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From the blog:
Understanding Fertility
For couples who are attempting to conceive a child, they may not find a single issue in the process. They will become pregnant, and never look back. For others, however, the process is not as simple. For couples who are suffering from fertility problems, they can go months, or years, without fully...

How Home And Professional Fertility Tests Differ

Home Fertility vs Doctor Fertility TestsMany couples desperately want to have children, but are unable to conceive. Months or years of trying definitely make people want answers. These couples want to know why they haven’t been able to get pregnant, and they want to know now.

So, most of the time these couples turn to all of the female fertility tests that are available. It is generally assumed a lot of the time (erroneously, quite often) that when a woman is unable to get pregnant, the infertility is a problem of hers. Therefore, testing of the female is usually what couples turn to first.

There are several at-home options that some people try before heading to the doctor. After all, at-home selections are a great deal cheaper than anything at a doctor’s office or fertility clinic.

First of all, many couples try using basal body temperature (BBT) thermometers. This type of female fertility test is one that must be done every day for a few months in order to be helpful. The woman must take her temperature every day, first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. A woman’s body temperature rises slightly before she ovulates, so keeping track of her BBT can help a woman to determine when she is ovulating. BBT thermometers can be purchased online or in many drugstores or mass merchandiser stores.

Another option is an ovulation predictor. This female fertility test is very much like the BBT thermometer in that it will let a woman know when she is ovulating. Instead of measuring temperature, though, with an ovulation predictor a woman urinates on a stick.

There is also an at-home female fertility test that can let a woman know if she has a low egg supply. This is a follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) test. Done with test strips on day 3 of a woman’s cycle, this test measures the amount of that hormone a woman has—higher levels indicate a lower egg supply or lower egg quality.

On OV watch is another female fertility test that women can try at home. This test is in the form of a watch that a woman wears for at least six hours each day starting from day one of her cycle. The watch detects levels of sodium chloride ions released by the woman’s skin. When the watch detects an ion surge, it will inform the woman of days when she should have regular intercourse.

After trying these at-home tests, some women end up having to turn to a doctor for more testing. Generally, blood tests are performed first.

A day 3 FSH blood test is often one of the first female fertility tests done at the doctor’s office. This has the same purpose as the at-home FSH test. Doctors may also do an LH (luteal hormone) and FSH test at another time when a woman is not on her cycle. Low levels of these hormones can mean that there is a problem with the ovaries.

Doctors also usually give patients a day 3 Estradiol blood test. This test evaluates the amount of Estrogen in a woman’s body; too much can affect egg quality. Lastly, just before a woman’s period begins, a doctor is likely to give a plasma Progesterone level test. Low Progesterone levels may indicate a problem in ovulation.

After completing all of these blood tests, there may still be a need for the doctor to run more female fertility tests. Unfortunately, the rest of the tests are invasive to some degree. At this point, many women are urged to bring their mates in on the testing (if they are not already involved). After all, there are some tests that can be run on men that are non-probing, so those should be tried first. But, if that is not possible (or, once those tests have been tried), the doctor will continue on with the female fertility tests.

One that he might choose to run next (one of the less invasive ones) is the abdominal ultrasound. For this procedure, the woman has to lie down on an examining table while a technician uses a hand-held probe on top of her abdomen. This probe sends high-frequency sound waves through the body in a way to produce an image. The doctor will get a general view of the woman’s pelvic health with this ultrasound. Be aware, though, that the technician may need to press down slightly hard with the probe to get a good image—and, most women are advised to go with a full bladder because that helps push the other organs forward.

Another female fertility test that the doctor will likely run is a transvaginal ultrasound. This is similar to the abdominal ultrasound in that sound waves are sent through the body to produce an image; however, in this case, the probe is place in the vagina. This type of ultrasound gives a much clearer picture of the pelvic area and can even diagnose fibroids and cysts. Again, with this ultrasound, women are usually advised to go with a full bladder.

An endometrial biopsy sounds scary, but it is just another one of the female fertility tests that a doctor will choose. After the 21st day of a woman’s cycle, the doctor will have a small sample of endometrial tissue taken and analyzed. The results will show if the lining is thick enough for an embryo to be implanted.

There is also an out-patient surgery that some doctors may do for their patients. It is called a laparoscopy. It is done under anesthetic, so make sure to have someone to drive home afterwards. This female fertility test involves the doctor making a small incision under the navel and then inserting a small illuminated tube through the incision in order to get a good look at the ovaries, uterus, and fallopian tubes. Some problems can even be corrected through the tube by inserting tools.

Similar to the laparoscopy, a doctor might order a hysteroscopy. This female fertility test also involves and illuminated tube through which tools can be inserted to fix problems. But, with this test, the illuminated tube is a fiber optic telescope that is inserted into the vagina in order to look at the uterus.

There are several other female fertility tests that can be done, both at the doctor’s office and in a fertility clinic. Most are rather invasive. But, couples who are trying to conceive, sometimes it may not matter how many testing procedures they have to endure in order to achieve their desired result. For these couples, all of these tests are just a means to an end—a happy ending.

 
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