A postcoital test checks a woman's
cervical mucus after sex to see whether sperm are
present and moving normally. This test may be used if a woman is not able to
become pregnant (infertility) and other tests have not
found a cause.
The test is done 1 to 2 days before
ovulation when the cervical mucus is thin and stretchy
and sperm can easily move through it into the
uterus. Within 2 to 8 hours after you have sex, your
doctor collects and looks at a cervical mucus sample.
question the value of the postcoital test to check for infertility. It is not
done very often.
Why It Is Done
The postcoital test may be done if you
are not able to become pregnant and:
- You are ovulating, your
fallopian tubes are not blocked, and your partner's
sperm are normal. A problem with your cervical mucus may be causing
- Immune system problems, such as sperm
antibodies, may be a cause of
- Your male partner does not want to be tested.
How To Prepare
The postcoital test must be done within
1 to 2 days of ovulation. Follow your doctor's instructions for checking your
basal body temperature, cervical mucus, and the level
luteinizing hormone (LH) in your urine. When you check
your LH level, do the urine test in the mid- to late morning, and do not drink
any fluids that morning until you have done the test. If your test shows that
you are ovulating, call for a doctor's visit for the next day.
Have sex about 2 to 8 hours before your visit. Do not use lubricants
during sex. Do not douche or take a bath after sex, but you may take a shower.
Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the
need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will
mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).