You are here
Understanding Your Test Results: Assessing Female Infertility
A blog by Neway Fertility, December 2, 2014
With approximately 10% of couples in the United States affected by infertility, understanding underlying health problems that may contribute to reproductive difficulties is essential. Fertility clinics will help you identify the contributors to fertility, whether it is a problem with one partner or a combination of factors in both partners. With proper diagnosis, treatment plans to maximize chances of fertilization success can be promptly implemented.
Common Causes of Female Infertility
There are numerous causes that may contribute to fertility challenges in women. Ovulation problems, in which the egg is not properly produced or released, decrease the likelihood of successful fertilization. Other common contributors are structural problems with the reproductive system, including blocked fallopian tubes, or diminished quality of eggs.
Female Fertility Test Components
Your fertility doctor may recommend several tests to determine whether your reproductive system is functioning optimally. Possibilities include:
- Hormonal levels. Numerous hormones contribute to female fertility. For example,
- Hysterosalpingography (HSG). HSG is an imaging technique used to determine whether a woman has blockages in her Fallopian tubes or structural differences in her uterus. A special dye is inserted into the cervix and flows up through the uterus into the Fallopian tubes. X-rays are then taken to visualize the dye and identify any blockages or abnormalities.
- Hysteroscopy. Conditions such as endometriosis, polyps, or pelvic inflammatory disease may lead to buildup of scar tissue or other unwanted tissue. Hysteroscopy is used to view the uterus and identify any problems. This procedure is done under anesthesia and may result in temporary discomfort.
- Ultrasound. Ultrasound can be helpful for evaluating the health of the uterus and ovaries. Transvaginal ultrasound, in which the ultrasound transducer is placed into the vagina, can identify polycystic ovaries, fibroids, tumors, or urinary tract obstructions.
- Tissue samples. Taking a sample of uterine tissue may be helpful to rule out certain common causes of fertility. In general, these samples are taken 1 or 2 days before the beginning of a woman’s period. The tissue is tested to determine if the egg’s follicle is producing progesterone.
Dealing with fertility issues can be frightening, upsetting, and frustrating. Working with great fertility doctors, makes the process easier. Your doctor can help you understand test results and find the best treatments for your unique reproductive needs.