New Hope offers complete diagnosis of your infertility. No referral is required to schedule your consultation. If you have been trying to conceive for a year with no success, and are having regular menstrual cycles, you may find important information from consulting with a fertility specialist at The New Hope Center.
Once you have a diagnosis, your options will be clear, and as a New Hope patient, you'll be afforded every comfort and convenience knowing you have all treatment options available to you in one state of the art location. That's right, unlike some clinics whose surgical rooms and laboratories are located off-site or in a nearby hospital, our surgical suite, andrology and embryology laboratories are all located on-site and within our main facility. This means no matter what procedure(s) you require, IUI, IVF, ICSI, TESE, or a host of other therapies, The New Hope Center ensures you won't need to go elsewhere for your therapy.
Ultrasound/examination - It is important to rule out general physical problems as well as to evaluate the uterus and ovaries through a combined physical examination and internal ultrasound. Depending on your situation, your fertility specialist may want this done during a certain time of your menstrual cycle.
Physical examination - This commonly involves listening to your heart and lungs and also having a brief pelvic examination.
Ultrasound - This ultrasound is commonly done internally (via the vagina) as it gives much better pictures and information than an abdominal ultrasound about the pelvic anatomy. This ultrasound helps your doctor to identify certain abnormalities of the uterus (e.g. septum, fibroids) and also gives important information about the ovaries (e.g. are there cysts – what kind; how big are the ovaries; how many follicles (egg sacs) do they contain; are the ovaries in the right location?)
Infertility Tests for Women
There is no single best test for infertility. There are a variety of ways (and tests to use), in identifying the reason for a patient (or couple’s) fertility issues.
A pap smear can detect cervical cancer, or other problems with the cervix, as well as different sexually transmitted diseases. Any of these issues can interfere with your ability to become pregnant.
In order to achieve a pregnancy, you must first have a sufficient supply of eggs, and then must be able to release an egg from one or the other ovary, in order for it to be exposed to (and fertilized by) a sperm source. This releasing of an egg is called "ovulation". Certain blood tests can be performed to assess whether or not you are ovulating as you should be.
Tests of Reproductive Organs
In order to get pregnant, the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes, all need to be working properly. Tests used for assessing these organs are:
Hysterosalpingogram or an “HSG” - is an X-ray of your fallopian tubes. The X-ray is performed immediately following the injection of some liquid dye, through the vagina and into the tubes. An HSG allows us to view the patient’s fallopian tubes, looking for defects or blocked areas. The test is typically performed between days 6 to 15 of a patients’ cycle (i.e. ~6 days after starting your menstrual cycle/period through the 15th day).
Pelvic Anatomy Ultrasound with BAFC - an ultrasound probe (or "wand") is placed into the vagina and used to view the patient’s pelvic organs. The ultrasonic sound waves all us to see 2D and/or 3D images of the patient’s ovaries and the uterus. The BAFC (Basal Antral Follicle Count), provides information on the number of basal follicles a patient has on their ovaries at that time.
Hysteroscopy or HSC – the physician uses a thin, flexible tube, with a camera on the end, and inserts it through the cervix and up into the uterine cavity. Tissue samples, such as an Endometrial Biopsy, can be taken at this time. Photographs are taken of the inside of the uterine cavity, and allow us to view any defects that may be present, such as: Endometrial Polyps, Adhesions, or Fibroids. Small defects, can typically be removed at the time of the procedure. Larger defects, such as fibroids, may require a more extensive surgical procedure to remove – such as a Laparoscopy.
Laparoscopy or LSC - the doctor makes small incision in belly and inserts tools, including a camera, to view the entire pelvic region on the outside of the uterus, as well as the patient’s fallopian tubes and ovaries. Problems such as endometriosis, uterine fibroids, and ovarian or tubal cysts can be identified and even corrected at this time.
Other Infertility Tests
Other tests may also be needed or employed to determine your individual fertility issues (or causes).
Other Blood Tests – FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) – FSH is the hormone that triggers your ovaries to prepare an egg to be released each month. High FSH levels indicate low ovarian reserve, or a diminishing egg supply, which typically means a lower chance of getting pregnant. An FSH level is typically checked around Cycle Day 3.
Endometrial Biopsy – your physician will take a small sample of tissue from the lining of the uterus. The tissue is then sent out to a laboratory to be tested. Endometrial cancer or hyperplasia can be diagnosed using this test.
Infertility Testing for Males
Semen Analysis or S.A. – a Semen analysis measures the amount and quality of the sperm present in a semen sample.
To be a bit more specific, the following areas are evaluated:
- Viscosity (resistance to flow)
- Motility (movement of the sperm)
- Number and structure of the sperm
- Volume of semen