Are you IVF ready? Know the tests you may need before you begin

Many women lean on IVF to help in their chances of conception and a healthy pregnancy. Find out who needs IVF and what tests need to be done before undertaking it.
IVF tests
You must undergo proper tests before IVF. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Dr Anindita Singh Updated: 23 Oct 2023, 11:11 am IST
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Looking for treatments that can assist and raise your chances of conception and a healthy pregnancy? Think of intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF). In IVF, the egg is removed from the woman’s womb, externally fertilised, and then returned to the uterus where the rest of the development happens. It doesn’t seem like you have to do much and leave it all in the hands of an expert. But there are always questions that pop up in your mind such as how long to wait before undergoing IVF or whether the process is right for me. So, to clear out some confusion and answer some of your queries, let’s take a deeper look at how this process works.

In what circumstances can you opt for IVF?

  1. Advanced maternal age

There are some women who choose to focus on work and decide to have kids late. Women aged 35 and above come under advanced maternal age where they might have trouble conceiving. The egg reserves of women decline with age, and the success rate of fertility treatments also is generally inversely proportional to the age of the women, just like their fertility. Hence, consulting your fertility consultant on time matters a lot for fertility treatments.

endometrial receptivity array
There are many reasons why women go for IVF. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Failed IUI

IUI is the initial method tried by couples whose sperm have trouble getting to the uterus. But if three or more attempts fail, it’s time to think about IVF.

3. Medical conditions affecting reproductive health

Infertility can also be brought on by medical problems including diabetes and heart disease. Another possibility that needs to be ruled out is female hypothyroidism, PCOD which makes it hard for women to conceive.

4. Lifestyle conditions

It is important to consider the lifestyle conditions of both the partners. A bad lifestyle that includes smoking, drinking too much alcohol, being sedentary, and abusing drugs should be considered because they might contribute to poor sexual performance and make it difficult to get pregnant.

fertility problems
Couples with sexual intimacy issues should check with a fertility consultant. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Sexual intimacy issues with the partner

Some couples have sexual intimacy issues, where they are unable to consummate their marriage. It could be due to fear of having sexual intercourse or vaginismus among other things. Couples having these kinds of issues can consult a fertility consultant who can guide them with the right treatment.

Tests you need to know about before going for IVF

A lot of factors determine the success rate of your treatment and most of them are associated with your health. Your doctor might also ask you to go for a few tests before your treatment that can help them determine the chances of success.

  1. Ovarian reserve testing

When deciding on your IVF treatment, a doctor might ask you to have a blood test called ovarian reserve testing. This is used to assess whether or not there are enough healthy eggs in your ovary and can help decide if you should undergo IVF.

2. Preimplantation genetic test

Generally this test is not compulsory, but it is recommended for couples having had a history of miscarriage or if one or both the couples carry genes of thalassemia, down syndrome, etc. Preimplantation genetic tests refer to the genetic profiling of the embryos before implantation. These are the processes by which fertility specialists test an embryo for genetic and chromosomal problems that can be leading to miscarriages, through his doctors are allowed to transfer healthy normal embryos to the uterus which will reduce the risk of a failed pregnancy.

3. Sperm evaluation

Evaluating the state of sperm is a crucial factor when it comes to IVF. Sperm samples are tested for their concentration, motility, and shape.

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4. Prolactin test

Prolactin is the hormone that is associated with the production of breast milk. Too much prolactin can obstruct conception. Analysing this would help doctors decide if any drug treatment is needed to maintain the levels.

5. Tubal patency test

HyCoSy, also known as Hysterosalpingo Contrast Sonography, is a procedure that helps doctors determine the state of fallopian tubes. This process helps us in knowing if the fallopian tubes are operational or not.

6. Tests for infectious diseases

Doctors might ask patients to go for a few screening tests to ensure that they are not suffering from any underlying medical condition like HIV, hepatitis B, Chlamydia, Rubella, varicella, etc. These diseases would pose a high risk for the growing fetus.

While going for IVF, it is important for both the partners to have a healthy lifestyle and diet. Couples should look after their emotional well-being as well. Time is of great essence when it comes to fertility treatments, so do not delay in consulting your fertility consultant.

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About the Author

Dr Anindita Singh Fertility Consultant Nova IVF Fertility East, Kolkata ...Read More

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