Egg reserve screening and hormonal testing
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Since 40% of infertile couples are affected by male factor infertility, sperm testing is important to predicting sperm function.
CARE Fertility uses the cutting-edge Computer Assisted Semen Analysis (CASA) system to obtain an accurate estimate of the number and percentage of sperm that are properly functioning. CASA gives us the most accurate and reliable laboratory results available and is one of the most advanced diagnostic tools for male infertility today. It is far more accurate than the manual analysis more commonly used by commercial laboratories.
CASA is used to study recorded video images of sperm through a powerful microscope. The images are digitized and analyzed by a high-speed computer system (up to 60 frames per second) so that the motility of individual sperm (and sperm populations) can be analyzed. The CASA system is so precise that it enables our Andrologists to study other characteristics of sperm motion, such as path velocity, linearity, and amplitude of lateral head displacement.
The function of sperm is to put the man’s DNA into the woman’s egg(s). All men have some fragmentation in the DNA of their sperm and that is normal. However, when the fragmentation exceeds a threshold level, the sperm is less likely to create a healthy viable embryo. This leads to lower pregnancy rates and higher rates of miscarriage.
CARE Fertility performs all hormonal testing on site using the Roche system, a modern instrument that enables us to obtain results more quickly. Unlike commercial laboratories that batch blood tests and run them on a daily basis or less frequently, CARE Fertility can obtain results 1 to 2 hours after the blood sample is obtained.
We offer the following key hormonal tests.
AMH is produced by the ovaries and is the most widely used clinical test to measure a woman’s egg reserve or egg supply. Women are born with all of the eggs they will ever have. As women age, the egg count decreases and AMH levels decline, although the rate of decline varies between women. Ovarian surgery also causes a decline in AMH levels.
Estradiol is produced by the developing follicle(s) in the ovary and is used to monitor response to fertility medications during an IVF cycle. This female infertility test is also used as a baseline measurement prior to beginning IVF, frozen embryo transfer cycles and IUI cycles.
FSH is important for both men and women’s reproductive health. This signal from the brain causes follicles to grow or sperm to be produced.
hCG is measured to determine if a woman is pregnant and is used to assess the early stages of pregnancy.
Luteinizing hormone rises at mid-cycle and is involved in ovulation. For men, LH causes testosterone production.
Progesterone is produced by the ovary after ovulation. Progesterone causes key changes in the tissue lining the womb to make it receptive for the embryo to implant and grow. Progesterone continues to be produced throughout pregnancy.
Testosterone is a hormone made by the ovary in women and the testes in men. Increased testosterone production may be present in women with PCOS. Increased amounts of testosterone may cause some women to experience increased facial or body hair (hirsutism).
In men, naturally produced testosterone is needed for sperm production. It is important to understand that men who take testosterone injections are likely to experience decreased production of sperm and decreased fertility.
Sonograms in every exam room make the testing process more convenient for the patient, and allows our physicians to quickly make critical decisions about a patient’s fertility treatment cycle. These images are used for a variety of purposes throughout a patient’s fertility evaluation and treatment.
A transvaginal pelvic sonogram is one of the most important tests for the initial evaluation. This can help us detect different potential problems with the anatomy or structure of the uterus.
Sonograms are also used to measure or assess a woman’s egg reserve or “egg count,” to monitor the response or effectiveness of fertility drugs during IVF or IUI cycles, and to monitor early pregnancy.
A sonogram is also used in the IVF egg retrieval process so that a guided needle can be used to aspirate mature follicles.
Transfer of embryos to the uterus is also done with transabdominal ultrasound guidance.
This test involves the injection of a dye through the cervix under x-ray (fluoroscopic monitoring) to show potential problems with the womb or fallopian tubes. The HSG is the “gold standard” for checking the patency or openness of the fallopian tubes. The size and shape of the uterus (womb) is also checked during the test.
CARE Fertility offers this test onsite at both of our locations for greater comfort and convenience and less cost than fertility clinics that send patients to an offsite radiologist.
The test is performed in a familiar environment.
Our physicians can use a local paracervical block to ensure our patients are as comfortable as possible throughout the test.
We can obtain the results more quickly without having to wait for a radiologist report.
It alleviates the expense of having to pay a separate facility fee and a radiologist fee.
This test is the most accurate way to check to see if there are any problems inside the uterus where the embryo implants and the baby begins to grow and develop. Hysteroscopic evaluation can be used to diagnose conditions that contribute to female infertility and recurrent miscarriage.
CARE Fertility can perform diagnostic hysteroscopy onsite in our clinic.