little longer.

It can be challenging and disappointing when natural conception is unsuccessful, especially when you aren't sure why you're having trouble. We know that the journey towards becoming a parent can take its toll, and you need people in your corner that can give you answers. The Monash IVF team can provide you with all the information you need to understand fertility testing and feel supported throughout the process.

Understanding Your Fertility

Many factors may be contributing to your difficulty in conceiving naturally. Certain factors may make your need for fertility testing a little more urgent than others. We recommend that you consult with a Monash IVF fertility specialist when you start trying for a baby if you have previously been diagnosed with or treated for the following:

Females

  • Irregular or absent periods
  • PCOS or endometriosis
  • Tubal damage (or previous tubal ligation surgery)
  • Recurrent miscarriage
  • Premature menopause
  • Known genetic concerns
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Fibroids
  • Adenomyosis

Males

  • Low sperm count
  • Poor sperm shape or movement
  • Anti-sperm antibodies
  • Ejaculatory or erectile concerns
  • Absence of sperm
  • Known genetic concerns
  • Issues from a prior vasectomy

If you have not experienced any of the above, fertility testing can still help us pinpoint how our team can help you start your family. We understand that it can be hard to know where to start. However, we find that it helps our clients to know that officially infertility is defined as being unable to fall pregnant after 12 months of regular unprotected for those under 35 years old and after six months for those over 35 years old. Deciding when to seek help can be difficult, however, we recommend that you consult with one of our fertility specialists if you are having trouble after this window of time.

Types of Fertility Tests

Initial Tests

The first step for both females and males in fertility testing is reviewing your general health and medical history. With this information, your fertility specialist will decide which tests or procedures are needed to best understand your fertility difficulties.

For females, your fertility specialist may order the following initial tests:

  • Blood Tests – these can be used to measure your hormone levels and scans for other helpful information that may be causing your fertility difficulties. Multiple blood tests may be needed throughout the process of fertility testing.
  • Cervical screening test
  • Preconception genetic carrier screening
  • Pelvic ultrasound

For males, your fertility specialise may order the following initial tests:

  • Blood tests – multiple blood tests may be used to assess your hormone levels and screen for STIs, including HIV, Hep C, and Hep B.
  • Preconception genetic carrier screening
  • Semen analysis – we check for antibodies and possible infections, and any abnormal aspects of the semen, such as low sperm count or poor movement or shape.

Further Tests

In some cases, further testing is required to understand the best path for your fertility treatment. For women, this may include checking your fallopian tubes. Your fertility specialist may need to perform VIA an x-ray or USS, a tubal patency test (a dye test), or a laparoscopic (keyhole) surgery to make sure the fallopian tubes aren't blocked or damaged. For men, in the case of abnormal semen results, this may include further semen analysis.

Please see our webpage, Assess your Fertility, for expanded information regarding each of the tests mentioned above. The webpage particularly elaborates on ovarian reserve (AMH) blood tests, also known as the 'egg timer test.'

Fertility Treatment

Fertility testing can provide our team with the vital information if you chose to seek any of our fertility treatment options. Monash IVF will support you throughout the entire process, ensuring that you feel secure and informed at every junction.

Get in Touch to Learn More on Fertility Testing

If you are thinking about starting a family and want to learn more about fertility testing, please do not hesitate to book a free, no-obligation fertility chat with one of our nurses. Our friendly nurses can talk you through your options and discuss your concerns about getting pregnant. After the chat, you are under no obligation at all.

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Wherever you are on your journey, one of our supportive nurses can help you understand your options and take the next step. These conversations are free and informative.

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