Recommended Testing Before Your New Patient Consultation
Initial Fertility Testing
Prior to your first consultation at Pacific NW Fertility, it may be helpful (although, not mandatory), to have some preliminary fertility testing completed and the results sent to us before your first appointment. This allows our physicians to consult with you in greater depth concerning your specific situation.
Your OB/GYN or primary care doctor can order these fertility tests if he/she feels they are appropriate. In general, fertility tests which are requested by your OB/GYN or primary care physician have a greater possibility of being covered by your insurance provider than fertility tests which are requested by fertility physicians.
The following information lists and explains these preliminary fertility tests.
FSH/E2 or Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Estrogen (E2)
These are hormones that predict a woman’s ovarian reserve. In the beginning of the menstrual cycle (cycle days 1-5), the pituitary gland in the brain secretes Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH). (Cycle day 1 is counted as the first day of actual flow). This hormone stimulates the ovaries to provide an egg for the cycle. When the ovary has received enough FSH to grow a dominant follicle, the follicle begins to release Estrogen. This estrogen indicates that a follicle is growing and alerts the brain to stop secreting FSH. FSH/E2 testing therefore measures the levels of FSH and Estradiol or estrogen in the blood on menstrual cycle day 2 or 3, providing an assessment of a woman’s ovarian reserve, or pregnancy potential.
A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is a test that is performed to see if there is a blockage or other abnormality of the fallopian tubes, which would prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. This test may also be used to detect irregularity or scarring of the lining of the uterus. For an HSG test, sometimes referred to as the “dye test,” dye is placed into the uterus and an X-ray is taken. The HSG test is performed in the 2nd week of the menstrual cycle (i.e. after menstrual bleeding has stopped but before ovulation), and must be performed in a radiology department.
Male Partner Testing
A semen analysis is the measurement of different properties of a single ejaculate, including:
Volume - amount of the ejaculate measured in ML
Count - concentration of sperm, measured in million of sperm per ML
Motility - percentage of sperm that are moving, i.e. living
Morphology - percentage of sperm that are normal in shape
If you are interested in making an appointment with Pacific NW Fertility, please call 206-515-0002 or connect through our online patient contact form.
I would encourage my friend to seek professional help as early as possible. Both seeing a medical team that specializes in fertility treatment as well as someone to support their emotional health. I would advise them to consider all options. Loving a child regardless of how they came to you is such an incredible gift. I would encourage my friend to not give up no matter how hard the process becomes.