Having a baby is an occasion that many couples look forward to. However, both men and women have problems with infertility. If you’re trying to get pregnant now, or planning to in the future, it’s wise to identify any potential risk factors you or your partner may have. The sooner you detect, address and treat problems that may affect fertility, the better your chances of achieving a successful pregnancy.
There are many different factors that can affect the fertility. There are various screening tests that can be done to evaluate fertility for both women and men. At The Rotunda IVF Clinic, we offer a range of fertility tests to look at some of these key issues, hopefully at an early stage when any problems found can be investigated in detail and acted on.
Female Fertility Testing
Fertility Blood Tests
Our clinical team requests blood tests, which help us to understand how your ovaries are performing. The results allow our doctors to make the best decision as to what medication you may need.
At Rotunda IVF, we have state of the art ultrasound scan machines that give us clear images of the uterus and ovaries. Ultrasonography is painless and doesn’t involve an anaesthetic. The clarity of these images, allow our clinical team to easily look for any uterine problems that might exist. We continue using ultrasound technology throughout your treatment cycle for to monitor your progress.
The Hysterosalpingogram procedure allows our doctors to see both the shape of the uterine cavity and the shape and patency of the fallopian tubes. A radio-opaque material is inserted and observed to confirm if the fluid flows through the fallopian tubes.
Male Fertility Testing
We perform an analysis of the semen to find out whether the sperm encounters any reproductive obstacles. Semen analysis measures the amount of semen produced. It determines the number and quality (concentration, motility, volume, structure) of sperm in the sample. Sperm analysis helps us to identify the best form of treatment. For the most reliable test results, and to ensure the highest sperm count for our testing purposes, we advise you to avoid any sexual activity that results in ejaculation for 3 to 5 days beforehand. Testing at Rotunda IVF is discreet. Samples are analysed within sixty minutes. Your results are discussed during consultation with one of our clinical team or sent to your GP, depending on your preference.
DNA Integrity Testing
DNA provides the genetic instructions for all living things. It is tightly packed into the head of the sperm to avoid damage. However, in some cases the DNA becomes broken or fragmented and this can lead to reduced fertility. Assessing DNA integrity for some people allows for better treatment selection. If the level is high, we can amend your treatment plan to reduce the impact on embryo quality.
Our immune systems generate antibodies to protect us, and usually sperm cells are hidden from the immune system in the testes. However, sometimes this protective barrier can be compromised by inflammation due to mumps, testicular injury, or surgery. As a result, the immune system sees the sperm for the first time and develops antibodies against them, affecting their quality and their ability to swim freely. At Rotunda IVF, we can carry out semen analysis in our laboratory. If the antibodies presence impact significantly, our embryologist will try to separate out the good quality sperm from the poorer quality. In most cases, we can retrieve enough sperm to allow us to perform IVF or IUI. If the antibodies have reduced the availability of good quality sperm then ICSI will be the recommended treatment option.