Infertility Tests - Overview
Where are infertility tests done?
tests, including the physical exam, medical history, and blood tests,
can be done in your doctor's office or clinic by an
reproductive endocrinologist. Your
family medicine physician may do some of the first
tests. Tests on a man may be done by a
urologist. Some medical procedures are done in an
What are the benefits of infertility tests?
Infertility tests may find what is causing the problem and you can
sometimes be treated during the tests. For example, a blocked
fallopian tube may be opened during a
Sometimes tests cannot find the cause of
infertility. And not all infertility problems can be treated. Infertility in men
is often less successfully treated than infertility in women. But you may still
be able to become pregnant using
assisted reproductive technology, which can treat male
or female problems.
What tests are done first?
Tests to find the cause of infertility
| Test || Description|
Both partners: Medical history
Your doctor will ask questions about your
sex life, your birth control methods, any
sexually transmitted infections (STIs), medicine use, and
the use of caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs. Your menstrual cycle
and exercise patterns will be checked. If STIs are suspected, more tests may be
Both partners: Physical
A complete physical exam of both you
and your partner is done to check your health.
- A woman's physical exam usually
includes a pelvic examination and Pap test.
- Pap Test
- Pelvic Examination
- A man's physical exam usually includes a
testicular examination. Not all fertility doctors will
do a physical examination of the man. If there are problems with the semen, the
doctor may refer the male partner to a
- Testicular Examination
Both partners: Blood or urine
- Luteinizing hormone (LH) and
progesterone tests may be done during a woman's
menstrual cycle to help see whether she is ovulating. LH may be checked in a
man to see whether he has a
pituitary gland problem.
- Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
- Thyroid function tests may
be done to check for thyroid hormone problems that may be preventing ovulation.
- Thyroid Hormone Tests
- Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
- Prolactin is a
hormone made by the pituitary gland. It may be checked
if a woman has menstrual cycle or ovulation problems.
- The anti-mullerian hormone test is a blood test that is sometimes used to check a woman's egg supply (ovarian reserve). It may be used for women who are considering IVF. Anti-mullerian levels go down as a woman's egg supply decreases, which usually happens with age.
- In some cases,
follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) may be used to
check a woman's egg supply (ovarian reserve). FSH testing may also be
used for men with a very low number of sperm to try to find out the source of
- Follicle-Stimulating Hormone
testosterone test may be used to see whether a problem
with the testicles or pituitary gland is preventing a man from being able to
father a child. A low amount of testosterone can lead to low sperm counts.
- Tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may be done. These may include urine samples or
samples from the
Male partner: Semen analysis
A semen analysis checks the number of sperm
(sperm count), the number of sperm that look normal, the number of sperm that
can move normally, the number of
white blood cells in the semen, and how much semen is
- Semen Analysis
Female partner: Home test
Home LH urine test kits can be used to see
when ovulation occurs. Sometimes a woman's
basal body temperature (BBT) is also checked at the
- Fertility Awareness