If you are planning on receiving IVF treatment using your own eggs and sperm cells, then you and your partner will need to undergo a series of testing so that an accurate assessment can be made with regards to your fertility levels, which in turn helps your IVF specialist design you a suitable treatment protocol aimed to maximizing success with your treatment.
- Ovarian reserve testing. A number of tests are used when assessing a patient’s ovarian reserves. These include hormone testing such as FSH, LH, Estradiol, Prolactin, TSH and AMH tests. Not all of these tests are aimed at measuring your ovarian reserve level, but they all measure things that are closely inter-related. For more information on what these tests stand for an what their numerical values mean, please refer to “intrerpreting IVF test results” page. Apart from hormone testing, you will be asked to have a trans-vaginal ultrasound scan for ovarian and uterine assessment. The number of antral follicles in each ovary will let your doctor know about your ovarian reserves, when coupled with your hormone levels.
- Semen analysis. A semen analysis is an important part of any infertility check-up. A semen analysis helps assess the quality of a sperm sample with respect to key parameters including sperm volume, concentration (count) per mL, motility, morphology, pH and round cell count. While semen testing is sometimes viewed as less important compared to female screening, it should be kept in mind that around one-third of all infertility cases are a result of sperm problems, which in most cases can be prevented.
- Infectious disease screening. You and your partner will both be screened for infectious diseases. These tests must be performed at our own laboratory due to our high level safety protocols. The purpose of these tests is twofold. One is to make sure we don’t expose your offspring to a known infectious disease. The second, which is very important for an IVF laboratory, is to protect our laboratory from cross-contamination with blood-borne pathogens that can expose gametes and embryos to additional risk of contamination.
- Practice (mock) embryo transfer. A mock transfer test will be performed prior to the actual embryo transfer in order to determine the depth of the uterine cavity and to identify the most optimal technique of placing your embryos into the uterus for maximum success.
Some of the above tests will not be necessary if you are not planning on using your own eggs or sperm cells during the IVF treatment, however, even if own eggs and sperm will not be used, you will still need to undergo testing to make sure that there aren’t other problems that can interfere with a successful pregnancy.