An infertility evaluation is a medical procedure done to determine the cause of a patient’s infertility and to thus find a treatment. Men and women can both undergo infertility evaluations.
What is Infertility?
The vast majority of couples conceive a child within a year of trying to do so. Doctors thus define infertility as failure to conceive a child within that year. Infertility has multiple causes that can include any of the following:
• Structural abnormalities of the reproductive organs
• Abnormal sperm
• Ovulation disorders, such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
The doctor will thus have to perform a variety of tests to determine the cause of the infertility and decide on a treatment.
When Should a Couple Undergo Infertility Evaluation?
As already mentioned, infertility is defined as the inability to conceive a child after a year of trying to do so. Thus, the average healthy couple should consult a fertility specialist after a year of trying to conceive with no results. There are some situations, however, in which the couple should consult the doctor earlier. If the woman has a history of sexually transmitted diseases or pelvic infections, the couple should consult a fertility specialist immediately after deciding to have a child. Many of these diseases can cause scars within the Fallopian tubes, and those scars cause blockages that make it impossible for the sperm to reach the egg. The doctor will thus conduct tests to check the condition of the woman’s Fallopian tubes.
Similarly, if the woman has a history of endometrial polyps or uterine fibroids, the couple should see a doctor after six months of trying to conceive with no results. Both conditions affect the uterus and can impair the embryo’s ability to attach itself to the uterine wall. If the man has known abnormalities in his semen, the couple should consult a doctor within six months of trying to conceive a child. The same is true if the man has a history of infertility with an earlier partner.
What Can a Couple Expect During an Infertility Evaluation?
The doctor will start by taking a detailed medical history of both partners. They will want to know how long the couple has been trying to have a child, and they will want to know if either partner has a history of STDs or other conditions that can affect the reproductive system. The man will be expected to provide a sperm sample for analysis. The doctor will check the man’s sperm count, and they will also examine the sperm for abnormalities.
The doctor can perform several different tests on the woman. For example, if they suspect she has scarred Fallopian tubes, they can perform a type of X-ray called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) that will enable the doctor to check for blockages in the Fallopian tubes. They can also use the HSG to look for polyps or other abnormalities in the uterus.
Get In Touch for More Information
To learn more about what an infertility evaluation may be able to do for you, we strongly encourage you to reach out and make an appointment with Aurora OB-GYN. At our convenient location in San Antonio, our caring and devoted team of professionals will be pleased to lay out your full range of options and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to set up your consultation – we look forward to speaking with you!