Female fertility can be tested through various methods including blood tests and special imaging, among others.
Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) testing evaluates a woman’s egg quality and ovarian function. The FSH is what helps control the menstrual cycle and egg production process. Testing for this hormone is done on day three of the menstrual cycle.
Estradiol testing is done along with FSH. Estradiol is a vital form of estrogen and testing will also measure the maturity of follicles.
Clomiphene citrate challenge test (CCCT) gathers an additional assessment of the ovarian reserve. First, it measures FSH and estradiol levels on day three. On days five through nine, the patient takes doses of Clomid, and the FSH level is measures for a second time on day ten.
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is performed by injecting a special dye into the uterus and taking an x-ray image. This allows physicians to view the path the dye takes through the fallopian tubes and identify any obstructed or abnormal parts of the route. Results may identify problems with the fallopian tube opening or shape of the uterine that may be causing infertility. The procedure lasts about 45 minutes and is performed between day six and 12 of the menstrual cycle.
Sonohysterogram (saline infused ultrasound) is performed to evaluate the inside of the uterus cavity. A small amount of solution is injected into the uterus so that the physician can view an improved ultrasound image.
Prolactin hormone is found to be elevated in pregnant or breastfeeding women who are producing milk. If the prolactin hormone is elevated in a woman who is not pregnant, however, is may cause the menstrual cycle to be absent, resulting in infertility.
Hysteroscopy allows the physician to view the inside of the uterus with a small telescope and identify cysts or abnormalities.
Endometrial biopsy removes a sample of the uterus lining. It is analyzed under a microscope for abnormal cells, possible infection and hormone levels. This biopsy can determine if the uterus is able to support a pregnancy, the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding and can even lead to diagnosing endometrial hyperplasia or uterine cancer.