Infertility Tests And Medication

Infertility is a common problem for many couples. But, thanks to advancements in medical technology, it is highly treatable. The first guideline for every couple is recognizing that they have a problem. Prior to consulting a doctor there are several easy do-at-home tests to find out the problem. After these, if you feel you are infertile, speak with your doctor about your infertility problem. He will guide you and advise you on what treatment options can help you best.

Do-at-home Tests:
Basal Body Temperature Chart
You can get a basal body temperature thermometer with special graph paper. It helps you in determining whether you are releasing an egg each month or not. Note the results of your temperature taken on the first day of your period and also each time you have intercourse on the special graph paper. Do this for at least three months. At the end of every month, if you notice that the temperature in the morning is lower in the first 10 to 14 days of the month than it is in the last 10 to 14 days, then it is likely that you are producing an egg.

Ovulation Predictor Kit
This kit tests the presence of the hormone LH in your urine. LH rises temporarily just before ovulation. The indicator stick in your kit tracks it by changing its color. Begin testing your urine on cycle day 10, using cycle day 1 as the first day of your menstrual cycle. Continue testing until you find a color change on the indicator stick.

Diagnostic Tests:
Blood tests
A series of hormone tests can help in finding the cause of infertility. These tests are done to evaluate various human organs – the pituitary gland, thyroid gland, adrenal gland and ovaries. Tests for FSH, estradiol and progesterone done at a specific time in menstrual cycle can help. Some tests like tests for prolactin have to be done early in the morning before a woman takes food.

Post-coital test
This test will be done around the time of ovulation. A woman having intercourse in the evening should report to her doctor for the test the following morning.

Endometrial Biopsy
A woman should undergo this test just before she expects her period. It measures ovulation by evaluating the effect of monthly hormones on uterine lining tissue.

Hysteroscopy and Laparoscopy
These surgical tests allow looking inside and outside the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes.

Treatment Options
Some common and effective treatments for treating infertility are outlined below.

Intrauterine insemination
It is the placement of sperm into the uterine cavity. It can be done around the time of ovulation in a normal menstrual cycle. It can also be done in conjunction with medicines that can stimulate the ovary.

Ovulation induction
A woman takes fertility medicines to cause the release of one or more eggs from ovaries. One such medication, clomiphene citrate, can be taken by mouth. Other medications like gonadotropins have to be given by injection just under the skin.

In vitro fertilization
To undergo in vitro fertilization, first a woman has to take ovulation-inducing medications to induce the maturation of some of her eggs. After gathering these eggs from her ovaries by a minor surgical procedure, they are combined with her partner’s sperm in a special dish. The dish will then be placed in an incubator to enable fertilization. After allowing the embryos to grow for 3 to 5 days, they are placed in the woman’s uterus.

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