The infertility evaluation is conducted over the course of a few menstrual cycles. During the first visit, your gynecologist will perform a physical exam along with an extensive medical and sexual history from both you and your male partner. Topics covered include medication, illnesses, past pregnancies, family birth defects, use of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs, occupation and past illnesses or surgeries.
You should also be prepared to answer questions concerning the types of birth control you have used in the past, how long you have been trying to become pregnant, frequency of sex, past sexual history and any products or lubricants you use during sex.
During the infertility evaluation process a woman is asked to track her basal body temperature to determine whether or not she is ovulating, since body temperature rises slightly with ovulation.
Medical testing for infertility may include urine tests to look for the presence of luteinizing hormone, blood tests to measure progesterone, prolactin and other hormones that play a role in ovulation, thyroid function testing along with imaging tests and procedures to evaluate the health of reproductive organs.
Men may be asked to undergo semen analysis to determine sperm count and ultrasound of the scrotum and ducts and tubes that carry semen.
If a problem is identified during the infertility evaluation, your OBGYN will discuss treatment options at that time. Even when a cause of infertility can’t be identified, it is important not to become discouraged since many couples still go on to become pregnant.