Skip to content

    Health & Pregnancy

    Font Size

    Fertility Tests for Women

    WebMD Feature

    Infertility is a serious worry for many couples because it's a diagnosis that has the potential to dramatically alter the life that you always imagined for yourself.

    But infertility is not as bleak as you might imagine. Although a person may be considered infertile after one full year of trying to conceive, 12 months may not mean that much. One recent study conducted by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences found that the majority of women up to age 39 who didn't become pregnant in their first year did become pregnant in their second year -- without any medical assistance. For women between ages 27 and 34, only 6% were unable to conceive in their second year. And for 35- to 39-year-old women, only 9% were unable to conceive in their second year -- provided their partner was under 40.

    So even if you've been trying to get pregnant for a year, this does not mean you are infertile. Resist the temptation to rush into expensive infertility treatments before you need to.

    Going to the Infertility Doctors

    If you're concerned about infertility, the best thing to do is to make an appointment with a doctor, preferably an infertility specialist. He or she will start by talking with you and your partner about your medical health and habits. Although you may find some of the questions awkward or embarrassing, it's the best way to evaluate what might be causing your trouble. In many cases, infertility is the result of a combination of problems, sometimes in each partner, which makes a thorough examination important.

    Before you see a specialist, make sure that you understand the costs of infertility tests, and whether your insurance will cover them.

    Your doctor will probably ask you both about:

    • Your medical histories, including any chronic illnesses or surgeries.
    • Your use of prescription medication.
    • Your use of caffeine, alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs.
    • Your exposure to chemicals, toxins, or radiation in the home or at work.
    • Your sexual habits, including how often you have sex, any history of sexual problems or sexually transmitted diseases, and whether either of you have had sex outstide the relationship.
    • Your choice of underwear -- if you're a man, that is -- since tight fitting briefs can keep the scrotum temperature too warm for normal sperm production.
    1 | 2 | 3

    Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

    Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
    what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

    Today on WebMD

    hand circling date on calendar
    Track your most fertile days.
    woman looking at ultrasound
    Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
    Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
    The signs to watch out for.
    pregnant woman in hospital
    Are there ways to do it naturally?
    slideshow fetal development
    pregnancy first trimester warning signs
    What Causes Bipolar
    Woman trying on dress in store
    pregnant woman
    Woman looking at pregnancy test
    calendar and baby buggy
    dark chocolate squares