A female is subjected to infertility diagnosis process in the following conditions:
- In case the concerned female is under the age of 35 and has not attained pregnancy during the last 12 months despite indulging in unprotected copulation.
- If the female is above 35 and has not attained pregnancy even after 6 months of unprotected sexual intercourse. Why a shorter period is considered for females above the age of 35, as there is urgency owing to decreasing fertility. Each month is important and it may not be wise waiting for another 6 six months to confirm the need for seeking medical help.
Usually, a physical examination and knowing the entire medical history are the first things for diagnosing a fertility issue followed by some diagnostic tests that are required to ascertain the root cause of infertility, which may include:
- Urine and blood examinations to know the levels of hormones.
- Pap smear to examine the cervix health
- Urine examination for evaluating the surge of Luteinizing hormone
- A basal body temperature (BBT) exam
The BBT is important for knowing whether the female is ovulating and her ovaries are releasing an egg regularly. A female’s temperature goes up slightly around the time of ovulation. In fact, ovulation may also indicate her most fertile days. The concerned female is asked to chart her BBT each day for a few months and place the result on a graph. She takes her temperature either orally or vaginally with a special thermometer, which is utra-sensitive and is available at most of the pharmaceutical stores.
- Endometrial biopsy is also performed, wherein the treating doctor takes out a tissue piece from the uterine lining. Testing the biopsy from the uterine lining will indicate the doctor if the eggs are released and the corpeus luteum is generating adequate amount of progesterone. This exam is usually performed if the female’s BBT results are not clear.
- An ultrasound to view the presence of fibroids and cysts in your ovaries and the uterus. In this test, images of your ovaries and the uterus are taken with the help of sound waves. This exam causes a little uneasiness but is very useful.
- A post-coital exam, wherein the doctor takes out a sample of cervical mucus through the female’s vagina. She ought to have this exam during her most fertile days and within a few hours after copulating with her male partner. This exam may indicate the treating doctor in case the male’s sperm have the ability to survive in the female’s cervical mucus.
More intricate exams are one of the following:
In case the doctor there is a possibility of the presence of endometriosis or the ovaries or fallopian tubes have been scarred causing adhesion, the female is asked to undergo a laparoscopy procedure. While performing the procedure, the doctor executes two small incisions at the bikini line and the navel, and introduces the carbon dioxide gas into the stomach for enlarging it.
Thereafter, a laparoscope fitted with a tiny camera and a fiberoptic lighting system is introduced through one of the incisions. With this long probe, the doctor is able to view the Fallopian tubes and the ovaries to know the presence of scar tissues and adhesion. In certain cases, the doctor may remove scar tissue and open up adhesion detected during this minimally invasive surgical procedure.
The female usually is given general anesthesia to carry out the procedure and the risks of catching infection, reaction to anesthesia and the bleeding are not very significant.
This exam is performed to ascertain the Fallopian tubes condition in a female.
By clamping the cervix, the doctor introduces a contrast dye into the female’s uterus with the help of a syringe. An X-ray is performed to ascertain if the dye is passing through the Fallopian tubes’ open ends. In case the dye spills through the ends of the Fallopian tubes, they are obviously not obstructed.
This test may also help in revealing other fertility issues, like the presence of fibroid tumors, endometrial polyps and structural abnormalities. In certain cases, the dye, in fact, flushes away the blockage in the Fallopian tubes, thus restoring the female’s fertility.
The dye is risk-free and gets absorbed in the female body after spilling through her Fallopian tubes.
Though the test may cause uneasiness, but is rarely agonizing. Regrettably, it is well-known for giving false negative or positive diagnosis.