Basic Fertility Tests to Help You Get Started
Posted by Gabriella Toth
At Whole Family Health we work with women and couples to achieve their dream of having a healthy baby. We work with couples at all stages of this journey, whether a couple is just starting out or in need of support during IVF or other assisted reproductive therapies.
It is helpful if you haven’t already done so to have these basic tests done to rule out any obvious problems. We also recommend a full physical as well.
The following information comes from Dr. Jason Hitkari from the Genesis Fertility Centre in Vancouver.
Western Fertility Work-up
It is important that patients get some testing done before deciding on treatment (be it Western or TCM) because if there is something significantly wrong (such as no sperm or blocked Fallopian tubes) it is helpful if all your doctors know.
So, I will try and encapsulate what work-up we perform at Genesis Fertility Centre. Keep in mind that part of the Western approach is to perform a detailed medical history and this should be done with a Fertility Specialist when possible. It isn’t fair, but most of the testing is of the female.
Work-Up for Women:
1. Blood Tests on Day 3 of your menstrual cycle (third day of bleeding) include: FSH, LH, estradiol, TSH (to test thyroid function), prolactin.
2. Blood Tests that Health Canada requires before doing fertility treatments include: HIV, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, syphilis testing.
3. Blood Tests to ensure that you are immune to: Rubella, Varicella IgG
4. Women should also have an HSG (hysterosalpingogram) done. This is an x-ray of the uterus and Fallopian tubes. It is not a pleasant test as there can be some cramping but it is an important test. There is also a small risk of infection from this test.
Work-Up for Men:
Semen analysis and blood work that includes: hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV.