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    Fertility Tests for Women

    Your doctor will also want to ask about a woman's gynecologic history and ask you:

    • Whether you've been pregnant before and the outcome of those pregnancies
    • About the frequency of your periods over the last year
    • Whether you've been irregular and missed periods or had spotting between periods
    • About any changes in blood flow or the appearance of large blood clots
    • About what methods of birth control you've used
    • Whether you've seen a doctor before for fertility problems and undergone treatment for them

    If you have seen a doctor about fertility problems before, make sure to bring all fertility-related medical records and X-rays or sonograms with you, or at least have them sent ahead.

    Blood Tests and Semen Analysis

    Once the interview is out of the way, your infertility workup will likely begin with a physical exam and blood tests to check levels of female hormones, thyroid hormones, prolactin, and male hormones, as well as for HIV and hepatitis.

    The physical exam may include a pelvic examination to look for chlyamydia, gonorrhea, or other genital infections that may contribute to the fertility problem.

    The male partner may also need to be evaluated for genital infections. Your doctor will suggest a complete semen analysis for the male partner to check the number, shape, and motility of the sperm.

    Your doctor may schedule other blood tests around the woman's menstrual cycle. For example, tests for follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) must be done on day two or three of your cycle. Luteinizing hormone surges in the middle of your menstrual cycle -- in the mid-luteal phase -- so you may need to come in for more tests then, and again about seven days after you begin ovulating. After you're ovulating, your doctor will also test your estradiol and progesterone levels and compare them with the levels taken on day two or three of your cycle.

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