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Video:How to Test Fertility in Women

with Dr. Ingrid Rodi

Testing fertility in women is important for couples who are trying to get pregnant. Watch this About.com video to learn more about what to expect when testing fertility in women.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Test Fertility in Women

Hi, I'm Dr. Ingrid Rodi and I am a specialist in reproductive endocrinology and infertility with RodiMD.com.  Today I am here on behalf of About.com to talk to you about how to test fertility in women.

Why Fertility Tests Are Important

I advise all couples who are considering pregnancy, to see their healthcare provider for preconception counseling. That visit includes a history for the man and the woman, a physical exam and blood work. The goal is to identify issues which can make getting pregnant difficult or dangerous.

What to Look For in Fertility Tests for Women

In the woman, we look at her age, her menstrual cycle, her medical history, and her gynecological history, as well as a physical exam and her lab tests. If everything looks normal, we send her out to get pregnant. If she is under 35, we encourage her to try for a year; if she is over 35, we recommend coming back in 6 months. If a woman is over 40, we usually recommend that she start fertility therapy right away. 

Potential Fertility Problems for Women

What kind of problems can we pick up at the time of the preconception visit?

  1. The woman's age has a significant impact on her ability to get pregnant
  2. If a woman's menstrual cycle is absent or irregular, it should be corrected in order to improve the chance of pregnancy
  3. If a woman has a history of pelvic infection, ruptured appendicitis, or endometriosis, it is reasonable to evaluate the pelvis and the fallopian tubes, even before she attempts pregnancy
  4. If a woman is significantly under or overweight, she should consult a nutritionist to improve her chance of getting pregnant and decrease the chance of miscarriage

Examinations in Fertility Tests for Women

Blood test for ovarian reserve can be done to estimate the woman's fertility. These include FSH, estradiol, and AMH. An ultrasound of the ovaries can help determine the number of antral follicles present. Taken together, these tests can give us an idea of how fertile a woman is. If an abnormality is found, everything possible is done to treat the condition. Some problems are easier to treat than others. Some conditions are treated with medications, others with surgery, and some with assisted reproductive technologies.

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