When it comes to accurately diagnosing obstacles and challenges related to conception, the more information we have about our patients, the better. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic testing may be required to fully understand what course of action is needed to increase a patient’s chance for pregnancy.
Our main priority is to help our patients become parents of healthy children. We understand that this can sometimes mean a significant personal and financial investment. We never take this lightly. We are respectful of healthcare dollars, using laboratory and diagnostic testing to further investigate issues, and create a personal treatment plan based on the needs of each patient.
With this in mind, the following tests may be readily performed either at MCRH, or with your local health care team.
An HSG test is used to examine a woman’s uterus and fallopian tubes. This x-ray study involves a contrast dye being placed into the uterus to show the contour of the uterine cavity and patency of the tubes (if they are present). The test provides information on abnormalities of the uterus or fallopian tubes. When performed appropriately, it can be a relatively pain-free procedure.
SHG is a procedure in which sterile water is inserted via a catheter into the uterus. Using transvaginal ultrasonography, abnormalities can be identified, of both the uterus and the ovaries.
Individualized hormonal testing is often utilized to determine abnormalities which may negatively impact chances for fertility. Testing for thyroid and pituitary gland abnormalities are often required. More commonly, testing for how well the ovary is functioning is important using both laboratory and diagnostic imaging studies.
Semen analysis is the most direct, simple, and cost-effective way to evaluate male factor infertility. This requires the collection of a semen sample at MCRH or an approved off-site facility. The sample should be collected after a 2-7-day abstinence period, and is evaluated to determine factors such as semen volume, consistency, pH, sperm density, motility, and morphology (shape).
Normal sperm production and sexual function are dependent upon a normal hormonal environment. Should semen analysis reveal abnormalities, hormonal testing (via a blood test) will be suggested to determine how best to improve sperm function.
There are times when surgical approaches to infertility are necessary. At MCRH, we offer a full spectrum of surgeries through close collaboration with gynecologic or urologic surgeons. When qualified, it is possible and recommended that your local urologist OB-GYN perform these surgeries.