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Fertility Checkup... A guide to your journey to MOTHERHOOD

Monday, August 17th, 2020

A Fertility Checkup is a series of fertility tests designed to provide an initial overview of your reproductive potential. This will help alleviate stress, as well as save valuable time and financial resources in your journey to become a parent.

The first step in diagnosing female fertility is a comprehensive appointment with your fertility physician. During this appointment, your medical history and lifestyle will be discussed extensively. Topics such as birth control use, menstrual and pregnancy history, current and past sexual practices, medications used, surgical history, other health issues, and what your lifestyle is like as well as your work/living environment will all be discussed.

A thorough physical exam will also be done. Areas such as your thyroid, breasts, and hair growth will be looked at. A pelvic exam is also an important part of female fertility testing, along with a pap smear.

After this first appointment, your physician may want to proceed with some initial testing which allows your physician to determine whether you are ovulating, what your ovarian reserve is, whether you have any chronic conditions like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and much more.

In general, a fertility checkup includes:

AMH test: The level of AMH in a woman's blood is generally a good indicator of her ovarian reserve. It is often used to check a woman's ability to produce eggs that can be fertilized for pregnancy. AMH levels help show how many potential egg cells a woman has left. This is known as the ovarian reserve. If a woman's ovarian reserve is high, she may have a better chance of getting pregnant. She may also be able to wait months or years before trying to get pregnant. If the ovarian reserve is low, it may mean a woman will have trouble getting pregnant, and should not delay very long before trying to have a baby.

Ultrasound: This is used to assess the thickness of the lining of the uterus (endometrium), to monitor follicle development and to check the condition of the uterus and ovaries, and for any blockages in your fallopian tubes.

This fertility test looks at the number of follicles present within the ovaries, also known as the antral follicle count (AFC). Certain conditions that can affect the womb, such as endometriosis and fibroids and Fallopian tube blocked can prevent pregnancy.

-FSH: Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is an important part of the reproductive system. It’s responsible for the growth of ovarian follicles. Follicles produce estrogen and progesterone in the ovaries and help maintain the menstrual cycles in women.

Your levels of follicle-stimulating hormone, or FSH, which triggers your ovaries to prepare an egg for release each month. High FSH can mean lower fertility in women. The FSH blood levels get checked early in your menstrual cycle (often on day 3).

In women, the most common reasons for an FSH test include: Assessing infertility problems, assessing irregular menstrual cycles, diagnosing disorders of the pituitary gland, or diseases involving the ovaries.

A Fertility Checkup will provide the information you need to be as prepared as possible. You should also take steps to ensure your general health and well-being, including diet and exercise.