If a couple if having trouble conceiving, it can be a huge strain on their relationship, especially if the reasons for the problems are unknown. If a couple has been trying to get pregnant for months or even years with no results, it may be time to get tested for infertility. Here are some ways that women and men can get tested to see if they are infertile.
One way women can find out if they are infertile is by getting a hysterosalpingogram done. Fertility specialist Dr. Kari Sproul says this test will determine if a woman’s fallopian tubes are open and will check to see if there is anything wrong with the uterus that may be preventing her from getting pregnant. In this test, a dye is put into the woman’s vagina. It then passes into the uterus and through the fallopian tubes. X-ray pictures are taken as the dye passes through, and these pictures will show if something is blocking the tubes that would prevent a woman from ovulating or would prevent the sperm from meeting the egg. The pictures will also show if the problem is an abnormal shape and structure in the uterus, or if there are polyps or adhesions in the uterus. The hysterosalpingogram is a good first step for detecting any problems within the woman.
To test the men for infertility, a semen analysis is done. According to fertility specialist Dr. Richard Marrs, the man’s sperm is tested to see if its morphology is normal. Men are also questioned about their lifestyle, including if they smoke and how much stress they’re under at work, because these outside factors can lead to a lowered sperm count. The doctor will analyze the man’s semen sample to see if they have a high or low sperm count and to test the sperm’s shape and movements. Sometimes men with a normal sperm count can have infertility problems, or men with high or low sperm counts can be fertile. Doctors will sometimes ask men to take a second infertility test to double check the results.
The first step any man or woman who suspects they are infertile should take is to talk to their doctor. Their doctor will recommend these tests for them and will help talk the couple through the results. Testing for infertility can determine if the couple is truly having a problem or if it is just taking them a little longer than normal to conceive.