How are the causes of infertility identified?

In many cases, the man will be asked to undergo a semen analysis. This test will evaluate the number and health of his sperm. A blood test can check his level of testosterone and other male hormones if needed.

The female evaluation may include an examination of the uterus and ovaries (pelvic exam). The doctor also may order:

  • A blood test to check hormone levels or provide information for genetic testing
  • The use of basal body temperature charts or ovulation predictor kits
  • An ultrasound (with or without saline injection into the uterus) to assess the anatomy of the uterus/ovaries
  • Hysterosalpingography (HSG): This procedure involves the placement of dye into the cervix that then travels up through the fallopian tubes. Then an X-ray is done to reveal if the fallopian tubes are open or blocked.
  • Laparoscopy: In this procedure, a laparoscope is inserted into the abdomen through a small cut that is made near the belly button. The laparoscope is a thin tube that includes a small camera. It enables the doctor to view the outside of the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes to detect abnormal growths. These would include fibroids and endometriosis. This procedure and HSG may be helpful in finding scar tissue and tubal blockages.

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