When Should You and Your Partner Get Tested for Infertility?

If you and your partner are trying to have a baby but haven’t been successful, you may start to wonder if you should do a fertility test. Experts like Fertility Point’s Dr. Faith Muchira advises that it is time to check with a fertility doctor if you have had regular sex without birth control for a period of 12 months unsuccessfully trying your luck to conceive, especially if you are under the age of 35 years.

When should you see a doctor?

It is quite difficult to swiftly conclude that you are in infertile. Apart from failure to conceive, there are no other known signs of infertility. The best way to find out if you are infertile is to undergo a fertility test in a credible fertility clinic like Fertility Point.

It should however be noted that there are certain health problems that can prevent you from getting pregnant. Waiting for more than one year before talking to your doctor is not recommended, if either your partner or you has a history of the following complications: Cystic fibrosis, irregular periods, repeated miscarriages, injured scrotum and/or testes, erectile dysfunction, problems ejaculating and thyroid problems. Dr. Muchira advise women aged 35 years and above to go for infertility testing after at least six months of unsuccessfully trying to conceive.

The Process of Fertility Testing

Infertility testing starts with a physician discussing with you about your medical history and lifestyle as well as doing a physical examination to find the cause of your fertility problems. They will ask questions and would want to know things about you and your partner like: Your medical history including short term and long term conditions such as surgeries and the medicines you take, if you’ve had contacts with chemicals or radiations whether at home, work or school, and whether you drink alcohol, take or drink beverages containing caffeine, smoke cigarettes or use illicit drugs.

The doctors will also ask questions about your sex life like: How often you have sex, your usage of birth controls, any problems having sex and if you have had sexually transmitted infections among others. They will also have questions about things connected to your reproductive health such as: Have you ever conceived before? The history of your periods over the past one year?  Do you have changes in blood flow or appearance of large blood clots in your menstrual flow? Have you ever seen a doctor for any infertility concerns?

Fertility Testing

After consultation, the next step towards fertility testing in a woman starts with a physician conducting a pelvic examination. They may also use an ultrasound to check your uterus and ovaries then conduct a blood test to specifically analyze your hormonal levels. At times, you may be required to track the patterns of your ovulation.

If no answer is found in the first exams, other tests are done later. A special test known as hysterosalpingogram (HSG) can be conducted to find out if the fallopian tubes are locked or open.

Fertility tests in men at Fertility Point Clinic in Nairobi involves both physical examination and semen analysis. The main objective of the test is to establish: Sperm count, the speed that sperms move, the shape and size of the sperms, the quality of sperms and the quantity of seminal fluid. Besides the above, a doctor may order other tests to check for fertility problems as there is no single best test for infertility.

Treatment of Infertility

There are various ways of treating infertility. The most suitable treatment depends on the cause of infertility. In some instances, only one partner requires treatment while in other circumstances, both couples need a combination of treatment. Infertility treatment may involve the following: use of medicine, change of lifestyle, surgical procedures and hormonal therapy. If your sperms or eggs have any form of abnormality, then you will use eggs or sperms from a donor. The most popular treatment for infertility are in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intrauterine insemination (IUI) which are both available at Fertility Point in Nairobi Kenya.

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