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What Is The Right Time To Get Your Fertility Tested If You Are Trying To Conceive?

In case the results indicate an underlying fertility issue, there is absolutely no need to get discouraged.

If you do have any medical condition, getting pregnant will be harder. Here are a few fertility tests that men and women must undergo to have a clear picture of their sexual health.

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : January 25, 2022 7:31 PM IST

Marriage brings about huge changes in people's life. The couple embarks on an exciting new chapter of their life. Eventually when they have settled into their new roles, they start thinking of starting a family. Once this is decided, it is natural to hope that it happens quickly. Often people see their friends and family members conceiving quite easily and think they should too. But every couple is different, every situation is different. It is important that couples know what the normal timeline is, so they do not get unnecessarily worried. Acquiring the right information and having an open conversation can help the situation in more ways than one can imagine.

Factors that determine chances of conception

  1. Age of the female partner
  2. Timing and frequency of Intercourse
  3. Reproductive Health of the couple
  4. Medical History of the couple
  5. Lifestyle factors

Normal timeline of conception for couples of different ages

Usually, couples will be successful in conceiving after 12 to 24 months of regular unprotected sex. But this duration changes with increasing age. Depending on your age, your fertility specialist will advise you to undergo tests to detect any underlying issues

  1. If you are younger than 35 years of age, you can get your fertility tested if you cannot conceive after 12 months of regular unprotected sex
  2. Between 35 to 40 years of age, it is advisable to get tested if you are not able to conceive after 6 months of regular unprotected sex
  3. Above 40 years: Since at this age, fertility would have declined quite a bit, it is better to get tested before you start trying to conceive to know the status of your fertility.

The above time limits are for people who do not have any reproductive or other health issues. If you do have any medical condition, do not wait for a year as getting pregnant will be harder. Get yourself tested immediately if you have

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  1. Reproductive issues like irregular menstrual cycles, PCOS, Pelvic inflammatory disease, thyroid issues, fibroids, etc
  2. History of surgery for ovarian cyst or fibroids or any lower abdominal surgery
  3. History of Chemotherapy or Radiotherapy for treatment of cancer
  4. Have had a history of miscarriages
  5. The male has problems like getting an erection or problems in ejaculation
  6. Injury to the scrotum or testicles or Inguinal hernia surgery

The tests availablefor men and women

It is crucial that both the partners get tested. The doctors will take a record of your general and sexual health history. They will ask information around your medical history (any surgeries or procedures you may have had), lifestyle habits like smoking or drinking, your use of birth control, frequency of intercourse etc. After this you will be recommended certain tests for women and men

Here are a few fertility tests that women must undergo to have a clear and informed picture of their physical and sexual health:

  • STDs testing
  • Ultrasound to look for reproductive health issues like fibroids, ovarian cysts etc.
  • Antral follicle count to know the number of eggs present in the ovaries
  • Tests for thyroid or hormonal problems
  • Tests to check levels of a variety of hormones like FSH, estradiol, prolactin etc.
  • Tubal Patency Test

If these tests show any indication of underlying problems, you might undergo some more invasive tests like diagnostic laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, etc.

Men usually must undergo only semen analysis for fertility testing by providing a semen sample to the lab. Some other tests may include:

  • STD testing
  • General physical exam
  • Tests to check hormone levels like FSH, LH testosterone, prolactin, thyroid hormones, etc
  • Ultrasound to check scrotum and seminal vesicles

How to cope with negative tests results

In case the results indicate an underlying fertility issue, there is absolutely no need to get discouraged. There are plenty of treatments available from hormonal treatments to Intrauterine insemination (IUI) to In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) or Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). The treatment will depend on the cause of infertility. Your doctor will be able to provide the necessary guidance and counselling. With the help of various assisted reproductive technologies available, many couples have fulfilled their dream of becoming parents despite facing fertility problems.

The article is written byDr. Pallavi Prasad, Fertility Consultant at Nova IVF Fertility, Basaveshwaranagar, Bengaluru.

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