Fertility tests

This page lists some of the most common initial fertility tests. Your GP can refer you for these tests, which will usually happen in hospital or at a fertility clinic.

Sperm test

In about one-third of cases, fertility problems are due to the male partner. Sometimes, a lack of sperm or sperm that are not moving properly can cause a failure to conceive. Your GP can arrange a sperm test. The male partner will be asked to produce a sperm sample and take it for analysis, probably at your local hospital.
Blood tests to check ovulation

Levels of hormones in a woman's blood are closely linked to ovulation, when the ovaries release an egg into the fallopian tubes. Hormone imbalances can cause ovulation problems, and a blood test can help determine whether this is happening. Going through a phase of not having periods or having irregular periods are also signs of ovulation problems. The most common cause of ovulation problems is polycystic ovarian syndrome.
Test for chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most common STI in the UK. It can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and fertility problems. Your GP can refer you for a test for chlamydia. This can be a urine test or a swab from the urethra (the tube from which urine passes) or the neck of the cervix.
Ultrasound scan

An ultrasound scan can be carried out to check ovaries, womb and fallopian tubes. In a transvaginal ultrasound scan, which takes place in hospital, a small ultrasound probe is placed in the vagina. This scan can help doctors check the health of your ovaries and womb. Certain conditions that can affect the womb, such as endometriosis and fibroids, can prevent pregnancy from occurring. The scan can also check for blockages in your fallopian tubes (the tubes that connect the ovaries and the womb), which may be stopping eggs from travelling along the tubes and into the womb. The Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (HFEA) estimates that around one-third of women with fertility problems have blocked or damaged fallopian tubes.

X-ray of fallopian tubes

This is called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG). Opaque dye is injected through the cervix while you have an X-ray. The dye will help your doctors to see if there are any blockages in your fallopian tubes. Blockages can prevent eggs passing down the tubes to the womb, and so stop pregnancy occurring.

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