The Importance of a Fertility Evaluation
Infertility is the inability to become pregnant after a defined period of time of unprotected sexual intercourse. Usually, infertility is the direct result of some sort of physical complication. Examples seen in patients at DFW Center for Fertility & IVF in Allen, include men not being able to produce or release sperm (male factor) or women not ovulating or having blocked fallopian tubes among other problems (female factor). To determine the root cause, a fertility test is in order.
Infertility is a complex disorder impacted by numerous factors:
- Increased age
- Stress, dieting, excess exercise and smoking
- Irregular menses/ovulation
- Tubal factor
- Male factors
Fertility testing is administered by fertility specialist, Dr. Victor Beshay, to quantify the reasons why a woman cannot achieve pregnancy. This often includes obtaining a thorough medical history, a physical exam, blood testing, and/or other special procedures. Most of our tests can be done on-site in our Allen, TX, fertility lab.
There is no single test or “ideal workup” for dealing with infertility. In practice, Dr. Beshay performs multiple tests and physical exams to help identify all problems possibly contributing to a couple’s infertility. Not all women require every single test mentioned here, and your testing will be unique to your specific situation.
Benefits from Fertility Testing
- Patients 34 and younger who are unable to get pregnant after 1 year
- Patients over 35 who are unable to get pregnant after 6 months
- Patients who are delaying getting pregnant, but worried about the aging of their ovaries
- Patients with irregular menstrual cycles
- Patients with blocked fallopian tubes (or prior tubal ligation)
- Patients with endometriosis
- Patients with ovulation disorders
- Patients with a low sperm count
- Patients with polycystic ovarian syndrome
- Patients who want to use donor sperm
It is important to note, not everyone needs a fertility workup. Dr. Beshay will assess your history and discuss with you the best approach to your individual evaluation.
Fertility Test for Women
With women in particular, the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries must all be working well in order to get pregnant, and different tests and procedures can be used to check the function of each of these areas.
In addition to obtaining your medical history and doing a complete physical examination, further testing may include:
- Pelvic ultrasound − This test will provide information about your uterus and ovaries. Measurements are taken of these organs.
- Blood tests − Many tests are routine in nature and are considered pre conceptual labs that allow your fertility doctor to identify any issues that need to be addressed before you attempt pregnancy.
- Hormonal testing, specifically for ovarian reserve testing can also be obtained. These tests allow Dr. Beshay to assess which fertility promoting option is best for you.
- Hysterosalpinogram (HSG) − A series of X-rays is taken of the woman’s fallopian tubes and uterus after a liquid dye has been injected. The HSG helps detect fallopian tube blockages and defects in the uterus, with any problems visible immediately. The HSG is usually done on site at DFW Center for Fertility & IVF just after your last menstrual period.
- Sonohysterography (SHG or SIS) – A process of looking inside and imaging the uterus and uterine cavity using ultrasound technology. Fertility specialist Dr. Beshay captures ultrasound images while infusing sterile saline into the uterine cavity. This helps find the cause of bleeding or any other factors contributing to pregnancy complications.
- Hysteroscopy − This procedure is performed when a uterine cavity problem is suspected. A very thin camera is inserted directly into the uterine cavity to further assess the cavity. This can be done in the office while you are on the screen.
- Laproscopy − This is a surgical procedure only utilized in specific situations of infertility and sometimes to address known abnormalities such as tubal disease or endometriosis.
Male Fertility Testing
In as much as 40% of infertile couples, the inability to conceive actually stems from male factors. That means that more than one third of infertility cases can be attributed to problems such as low sperm count or low sperm motility. Therefore, it’s crucial that men go through fertility testing as well. Early evaluation and detection can mean earlier treatment and a successful and happy pregnancy outcome.
In any evaluation for male infertility, the man will need to provide a semen sample for andrology diagnostics. This allows Dr. Beshay to assess sperm count, shape, movement, and other necessary variables. Generally, better fertility is found through a higher count of normal-shaped sperm, but exceptions can, and do, exist. A low sperm count or abnormal semen does not necessarily correlate to infertility.
If a man is found to have any semen abnormalities, further hormonal and genetic testing may be recommended by Dr. Beshay. Semen analysis is performed on site at the DFW Center for Fertility & IVF.
If you’d like to learn more about fertility testing or treatment evaluations, contact DFW Center for Fertility & IVF online or call our offices in Allen, TX to schedule an appointment with our fertility specialist.