If you’ve been unable to conceive within a reasonable period of time, seek help from your doctor for evaluation and treatment of infertility. You and your partner should be evaluated. Your doctor will take a detailed medical history and conduct a physical exam.
Fertility tests might include:
- Ovulation testing. An at-home, over-the-counter ovulation prediction kit detects the surge in luteinizing hormone (LH) that occurs before ovulation. A blood test for progesterone — a hormone produced after ovulation — can also document that you’re ovulating. Other hormone levels, such as prolactin, also might be checked.
- Hysterosalpingography. During hysterosalpingography (his-turn-o-sal-ping-GOG-rush-fee), X-ray contrast is injected into your uterus and an X-ray is taken to check for problems inside the uterus. The test also shows whether the fluid passes out of the uterus and spills out of your fallopian tubes. If any problems are found, you’ll likely need further evaluation.
- Ovarian reserve testing. This testing helps determine the quality and quantity of eggs available for ovulation. Women at risk of a depleted egg supply — including women older than 35 — might have this series of blood and imaging tests.
- Another hormone test. Other hormone tests check levels of ovulatory hormones as well as thyroid and pituitary hormones that control reproductive processes.
- Imaging tests. A pelvic ultrasound looks for uterine or fallopian tube disease. Sometimes a sonohysterogram also called a saline infusion sonogram, or a hysteroscopy is used to see details inside the uterus that can’t be seen on a regular ultrasound.
Depending on your situation, rarely your testing might include:
- Laparoscopy. This minimally invasive surgery involves making a small incision beneath your navel and inserting a thin viewing device to examine your fallopian tubes, ovaries, and uterus. A laparoscopy can identify endometriosis, scarring, blockages or irregularities of the fallopian tubes, and problems with the ovaries and uterus.
- Genetic testing. Genetic testing helps determine whether there are any changes to your genes that may be causing infertility.
Infertility treatment depends on the cause, your age, how long you’ve been infertile and personal preferences. Because infertility is a complex disorder, treatment involves significant financial, physical, psychological, and time commitments.
Treatments can either attempt to restore fertility through medication or surgery or help you get pregnant with sophisticated techniques.