How are fertility conditions diagnosed?

An initial evaluation for infertility should include a number of diagnostic procedures:

  • Your doctor will take the medical histories of both partners, including questions about pelvic infections, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), menstrual cycle length, prior obstetric history and surgeries.
  • Blood tests will be done to screen for certain hormonal abnormalities in both partners.
  • An assessment of the woman will be done to find out how often she ovulates.
  • A semen analysis will be done to determine the quantity and quality of the man's sperm.
  • Your doctor will do a hysterosalpingogram (HSG). During this test, a special dye is injected into the uterus through the vagina during an x-ray. This helps your doctor see both the uterine cavity and the fallopian tubes to see if they are open.
  • A transvaginal ultrasound allows your doctor to look at the thickness of your endometrium (mucous membrane lining the uterus) and for any abnormalities such as polyps, fibroids or ovarian cysts to see how well an egg could implant in the uterine lining.
  • Newer tests such as FemVue, which infuses the fallopian tubes with a saline-air mixture during a sono-hysterosalpingogram, can also determine whether the fallopian tubes are functioning properly.
  • During a laparoscopy, the surgeon inserts a thin telescope through a small incision below the belly button to view the outside of the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes. If the surgeon finds endometriosis or adhesions, he or she can remove them during the procedure. Laparoscopy is usually performed under general anesthesia.

Insurance coverage varies for these diagnostic procedures. While some plans may cover some tests and specialized treatments, most are far from comprehensive. Check your insurance coverage carefully so you understand what tests are covered during the diagnosis and treatment stages.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.