Fertility tests are a pivotal part of fertility evaluation and treatment and they are the best ways to assess your fertility levels/health. Several blood tests are available to determine if you, your partner, or both of you have a problem that is causing infertility. Through testing, your IVF specialist can possibly discover what’s preventing you and your partner from achieving pregnancy.
Fertility testing involves both female and male partners, as fertility is a two –way thing and not every fertility test mentioned below will be done for every case, you and your doctor will decide which tests you will have and when. You may be referred to a reproductive endocrinologist (a doctor specializing in fertility) or a urologist (for male infertility) for more in-depth fertility testing.
Note: Your doctor will guide you through tests that are most appropriate for your situation and after the testing is done, about 85% of couples will have some clarity about why they’re having trouble getting pregnant.
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For women and men, fertility test may involve
Based on the symptoms and other existing health factors, IVF specialists in India can often find the cause of infertility by way of tests. Hormone blood tests for female fertility in India are used to reveal an abundance of important insight about a woman’s health and to pinpoint the cause of fertility problems. A comprehensive hormone check examines whether a hormone balance is affecting fertility levels, mood, ovulation and more.
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)- It is a hormone associated with reproduction and the development of eggs in women and sperm in men. FSH levels are used to evaluate whether in vitro fertilization treatment or IVF injections could be effective or not and depending on how high FSH levels are, some IVF doctors in India will discourage IVF treatment because the cycle is more likely to be cancelled or fail.
FSH blood test is like any other blood test, the test is generally simple and free of pain and this test measures the level of follicle-stimulating hormone in your blood. It is made by your pituitary gland and plays a crucial role in sexual development and functioning.
The timing of FSH testing is crucial and most doctors prefer doing the test on day three of your menstrual cycle (day one is the day when your period begins). For women having difficulty getting pregnant, the FSH test in India may be ordered. Elevated follicle-stimulating hormone levels may be a predictor of diminished ovarian reserve and low FSH levels may indicate that your pituitary gland is not working well.
Note: FSH levels can help you understand if you have any underlying reproductive issues related to your fertility.
FSH levels can also be checked for men during fertility testing and elevated FSH levels may indicate testicular failure and the inability to produce mature sperm.
Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
An LH test works closely with another hormone called follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). The test measures the level of luteinizing hormone (LH) in your blood and is often used to find the cause of infertility. LH help regulates your menstrual cycle and ovulation and predicts the timing of ovulation.
Luteinizing hormone is typically elevated in patients with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). You should have your LH level checked at the beginning of the cycle, along with your FSH, to evaluate for ovarian function. LH testing is commonly done in conjunction with other hormone tests, such as FSH and estradiol (a form of the hormone estrogen).
LH is an important hormone that both men and women produce, it plays a role in puberty, menstruation, and fertility. LH levels can indicate a problem with the supply of eggs in a woman’s ovaries and a man’s sperm count, both of which affect fertility. In women, abnormally high levels of it can be a sign of primary ovarian failure.
Note: Reduced production of LH will affect the production of testosterone, as in men, LH primarily stimulates testosterone production, while FSH stimulates the production of sperm.
Your selected IVF clinic in India might order an LH test, if you are having trouble getting pregnant, your periods aren’t regular and to see if you are in menopause and in men your doctor might order the test if you have a lower sex drive, low testosterone levels and low muscle mass. Your normal LH numbers will depend on a few things, like your sex and age too.
Keep in mind:The normal value ranges can differ depending on the IVF lab, so don’t forget to talk to your doctor about what your results mean for you.
Progesterone (P4)-Progesterone plays an important role in pregnancy and it is a blood test that measures a hormone called progesterone, to help determine both the phase of the menstrual cycle and the status of pregnancy. Progesterone is a female sex hormone essential to the menstrual cycle and pregnancy.
Males also produce this hormone but in fewer quantities. In men, the testes produce progesterone and both men and women can have low progesterone levels. A normal p4 or Serum Progesterone Test depends on your age, sex, and health history.
In general, normal progesterone test results fall in the following ranges:
- Men, postmenopausal women and women at the beginning of their menstrual cycle: 1ng/ml or under
- Women in the middle of their menstrual cycle: 5 to 20 ng/ml
Contributors to low progesterone levels are:
- High-stress levels
- Poor diet
- Lack of exercise
Anti- Mullerian Hormone (AMH):
It is a simple test that can measure a woman’s egg reserve by a blood test, it requires 3 ml of blood and is one aspect of fertility tests in India. The test helps you seek out treatment, and plan a future ahead, giving you hope.
This test can help show what your chances are of conceiving a baby, also may be used to help diagnose menstrual disorders or to monitor the health of women with certain types of ovarian cancer. If you are not able to conceive and tired of multiple failures of IVF treatment, then you must undergo AMH tests in India. AMH can help foresee your response to stimulant medications during IVF.
When to take the AMH test?
An AMH test can be done at any time in the menstrual cycle, as your amh levels are stable throughout the cycle. However, being on hormonal contraception can reduce AMH results slightly.
AMH value isn’t always telling! many fertility experts have already observed that AMH doesn’t dictate a woman’s reproductive potential. So, don’t worry if your AMH levels are low, spontaneous pregnancy is still possible and there are many treatment options available to you.
AMH Blood Level
- High (often PCOS) Over 3.0 ng/ml
- Normal Over 1.0 ng/ml
- Low Normal Range 0.7 – 0.9 ng/ml
- Low 0.3 – 0.6 ng/ml
- Very Low Less than 0.3 ng/ml
An AMH level over3.0 ng/ml is usually the indicator of PCOS. It means that there are lots of growing follicles in the ovaries. And this potentially puts you at risk of OHSS (Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome), if you are planning to go for ART (assisted reproductive treatment). An AMH value of 21.98 pmol/I or greater can be taken as satisfactory and anywhere between zero and 0.6 ng/ml will need IVF or the FSH stimulation.
Prolactin – A prolactin test measures the amount of prolactin hormone in your blood. Prolactin is associated with sperm production in men and in non-pregnant women, prolactin helps in maintaining the menstrual cycle. It triggers breast development and milk production in women and it diagnoses missing periods, breast discharge, low sex drive in women and infertility.
Normal values of prolactin are as follows: In Men, less than 20ng/mL.
In non-pregnant women: Less than 25 ng/mL and in pregnant women, it is 80-400 ng/mL.
It is a bit unclear what role prolactin plays in men, but abnormal results have been clearly linked to infertility and sex drive. In females, if your prolactin levels are high, your ovulation may be suppressed. Keep in mind that normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories.
What it is used for?
- Help find the cause of woman’s infertility or menstrual irregularities
- Help find the cause of a man’s low sex drive/ erectile dysfunction
- To diagnose a prolactinoma (a type of tumor that develops in the pituitary gland)
Thyroid- Stimulating Hormone (TSH)- It measures the amount of TSH in the blood. In fertility testing, TSH levels outside the normal range can indicate serious fertility problems. Healthy thyroid function is important for women and men both because in men it can reduce sperm count, thus causing infertility and in women thyroid problems can affect your ovulation, menstrual cycle, and the potential outcomes of IVF treatment in India.
A simple blood test with your selected IVF centre can assess your TSH levels. Depending on the results, your fertility specialist in India may want to perform additional tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Testosterone Test- It checks the level of testosterone in your blood. In males, the testosterone test can help find the reasons for sexual problems, like reduced sex drive, erectile dysfunction and a low testosterone level can also mean a problem with the hypothalamus or pituitary gland, which controls how much testosterone your body makes.
Testosterone is a hormone known as androgen and is primarily known as male sex hormones. Testosterone levels decrease naturally with age in both sexes.
Semen Analysis Test – Semen analysis, also known as a sperm count test measures the quantity and quality of the fluid released during ejaculation. It is probably the first test you will be asked to perform. It is an important fertility test for infertile couples and includes more than just a sperm count. A semen analysis measures three major factors of sperm health including the number of sperm, the shape of the sperm and the movement of the sperm, also known as sperm motility. Normal sperm count ranges between 15 million to 200 million per millimetre of the semen.
Semen analysis also helps assess the success of vasectomy to ensure that there are no more sperms in the semen.
Post-ejaculation urinalysis (urine testing) – This test is recommended to male patients who have been facing problems in conceiving. The test is usually done in case there is a low volume of semen due to retrograde ejaculation, it is a very serious problem and a cause of male infertility.
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