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Fertility Tests to Help Conception: What You Need to Know

Fertility Tests to Help Conception: What You Need to Know

Despite the booming population of the Philippines, for many Filipinos, getting pregnant is not as easy as it looks. A study found that one out of 10 Filipinos is infertile, and many won’t see a doctor to undergo fertility tests to help conception because they don’t understand the condition. Learn more about it here.

What is Infertility?

The World Health Organization defines infertility as “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse.”

In the Philippines, infertility is usually blamed on the woman—how old she is, what she ate, how she lay down (or stood up) after coitus. Infertility is not an exclusively female issue. In fact, almost 40% of infertility cases are caused by low sperm count.

Male infertility is considered when the man has problems with producing sperm or sperm motility. Female infertility, on the other hand, can be caused by a variety of issues. The woman may have:

  • Endometriosis
  • Blockage in her fallopian tubes
  • Have problems with ovulation
  • Be advanced in maternal age.

It’s important for the couple to both be open to the possibility that one or both of them could have infertility issues so that both will be willing to undergo fertility tests to help conception.

Infertility 101: Addressing Common Conception Problems

Infertility FAQs

Here are some answers to the most pressing infertility questions.

My partner and I have been trying to get pregnant for months. Should we go to the doctor?

If pregnancy tests keep showing just one line, schedule a visit with an obstetrician-gynecologist. You can go if you’ve been having unprotected sex regularly for a year. You can go see a doctor together sooner if you or your partner have these conditions and have been trying to get pregnant for 6 months:

  • Over 35 years old
  • Irregular periods
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Endometriosis
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Thyroid problems
  • Had an ectopic pregnancy
  • Repeated miscarriages
  • Injury to the scrotum and testes
  • Erectile problems
  • Ejaculation problems

Your doctor will evaluate you and your partner’s condition and may refer you to a reproductive endocrinologist. Also known as a fertility specialist, this doctor will then determine what fertility tests you and your partner may need.

What happens at the fertility specialist’s clinic?

The consultation will start with a thorough interview. Be prepared for the intimate nature of the questions. Not only will the doctor ask about your medical history, they will also ask about your sex life and sexual history. You and your partner must go through this interview together because your honest answers will help your doctor.

Some of the questions to expect are:

  • The frequency of sexual contact
  • What kinds of birth control you’ve used
  • if you’ve had sexually transmitted diseases
  • Whether you’ve been pregnant or your partner had had gotten someone else pregnant before
  • If you’ve seen another fertility specialist and what treatments you had

The doctor will also do a physical exam.

How to Increase Chances of Getting Pregnant Naturally

What tests will be prescribed?

There are many fertility tests to help conception. This is why it’s important you’re completely honest in your interview so that your doctor can schedule the correct fertility tests for you and your partner.

Here is a complete list. Note that you may not need to do all these tests.

  1. Pelvic Ultrasound

This test uses a vaginal probe that transmits sound waves to examine the woman’s ovaries and uterus. The lubricated probe is gently inserted inside the vagina. Images are formed from the waves emitted. The ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, and vagina are seen. The doctor can now see if there is any problem in the woman’s reproductive anatomy like myoma, cysts, or any thickening of the uterine lining.

  1. Cervical Mucus Test or Post-Coital Test

For this test, a woman will have to have sexual intercourse in her mid-cycle to evaluate the quality and quantity of her cervical mucus. This also documents the presence of live, motile sperm in the mucus.

  1. Hormone Screening

For women, this test will check her blood and urine for adequate levels of hormones that are necessary for ovulation and egg implantation. For men, this blood test will find out if he has hormone problems that may prevent a pregnancy.

  1. Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

In this test, a special dye is injected through the cervix to determine if the fallopian tubes are blocked or if there are abnormalities in the reproductive tract.

  1. Endometrial Biopsy

This test will check if the woman can sustain a pregnancy, performed after Day 21 of the cycle. Here, the tissue from the inner lining of the uterus or the endometrium is collected and sent for biopsy. The result will show the status or development of the endometrium.

  1. Laparoscopy

This test uses a fiber-optic telescope to examine the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes to check for:

This is a surgical procedure done under anesthesia.

  1. Semen analysis

This fertility test involves a man collecting a sample of his ejaculate. The sample is then analyzed to determine whether the quality of sperm is normal and if there is enough sperm present to cause pregnancy. The test also checks for infection.

Key Takeaways

It can take over several months for your doctor to determine the cause of your fertility problems, so be patient and don’t get discouraged. Fertility tests to help conception can be anxiety-inducing and expensive, but they are done to help your doctor arrive at the proper treatment for you and your partner.

Learn more about Getting Pregnant here.

Ovulation Calculator

Ovulation Calculator

Tracking your period cycle, determines your most fertile days and increases your chance of conceiving or applying for birth control.

Ovulation Calculator

Tracking your period cycle, determines your most fertile days and increases your chance of conceiving or applying for birth control.

Ovulation Calculator

Cycle Length

(days)

28

Period Duration

(days)

7

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Picture of the author
Written by Franz Vincent Legazpi on Jan 25
Medically reviewed by Mary Rani Cadiz, M.D., OB-Gyn
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