If you have been trying to conceive for over a year and conception has not occurred, your GP may make a referral to a fertility clinic within the hospital to do some basic tests.
- 1 Some of the basic tests may include
- 2 Secondary Testing
Some of the basic tests may include
Blood tests to check for ovulation
During all my time trying to conceive I must have had this test done the most. Each and every month, day 21 of my cycle would come and along came the jab in the arm with it.
This test is done to monitor hormone changes in the blood to see if you are ovulating, even if you are taking a drug to induce a monthly bleed or it is your natural cycle it can give a clear indication of what's going on.
Test for Chlamydia
This doesn't mean the GP thinks you have a wild sex life, it's just a routine test.
Chlamydia is one of the biggest STI and it's on the rise too. This is mainly due to people not knowing they have it as its a silent infection, with little or no symptoms.
I too have had many of these, for me they have been done during a routine pap smear.
They are painless its just a simple swap taken around your cervix.
An ultrasound scan can be carried out to check the woman's ovaries, womb and fallopian tubes.
This scan was done for me many years ago and my diagnosis of PCOS came from this examination, My ovaries looked like bunches of grapes with all the stimulated follicles that had never been released.
Other conditions that can affect the womb, such as endometriosis and fibroids, can prevent pregnancy from occurring.
The scan can also check for blockages in your fallopian tubes (the tubes that connect the ovaries and the womb), which may be stopping eggs from travelling along the tubes and into the womb.
X-ray of fallopian tubes
This is called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG).
Opaque dye is injected through the cervix while you have an X-ray.
The male partner will be asked to produce a sperm sample and take it for analysis.
For me and my partner this was funny, I remember the first time (there have been many) I went to help him, but I couldn't stop laughing, knowing that it had to be at hospital within an hour of release gave me the giggles.
So when the job in hand is done, you must get the sample to the hospital labs within an hour. And did I mention carrying it in your bra the whole way there, as it must be kept at body temperature lol.
Secondary testing is normally done if you have been transferred to a IVF (Fertility) clinic and some times the Hospital will do them before referring you to save you time and costs.
AMF Blood Test
Yet again I have also had a fair few of these. Just a simple blood test that can be done on any day of your cycle. This test is to show if you have a good reserve of eggs in your ovaries.
Day 3 Blood Test
‘Day 3 Bloods’ usually refer to the hormones E2, FSH and LH. E2 refers to oestrogen, the main female hormone which is secreted from the ovary. FSH is Follicle-Stimulating Hormone.
This hormone is released from the brain and stimulates the ovary to mature an egg. LH refers to 'luteinizing hormone,’ which is integral in the final maturation and release of a mature follicle.
Thyroid and Prolactin Blood Tests
Yet again more blood tests. Do you feel like a pincushion yet?
These tests are crucial as they test your general health and play a big part in the regularity of your monthly cycle.
Antral Follicle Count
Yay, it's not a blood test, I hear you say. Well don't be too excited; it's an internal ultrasound (vaginal).
This is done at the day 3 blood tests and it checks for the overall health of your ovaries, how many follicles you have(potential eggs) and the thickness and texture of your uterine lining.
Word of advice, take some wet wipes and a panty liner with you as they use a lot of lubricant.
HIV,HEP B & C, SYPHILIS and Rubella
Last, but not least, more blood tests.
These are to check you are not carrying anything nasty and that you are up to date with your Rubella inoculations.
These have to be done before and every 12 months if you are receiving any form of assistance with trying to conceive.
If you have a nice Doctor he will be kind and send you for the above tests on day three to save you more jab later in the month.
More information on these test can be found at NHSDIRECT