Initial Workup at CARE Fertility
Your first visit starts even before you arrive at our center. One of our knowledgeable staff will comprehensively review your partner’s and your health status over the phone at your convenience. This allows your doctor and the staff to make your appointment as productive and informative as possible. If you have already had testing or treatment, obtaining copies of your previous medical records or images from previous studies can be helpful and may allow your doctor to review them in advance.
You can expect to be at the center for about 2 hours, and the visit includes a consultation, physical examination, and ultrasound. The consultation portion allows the doctor to clarify aspects of your health that may suggest possible causes of your delay in conception. The physical exam, which commonly includes a pelvic examination, further allows your specialist to tailor your subsequent evaluation. Standard and 3 dimensional ultrasound is often used to further evaluate the ovaries and uterus for ovarian reserve and problems like endometriotic cysts, fibroids, or polyps.
Additional evaluation is individualized per couple, but at minimum, testing is usually directed at ensuring that all the elements necessary for conception are present. These elements can be simplified into (1) testing for factors that affect egg production, (2) testing for sperm production, and (3) testing for abnormalities in the female reproductive tract.
Blood tests are available to evaluate the hormones and thus the glands that affect egg production, and most of these tests can be drawn at your appointment. Many can even be run at our facility for prompt results.
We suggest that male partners plan for 2 to 7 days of abstinence prior to your appointment to allow for sperm/semen testing at the time of the visit. The amount of semen, the number of sperm, and the percentage of sperm that are moving can identify a male problem and indicate which therapies are viable options. Semen is tested on-site, collection of samples can be done at home or in clean, discreet, dedicated rooms on-site, and testing is also available on weekends.
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is a series of X-rays taken during instillation of dye into the uterus and fallopian tubes that allows assessment of the silhouette of the uterine cavity and the presence of any blockage or dilation in the tubes. This test can be conveniently scheduled on-site, is performed by one of our specialists, and is interpreted immediately.