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Are there tests for female infertility?

In many cases, tests can help find the cause(s) of infertility. Testing may begin with a physical exam and questions about past medical problems. Healthcare providers may also conduct other tests, including:

  • Pelvic exam.
  • Ovulation predictor kit that can test blood to determine a woman’s progesterone level on day 21 of her menstrual cycle. This test can tell whether ovulation has occurred and whether the ovaries are producing a normal amount of this hormone.
  • Tests may also measure levels of other hormones that are important for fertility. The levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) in the blood can help determine the quantity of a woman’s remaining egg supply.
  • Tests may also be conducted to examine the fallopian tubes and determine whether there is blockage that prevents movement of the egg from the ovaries. These may include:
    • X-ray hysterosalpingogram (HSG): A health care provider injects a dye into the uterus through the cervix and simultaneously takes X-ray pictures to see if the dye moves freely through the fallopian tubes.
  • Chromopertubation is similar to an HSG but is done in the operating room at the time of a laparoscopy, which is a procedure where a small camera is inserted into the abdomen—belly area—to examine the fallopian tubes, ovaries, and uterus. A woman’s uterus may be evaluated to look for fibroids or other anatomic abnormalities using the following procedures:
    • Transvaginal ultrasound: An ultrasound that looks at the internal organs using sound waves. A wand inserted into the vagina applies sound waves to the body.  This provides a better view of the female reproductive organs, including the uterus and ovaries.
    • Hysteroscopy: A hysteroscope is a long, thin camera that is inserted through the vagina and into the uterus.
    • Saline sonohysterogram: A health care provider injects saline into the cervix to fill the uterus. Once the uterine cavity is full, it is easier to see its inner lining. The pelvic organs are visualized with transvaginal ultrasound.

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