Female Fertility Testing
Blood tests will be used to determine the levels of thyroid hormones. Abnormally high levels (hyperthyroidism)
can lead to irregular ovulation, premature labor, and fetal abnormalities. Abnormally low levels (hypothyroidism)
can lead to irregular or no ovulation and early pregnancy loss.
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is a common cause of female infertility. One of the hallmark symptoms of PCOS is abnormally elevated androgens (male hormones) including testosterone.
Women with PCOS experience weight gain, have excess body hair (hirsutism), are hyperinsulinemic (have high insulin levels), ovulate irregularly or not at all, have a classic “pear shaped” body, have ovaries containing many follicles (usually >12 in each ovary), and often have ovulation dysfunction.
The incidence of miscarriage is also higher in women with PCOS. Successful outcome can usually be achieved with insulin-sensitizing drugs, such as metformin, DCI (D-chiro inositol), as well as a lifestyle-modification program supervised by our nutritionist.
When insulin levels return to normal, androgen production decreases and ovulation often resumes.
Prolactin is the “breast milk” hormone responsible for stimulating milk production in pregnant women. An abnormally elevated level in non-pregnant women is termed hyperprolactinemia can lead to lower estrogen levels, which result in irregular or failed ovulation.
Hyperprolactinemia is sometimes due to a small tumor on the pituitary that is usually treated medically and may rarely require surgical treatment. Medications, such as bromocriptine or Dostinex are effective in lowering prolactin levels.
Blood tests are done on both men and women to measure hormone levels and identify any underlying causes of infertility. The most common tests that will be ordered are estradiol (E2), follicular stimulating hormone (FSH), anti-mullerian hormone (AMH), and genetic testing. The genetic testing panel will screen for genetic diseases and is typically required for your continued obstetric care. In most cases the doctor will order testing for the female and male partner. Other blood tests may be ordered, as needed.
Regular lab work results may take up to 2 weeks and will be viewable to you in your portal. Genetic testing may take up to 3- 4 weeks.
For this procedure, the uterus is filled with saline solution (causing it to expand) and a vaginal probe ultrasound is inserted. The 3-D ultrasound outlines abnormalities, such as fibroids and polyps, which appear as shadows on the ultrasound monitor. The physical exam includes cultures to rule out infections as well as a pap smear if needed. The trial transfer uses an empty catheter, which is introduced through the cervix and into the uterus.
During this procedure, a radio-opaque dye is injected into the uterus, and X-rays are taken as the dye travels through the uterus and fallopian tubes. If there is a blockage of the fallopian tubes, it shows as a collection of the dye at the point of the obstruction. The dye also shows the size and shape of the uterus. This test is typically performed between days 5 and 11 of the menstrual cycle.
Please go to your portal to let us know your first day of your cycle, so we can schedule this procedure between days 5 and 11 of your menstrual cycle.
*Please note: If your doctor has ordered a Hysterosalpingogram, it must be completed on days 5-11 of your cycle, and cannot be performed on the same day as the Sonohysterogram.
The Advanced Fertility Center of Texas (AFCT) has several fertility treatment centers located throughout the Houston metropolitan area. We offer the most comprehensive, state-of-the-art fertility services.