Fertility Tests for Women
Other Infertility Tests
A doctor may order numerous other tests for infertility in women. They include:
- Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) blood level. FSH stimulates the ovaries to prepare an egg for release each month. Abnormally high baseline levels of FSH can mean lower fertility in women. The FSH blood level is checked early in the menstrual cycle (often on day three).
- Clomiphene citrate challenge testing (CCCT) can be done with the FSH test. A pill of clomiphene citrate is given on the fifth through the ninth days of the menstrual cycle. FSH is checked on day three (before the medicine is given) and on day 10 (after). High FSH levels suggest a lower likelihood of pregnancy.
- Inhibin B is a hormone checked with a blood test. Levels may be lower in women with infertility. However, experts are divided as to its ability to predict infertility.
- Postcoital testing involves a doctor examining a woman's cervical mucus shortly after she has sex. This test has a long history, but studies cast doubt on its usefulness.
- Endometrial biopsy is a sampling of tissue from the lining of the uterus. A healthy uterus is necessary for an egg to implant and create a pregnancy, and endometrial biopsies have traditionally been checked for this reason. However, evidence is mounting that endometrial biopsy is not helpful in predicting or treating infertility.
Of course, not all women undergo all these tests. Each woman's doctor will guide her through those that are most appropriate for her situation. After the testing is done, about 85% of couples will have some idea why they're having trouble getting pregnant.