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Should You Have a Fertility Checkup?
a blog by Jennifer A. Redmond, August 7, 2013
We are taught in our teens how not to get pregnant, and as we should be are concerned with practicing safe sex and using birth control. As a result, many of us don’t realize we might ever have a problem getting pregnant. We get an annual physical, an annual ob/gyn exam, we get our teeth examined annually and cleaned twice a year, but there’s no routine examination of our fertility health.
Most women don’t realize infertility is part of their equation until they’re trying to conceive. And with more and more women delaying pregnancy because of careers and other life events, chances are their journey to baby may hit a few bumps along the road.
According to Dr. Laurence Jacobs, a reproductive endocrinologist with Fertility Centers of Illinois (FCI), it’s important to get the message out to ob/gyns and the public that you can receive a basic assessment to obtain an overview of your fertility potential. FCI offers a Fertility Awareness Checkup. For women, this includes tests to measure ovarian reserve: blood tests on days 2, 3 or 4 of the menstrual cycle to check Estradiol (E2) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) levels, and a baseline ultrasound for Antral Follicle Count. Men receive a semen analysis that measures sperm count, motility and morphology.
The fertility assessment is most appropriate for women and couples in their 30s. “Men think just because they ejaculate they are ok, but that has nothing to do with their sperm.” And for women, “It can be a wake-up call,” he says.
The tests may indicate that you have good fertility health or may indicate that you start thinking about trying to conceive sooner, or even consider freezing your eggs. The FCI Fertility Awareness Checkup is easy and cheap, only $90. It’s a small price to pay for a checkup.