Fertility testing for women at the Frisco Institute for Reproductive Medicine in Frisco, TX encompasses various blood tests and procedures used to diagnose the underlying causes of female infertility. Women should consider fertility testing if they have been trying to get pregnant for more than a year or have a preexisting condition that my affect their fertility. If the woman is over the age of 35, she should consider testing if she has been trying with her partner for 6 months. Age is a major factor affecting fertility. Initial testing focuses on the most common causes of infertility that can be identified using the least invasive approaches, such as:
- Discussion of medical records and sexual history
- Pelvic exam
- Blood tests to check certain hormones
- Ovarian reserve testing to assess overall egg quantity
- Reproductive imaging procedures
During the first visit, our experienced Reproductive Endocrinologists and Infertility Specialists, Dr. Rinku Mehta or Dr. Ali Guerami, will discuss your medical and sexual history. This discussion is vital because a prior case of chlamydia, a sexually transmitted disease, or a simple misunderstanding of timing intercourse could be the only fertility issue. We will also perform a pelvic sonogram to identify possible issues that can affect your fertility. Fertility issues diagnosed during a sonogram can include ovarian cysts or an abnormally shaped uterus. This initial meeting will determine what additional testing is necessary.
Female Testing Available
Fertility testing will search for all relevant causes of infertility. A reproductive specialist will perform a series of tests to diagnose and treat female infertility.
Blood tests for reproductive hormones are performed at different points in the menstrual cycle. In order for an egg to mature and be released by the ovaries, the proper hormones need to have balanced levels. The blood hormone tests assess these levels.
Aside from its use in ovarian reserve testing, an ultrasound or sonogram, is a noninvasive way to view the anatomy of the female reproductive system. Ultrasounds are helpful in diagnosing common fertility problems such as ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids. An ultrasound can be performed transvaginally, within the vagina, or over the top of the abdomen.
Ovarian Reserve Testing
Ovarian reserve testing evaluates the overall number of eggs in a woman’s ovaries and can be accomplished through a blood test and/or through an ultrasound. A blood test on day 3 of the menstrual cycle measures the amount of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estradiol (E2). Another very accurate hormone test for egg reserve is called the Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH). This can be checked at any time during the menstrual cycle and even when a woman is on birth control pills.
Day 3 testing is important because FSH production is increased in all women during the beginning of the menstrual cycle. In older women or women who have premature ovarian failure, the levels of FSH will be especially high, indicating decreased egg quantity.
An ultrasound can also be used as part of ovarian reserve testing to determine the number of antral (resting) follicles in each ovary. Each follicle contains one egg that can mature and be released during ovulation. The total number of antral follicles in both ovaries is the total antral follicle count (AFC). In general, the higher the AFC, the better the overall egg quantity.
Sonohysterogram uses a transvaginal ultrasound in combination with a saline (salt) solution that fills the uterus to produce a clearer picture of the uterine cavity. The sonohysterogram procedure commonly diagnoses uterine adhesions (scarring) and abnormal growths such as polyps or fibroids.
Hysterosalping is a procedure where the doctor uses low radiation X-ray to view the woman’s reproductive organs, specifically the fallopian tubes. The doctor will inject contrasting dye into the uterus and fallopian tubes so that the organs show up clearly on the X-ray. A hysterosalpingogram is helpful in diagnosing a blockage in the fallopian tubes or uterine abnormalities such as incavitary fibroids, polyps, or abnormal shape of the uterus.
Hysteroscopy is a surgical procedure in which a small scope (camera) is inserted into the uterus through the cervix, and is typically used to diagnose and treat uterine fibroids, polyps, or uterine septum.
Laparoscopy is a procedure where the doctor inserts a camera and a small surgical instrument into the abdominal cavity through a small incision in the belly button. Laparoscopic surgery is used to treat endometriosis and remove uterine fibroids, ovarian cysts, and/or scar tissue.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the pelvic area uses a magnetic field and radio waves to take accurate pictures of soft tissue, organs, muscles, and blood vessels, without bones obstructing the view. A pelvic MRI can diagnose infertility, abnormal menstrual bleeding, or pelvic pain.
Female Fertility Testing Reviews
"The Best Dr. ever - Dr Metha has a heart bigger than Texas. She is very involved in all aspects. Therefore, she is aware of your progress. The nurses are also great. After a few months under her care we are expecting our first baby. I would suggest her to any woman who wants a real relationship with her Dr. Also, if you do not wish to be treated like cattle book an appt with her today. You will not regret it. Trust me she is the best out there. She is dedicated, caring, & super smart and up to date on technology, etc."- Anonymous / Vitals / Feb 01, 2013
"Dr. Mehta and her staff are amazing!!! We are just a couple of weeks away from having our baby boy because of her, we are so thankful we found her and we highly recommend her!"- S.W. / Facebook / Dec 22, 2016
"Going through the IVF process is never an easy experience, but throughout the past year, Dr. Mehta has been an amazing doctor guiding us through the process and making sure we understood every step of the way. I really appreciated how much she cares about her patients and takes time to get to know them. Her front office staff is absolutely amazing they were so helpful with payment questions and forms. Not all of the nursing staff were helpful or courteous, but I don't want the few bad ones to take away from the fact that there are some great nurses on her staff."- Anonymous / Vitals / May 12, 2016
"Very personable and knowledgeable - I felt Dr Mehta really tries to approach infertility at every angle she can, and because she has her own history of infertiltiy, she understands not only the physical aspects of infertility, but emotional, as well. Her care seems genuine and sincere. As her patient, even though I did not have to progress as far into infertility treatment as other patients of hers, I feel she really helped open up the door to my getting pregnant after a year of trying. In my journey, besides being diagnosed the obvious AMA (advanced maternal age), it was discovered I had diminished ovarian reserve, a functional ovarian cyst, and thyroid issues that all may have or may have not affected my fertility. I am certain these issues were not and would not have been discovered by a routine OBGYN visit, and am not sure another physician would have been as keen, as well. I would recommend her and her office for solid, compassionate, and professional infertility treatment."- Anonymous / Vitals / Sep 29, 2016
"Caring doctor - Dr. Mehta's staff was very friendly from the day I first walked into the office. I felt very comfortable and well taken care of. Dr. Mehta is one of the most caring and knowledgable doctors I have been to."- Anonymous / Vitals / Feb 06, 2010
What to Expect
You should consider fertility testing if you have been actively trying to get pregnant by having unprotected, regular sex with your partner for more than one year. If you are over the age of 35, you should consider fertility testing after 6 months of trying to get pregnant. Women with the following conditions may elect to have fertility testing sooner:
- Diagnosed or suspected problems with the reproductive organs; uterus, ovaries, or fallopian tubes
- Irregular menstrual cycle (more than 35 days apart or none at all)
- Recurrent miscarriages
- A partner with diagnosed or suspected infertility
Generally, the risks of fertility testing are very low. Noninvasive procedures such as pelvic exams, blood work, and ultrasounds carry a minuscule chance of infection.
Minimally invasive surgical procedures, such as hysteroscopy and laparoscopy, carry risks associated with surgery such as excessive blood loss, infection, puncture of an organ (uterus, bladder or bowel), or reaction to the anesthesia, which occur in less than 0.5% of cases.
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Compassionate Care & Testing
If you are experiencing infertility, you can find out so much more with reproductive imaging. Our staff will explain the process and any risks associated with the testing equipment. Our experienced doctors at FIRM will only recommend the reproductive imaging techniques that will best diagnose your specific reproductive issue. Schedule your appointment today.