Infertility has become a common problem these days due to the increasing lifestyle problems. There is an estimate that suggests that 60 to 80 million of couples suffer from infertility problems, out of which 15 to 20 million of couples belong to India. The infertility problems in India is more serious because couples feel shy and do not usually seek medical advice for their infertility problems, which also severely affects their relationship and psychological health.
It is estimated that 1 out of 3 times infertility of a couple is due to the problem with woman’s fertility that causes infertility problem. Many couples might have more than onecause of infertility and to identify the issue you need to go through a number of tests to determine the underlying causes of infertility:
When should women get themselves checked for infertility?
Some couples observe that they have been missing the most fertile days of their cycle while trying to conceive. Women's most fertile days are during ovulation and 1 or 2 days before your ovulation period. Women who are trying to conceive should keep a track of menstrual cycle and must watch for the ovulation days.
1. Complete blood count (CBC): A CBC medical test gives the measure of red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs) and platelets in your blood to identify the health. CBC helps in diagnosing several conditions like infections, blood disorders, and anemia. In Vitro procedure is the procedure that is done via a surgical procedure to retrieve eggs and it’s important for the doctor to know if you’re anemic or have any other medical condition. It is one of the important Infertility Profiling Tests that need to be done.
2. Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR): This is the rate at which your red blood cells RBC settle down. This rate is increased in case there is any kind of inflammation in the body. This test is done when an inflammatory condition is suspected. In testing infertility, ESR is done before going on with hysterosalpingogram (HSG), a procedure to judge the uterus and fallopian tubes condition.
3. Blood Sugar: Fasting and PP blood sugar levels might affect your chances of becoming pregnant or conceive. Hence, checking of blood sugar levels and insulin levels is very important in infertility testing. It is one of the important Infertility Profiling Tests that need to be done.
4. VDRL (syphilis testing): Syphilis directly does not affect fertility but untreated syphilis can affect both the mother and the fetus. Before planning the baby this test is important and included in infertility testing. It is one of the important Infertility Profiling Tests that need to be done.
5. Rubella IgG: Rubella identifies if you’re immune to Rubella virus. This test is not required to diagnose infertility but every woman should be immune to the rubella virus before planning to conceive. If a woman get the virus in the first 3 months of pregnancy, complications with the fetus can occur like body part dysfunction or defected body part.
7. Thyroid testing: Free T3, thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) and Free T4 are thyroid hormones which if not found during the testing may indicate overactive or underactive thyroid gland. Thyroid dysfunction has the big impact on both ovulation fertility and pregnancy. It is one of the important Infertility Profiling Tests that need to be done.
8- Prolactin: Prolactin is the hormone that is very useful for maintaining fertility in women for the long term. It inhibits reproductive hormones- gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) and follicle stimulating hormone (FSH).
9- AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone): This hormone is produced by the cells in the ovarian follicles.
10- FSH test: It is the main hormone that is responsible for stimulating the production of eggs to conceive. A high FSH level simply indicates poor ovarian reserve and a low level is usually associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS).
11- LH (on day 2 or day 3 of the period): LH is among one of the most important hormones for reproduction needed. If LH has the high levels, these can interfere with the process of menstruation, ovulation that contributes to infertility. It could also indicate PCOS/PCOD.
To know more about how to get pregnant with thyroid, please read our article on Thyroid and How It Affects Pregnancy. In case you know risk factors of pregnancy after 30 then read our article on Tips for Healthy Pregnancy.
Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) is the hormone produced by ovarian follicles. AMH level denotes ovarian reserves and quality of ovarian eggs for a female. It is also known as Mullerian Inhibiting Substance (MIS). Normal AMH levels of 1.5 to 4.0 ng/ml,is associated with good fertility and have been found to have better response rates to fertility treatments.Low AMH level is not a good indicator of fertility.
The uterus is a female reproductive organ and is responsible for different reproductive functions such as implantation, menses, gestation, labor and delivery. It is located in the pelvic area between the bladder and the rectum. It is also receptive to hormonal changes within the female body thus allowing adaption to different stages of reproductive cycle.
Sperm Motility refers to the movement and swimming capability of a sperm. Motility is a standard measurement to know whether a sperm can swim properly inside a womens uterus and fallopian tube. Normal values are more than 50% and below 25% its considered almost infertile.
Normally a count of 40 to 300 million sperms per milliliter of semen is considered healthy and effective for natural pregnancy. In case your sperm count falls less than 20 million, your sperm is not healthy and you need proper treatment along with dietary and lifestyle changes.
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