Fertility investigation

Fertility investigationsWith four Assisted Conception centres, BMI Healthcare is a large private provider of fertility services in the UK. At these centres, our teams of specialists are on-hand to offer fertility tests to help pinpoint the reason why you’re finding it hard to conceive – and, where possible, identify an appropriate treatment programme that is tailor-made to give you the best chance of success.

The initial consultation

An in-depth medical, social, gynaecological and fertility history will be taken. In addition, the following preliminary tests may be recommended to be carried out, either at this appointment or soon after:

Fertility Investigation for women

Blood test for hormone levels:

  • FSH (follicle stimulating hormone): the FSH reading taken between day 2 and 5 of a menstrual cycle gives us an indication of how the ovaries are functioning and is helpful in calculating drug doses for treatment
  • LH (Luteinising hormone)
  • TSH (Thyroid stimulating hormone)
  • Prolactin
  • Anti Mullerian hormone: this is a helpful test for checking ovarian reserve. It indicates how well a patient is likely to respond to medication.

Not all patients require all of these blood tests and, indeed, some GPs may have already performed some of these. There will not be unnecessary duplication of these tests, although some may need to be repeated if abnormal or out of date. Sometimes, depending on the patient’s history, additional tests may be required. These will be fully explained to you.

Baseline ultrasound scans: A transvaginal (internal) scan is used to assess the uterus and ovaries. Abnormalities of the uterus are checked for such as fibroids, polyps and congenital abnormalities. The ovaries are also checked for size, appearance and cysts.

Further testing such as hysteroscopy or laparoscopy may be required, or a recommendation to commence fertility treatment may be made. All treatment options will be fully discussed and explanations given about which treatment is most suited to give the best chance of achieving a pregnancy.

Fertility investigation for men

Semen analysis/sperm preparation:

Before treatment all men must have at least one semen sample analysed in our own IVF laboratories. A recommendation is then made as to what fertility treatments are suitable options.

Fertility investigation for both:

Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C & HIV: If IVF treatment is planned, both the patient and partner are required to be tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. This is required by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).

The viruses are transmitted through blood, semen and cervical secretions, and can be passed from a pregnant woman to her unborn child.

In addition to these baseline tests, patients may be required to have additional screening or more in-depth testing, such as hysterosalpingogram, hysteroscopy or laparoscopy and dye test.

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