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There are a number of tests associated with infertility and its treatment — and then of course, there’s the pregnancy test.
Many blood tests are performed at specific times during a woman’s menstrual cycle to measure hormone levels, ovarian reserve and whether or not ovulation has occurred. You doctor or nurse may refer to FSH and estradiol tests as “day-three” tests, because they are performed on the third day of your menstrual cycle. Other blood tests include prolactin and androgen.
If you are having problems getting pregnant or have a history of miscarriages, testing can help determine if your infertility problems are due to a genetic defect. Also, a high percentage of pregnancy losses before 12 weeks are due to genetic problems in the embryo or fetus.
Two diagnostic tests can help determine if your reproductive organs are functioning properly: hysterosalpingogram to check for structural abnormalities of the uterus and fallopian tubes; and saline sonogram to look for uterine abnormalities.
Immune testing is a type of diagnostic test that may help uncover the cause of your infertility or recurring pregnancy loss and increase your chance of a successful pregnancy. You may hear about two types of immune tests: antispem antibody tests and killer cells.
Two surgical tests may be used to diagnose certain causes of infertility. A hysteroscopy allows the doctor to see the inside of your uterus and to determine if you have scar tissue or if there are problems with the shape or size of the uterus. A laparoscopy allows the doctor to the outside of your uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes, and can determine if your fallopian tubes are blocked or if you have scar tissue or endometriosis.
Pregnancy tests detect the hormone human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). HCG is often called the “pregnancy hormone” because it is produced during pregnancy and is made by cells that form the placenta. Blood pregnancy tests, are performed in a doctor’s office, and are more sensitive and accurate that urine tests done with a home pregnancy test.