Assess your Fertility Potential
In the United States, close to 7 million women suffer from infertility. In fact, infertility which is a disease, affects men and women equally. Sometimes factors that affect fertility are easy to detect and even treat. Given the advances if reproductive technology, we now have the ability to test both women and men to assess their fertility potential.
At USC Fertility, we are now offering “Fertility Diagnostic Testing” so you can assess your fertility potential. Inform yourself so that you can utilize the information to formulate your reproductive plans for today or the future.
Fertility Diagnostic Testing for Women
Fertility for women declines with age. Both the quantity and quality of eggs declines as a woman gets older. Through a combination of three blood tests and an ultrasound of your ovaries we are able to determine your ovarian reserve, which reflects your age related fertility potential. None of these tests are 100% accurate. By doing multiple tests for ovarian reserve we are more likely to find out if there is an ovarian reserve issue, and that your fertility potential is diminished.
On day 2-3 of your period you will need to come to our office to have your blood drawn to assess your FSH level. FSH is the main hormone from the brain that tells the ovary to produce an egg. When a woman has less eggs, the amount of FSH that is secreted each month increases. An elevated FSH is predictive of low egg quantity, however because the monthly variability a normal result does not necessarily indicate normal egg quantity. An elevated FSH may indicate that your chances of getting pregnant are lower than expected for your age.
When you come to our office on day 2-3 of your period from one single blood draw we will also be able to assess your estradiol level. The estradiol level is used primarily to ascertain if the FSH value can be correctly interpreted. If the estradiol is elevated then it may mean that your ovaries have an advanced egg that month, which can also be a sign of ovarian aging. The elevated estradiol level will artificially decrease the FSH value, therefore the FSH is “falsely low” that month.
From the one single blood draw, we will also evaluate your AMH level. AMH is a hormone that is made in the follicles, the fluid filled sacs that contain your eggs. A high AMH is reflective of good egg quantity and a low AMH is found in women with lower egg numbers. Like FSH, AMH is reflective of your chances for success conception.
At your visit, a vaginal ultrasound will be performed that will evaluate your uterus and ovaries. The ultrasound of the uterus will evaluate the overall shape of the uterus and look for abnormalities that could impact your ability to carry a pregnancy. The ovaries will be examined for abnormalities and to count the number of follicles, in what we call your “antral follicle count”. A low follicle count is consistent with decreased fertility potential as it is indicative a lower quantity of eggs.
Fertility Diagnostic Testing for Men
The male partner is responsible solely or partially for infertility in 40% of couples. A semen analysis is a simple test to evaluate for male fertility potential. After abstaining for several days, a specimen is collected to test for number, motility and shape of sperm.
Q&A about Fertility Testing
Why should you have Fertility Diagnostic Testing?
Performing fertility diagnostic testing can help you make decisions for your future, by evaluating your fertility potential now. By testing your ovarian reserve we cannot predict the end of your reproductive years, nor can we predict how quickly and when your ovarian reserve will drop in the future. However, Fertility Diagnostic Testing can provide important insights that help you evaluate your fertility options and allow us to help you planning your future fertility plans.
How does Fertility Diagnostic Testing work?
The Fertility Diagnostic Testing at USC is a flat fee of $150 per person that covers the costs of testing your fertility potential. For women that includes the three blood tests and the one ultrasound and for men that includes the semen analysis. Once your tests are completed, your results will be emailed to you within one week. A basic explanation of the results will be provided and a recommendation for consultation will be given if it is deemed advisable. If you decide that you want further discussion of your results and future options, you will need to set up an consultation appointment with a physician and the fee is credited towards that consultation.
Do I need to get off of birth control to do Fertility Diagnostic Testing?
You do not need to get off of hormonal contraception in order to do Fertility Diagnostic Testing. However, it is possible that the hormonal birth control could influence the results, but we may not know this until the testing is done.
Can I get the testing if I don’t have regular periods?
Yes, you can get Fertility Diagnostic Testing performed if you don’t have regular periods. If your periods are greater than 45 days apart, you can come in at any time in your cycle for testing, you don’t need to wait for day 3.