IVF Evaluation For Men
Fertility Potential of the Male
The main test to assess the fertility potential of the male is a semen analysis. This is where the number of sperm are counted, looked at for normal shape and size, and the motility (swimming ability) is measured. Your physician may ask for this test to be done more than once.
There are other more sophisticated tests of the sperm that can be done when it is determined to be necessary.
Some men have issues with sperm quality (number and motility) because they are missing a portion of a gene on one of their chromosomes. You can find this out by doing a specialized test called a Y-microdeletion test. Your physician will determine if this is a helpful test to be done with you.
DNA Fragmentation Test
This is also a specialized test that is not done in all patients. All men make sperm that have fragments within the DNA of the sperm itself. This may affect the ability of the sperm to fertilize the egg. Your physician at RCC will help you decide if this is a test to do.
If indicated, your physician may recommend further testing on both your behalves.
IVF Evaluation For Women
When you become a patient of RCC, your doctor is going to need to assess your fertility potential. This is going to vary from patient to patient and is going to be strongly influenced by the age of the woman. Your physician is also going to want to have knowledge of other factors that important for couples desiring to become pregnant. At RCC, we aim to tailor the tests required to your specific situation. Not all tests may be required in your situation. The results of the tests then are used to determine the best type and approach to treatment for you. The following tests will help to assess your fertility potential prior to treatment:
Reproductive-related hormones are assessed by doing blood tests. A day 3 FSH level along with an estradiol level will be done ideally on day 3 of your menstrual cycle. This provides an indirect assessment of your fertility potential in relationship to the age of the woman. An AMH (anti-mullerian hormone) is also a test of your fertility potential. This blood test can be done at any time in your menstrual cycle. It is an early but indirect indicator of the size of the pool of early eggs in your ovaries.
There are additional hormones that are measured to assess the health of your reproductive system. These hormones are not associated with fertility measures directly but if not in a healthy range, can negatively impact reproduction. These hormones are TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and prolactin. Both hormones are measured in the blood but come from your brain.
Antral follicle count (AFC)
As part of your fertility assessment, your physician at RCC will want to view the shape and condition of your uterus. They will also want to count the number of follicles in the ovaries (these contain the potential eggs) to give an indirect assessment of the condition of your ovaries. This is done with a vaginal ultrasound in the first part of your menstrual cycle. The shape of your uterus is assessed with ultrasound also. A vaginal ultrasound will look at the overall shape of your uterus. A saline sonohysterogram will look at the shape of the cavity of the uterus and when used with a special dye agent, it can also assess the condition of your fallopian tubes. The patency of the fallopian tubes can also be determined with the use of dye test and X-ray in a procedure called an HSG (hysterosalpingogram).