Are you worried about your biological clock ticking or perhaps your partner is concerned about his sperm count? You may also wonder whether prolonged and repeated fertility tests may delay treatment. However, it is now possible to take a unique “One-Stop” Fertility Test which can be completed within an hour.
This article about "One-Stop" fertility tests is written by Geeta Nargund, FRCOG, Consultant in Reproductive Medicine at St. George’s Hospital, London.
The “One-Stop” Fertility Test takes just an hour to complete and can even be performed during your lunch hour. The test will provide an assessment of the Seed, Soil and Passage involved in the conception of a baby using mainly advanced ultrasound tests. These tests are done using an advanced 3D-Doppler ultrasound scan to check the lining of your womb, ovarian reserve (reserve of eggs) and to check the blood flow to your ovaries and womb. (You may require an additional blood test of ovarian reserve to check the Anti-Mullerian Hormone blood test.) These tests are non-invasive and done with a simple ultrasound scan. An ultrasound tubal patency test (to check that fallopian tubes are open) called “HycoSy” can also be performed at the same time if necessary. This test is not as painful as the X-Ray test HSG (HysteroSalpingography) and since there is no exposure to X-Rays, it allows you to try for a pregnancy in the same cycle.
The detailed 3D – Doppler ultrasound scan is used to examine the following:
- The volume of your ovaries
- Antral Follicle Count (i.e. egg sacs) in your ovaries
- The Blood Flow to your ovaries
- Identification of ovarian cysts that can affect ovulation
- (Anti-Mullerian Hormone blood test)
Receptivity of the womb:
- Thickness and appearance of the lining of your womb
- The inside cavity of your womb
- The blood flow to the lining of your womb
- Identification of fibroids or other problems that can affect implantation
- The HycoSy test to check for tubal patency
The whole procedure takes up to one hour. You are required to take antibiotics two days before the test if you would like your fallopian tubes tested. There is no need for antibiotics if you are having an “ovarian reserve” scan. The research shows that if blood flow to your ovaries is good, you are more likely to produce good quality eggs and similarly if the blood flow to your womb is adequate, you are more likely to conceive and furthermore less likely to miscarry. Recent scientific research also confirms that ovarian follicle count, size and blood flow will indicate quantity and quality of eggs.
- Your partner can have a detailed sperm test at the same time. The sperm analysis will be carried out by expert embryologists
The Advantages of the test
- It is aimed at reducing the stress of repeated fertility tests and delays in treatment.
- It allows the couple to immediately discuss the results with a fertility expert and get advice about options of treatment if required. The couple will receive “life-style” advice to help them to conceive naturally if the results do not indicate the need for immediate treatment.
- For women, the Anti-Mullerian Hormone blood test takes place during days 1-5 of the menstrual cycle and the One-Stop Assessment appointment is carried out after day 8 of the menstrual cycle.
- The semen analysis appointment for men takes place before the One-Stop Assessment appointment.
- Couples then attend the One-Stop Assessment appointment for a complete assessment of the results for the couple.
- The “One-Stop” Fertility Assessment using ultrasound technology has been pioneered by the consultants at Create Health Clinic and published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Human Reproduction in 2001.