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 Rotunda IVF, 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.
If you’re trying to get pregnant now, or planning to in the future, you might want to consider fertility testing to identify any potential risk factors you or your partner may have.
Female Fertility Testing
There are many different factors that can affect the fertility. For the female a combination of blood tests and ultrasound scans can help your fertility specialist identify any underlying issues that might be causing pregnancy delay.
- 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.
- Anti-Müllerian Hormone (AMH)
AMH is produced only in small ovarian follicles and blood levels have been used to attempt to measure the size of the pool of growing follicles in women. Research shows that the size of this pool of growing follicles is heavily influenced by the size of the pool of microscopic follicles you developed as a baby. Therefore, AMH blood levels are thought to reflect the size of the remaining egg supply - or “ovarian reserve”.
With increasing age the size of the pool of remaining microscopic follicles decreases. Likewise, blood AMH levels and the number of ovarian follicles visible on ultrasound also decreases. Women with many small follicles, (such as those with polycystic ovaries) have high AMH hormone values while women that have very few remaining follicles and those that are close to menopause have low anti-mullerian hormone levels.
It should be remembered that measuring AMH alone cannot predict whether a woman is able to become pregnant – there are other important factors that have to be taken into account including lifestyle, past medical history, anatomic and genetic abnormalities, quality of sperm and other male factors - but it is still considered the best hormone to help identify your potential long term fertility. An AMH test is performed by a simple blood test.
- Ultrasound Scan
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.
- SIS (Saline Sonography)
An ultrasound procedure using contrast fluid – usually a salty water solution known as saline – to assess the fallopian tubes for blockages and the uterine cavity for abnormalities such as polyps or sub-mucous fibroids.
Male Fertility Testing
There are many different factors that can affect the fertility. Male infertility accounts for about 40% of all fertility issues. A semen analysis is the most important test used in the diagnosis of male infertility.
- Semen Analysis
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.
- Antisperm Antibodies
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.
When to seek help?
If you have been trying to conceive for more than 12 months (or 6 months if you are over 35 years of age) without success, we recommend you book an appointment with a fertility specialist who can conduct some simple fertility tests.