The three most common causes of infertility in women are:
- Problems with ovulation, including Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Tubal disease
Before we determine the best treatment plan for you, we’ll need to carry out some tests to see whether you have any underlying conditions.
You’ll need a simple blood test to check if you are ovulating normally (producing an egg every month).
This checks the lining of your womb (endometrium) and identifies any conditions that may be affecting it, such as fibroids, polyps, or cysts. An ultrasound also tells us how large your ovaries are, about follicles, and how easy it will be to collect eggs from your ovaries for IVF treatment. It also gives us a baseline report to compare with later in your treatment.
Ovarian Reserve (AMH test)
We usually recommend a simple blood test to measure levels of an ovarian reserve hormone called AMH. The test helps us estimate the number of eggs you still have in your ovaries.
Checking your fallopian tubes and uterus
Additional tests may be needed to check that your fallopian tubes are open (tubal patency), and the condition of your uterus and ovaries. These include:
- A Sonohysterogram or HyCoSy – a relatively non-invasive test, which involves an ultrasound and insertion of a tiny tube into the cervix so we can pass dye through the uterine cavity and tubes.
- Hysterosalpingogram – x-rays to confirm the fallopian tubes are open.
Diagnostic laparoscopy and hysteroscopy
These tests are quite invasive, so usually come last if we still need to know more.
A laparoscopy is performed under general anaesthetic, using a fibre-optic telescope (laparoscope) through a small incision in the umbilicus. A probe is used to view the ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus and pelvic cavity for any abnormalities.
A hysteroscopy uses another fibre optic device to study the uterine cavity for polyps, fibroids, adhesions and any abnormal anatomy.
For more information about female fertility issues, visit our Patient Information Booklets page where you can browse through a number of informative booklets and download the PDF versions. These booklets have been designed to help you manage any pressures associated with fertility problems as well as better inform of you about the possible causes and treatments available.