Checking your hormone levels
Hormone level tests may include a blood test to measure a hormone called progesterone, which is produced by the ovaries after an egg is released.
If your periods are irregular, you might be offered a test to measure hormones called gonadotrophins, which stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs.
Checking your ovarian reserve
A number of standard tests are used to check ovarian reserve including:
- blood tests to detect levels of hormones such as follicle-stimulating hormone, Anti-Muellarian hormone), which allows a fertility specialist to estimate the number of eggs you have; or
- an ultrasound scan, which allows the fertility specialist to count the number of activated follicles inside the ovary (known as an Antral Follicle Count, or AFC).
Checking your fallopian tubes
Your doctor is able to diagnose problems with fallopian tubes with a test called a hysterosalpingogram (or HSG). This is a procedure which uses X-rays to look at the fallopian tubes and the uterus.
To avoid the spread of infections in storage containers and during laboratory procedures, everyone undergoing any fertility treatment will need to be screened for signs of HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Chlamydia before treatment.
Screening for these conditions is a strict requirement placed on fertility clinics by the UK’s regulator, the Human Fertilisation & Embryology Authority (or HFEA).