Initial Screening Tests
Patients who are being referred to MFC for fertility treatment may be asked to have the following tests completed prior to your initial fertility appointment:-
- Day 3 – FSH
- Day 3 - Testosterone, SHBG, LH, Androstenedione, DHEAS, HbA1c
- TPO Antibodies
- Progesterone (7 days before your next period)
- Smear test (completed within last 3 years)
- Semen Analysis at MFC (completed within the previous year)
On the twenty-first day of your cycle, your progesterone levels may also be tested. The body increases its production of progesterone after releasing an egg, so a test will confirm whether ovulation has taken place.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
A blood test will measure whether appropriate quantities of FSH are being secreted by your pituitary gland. FSH stimulates the follicles within your ovaries to begin preparing for the release of the egg. High levels of FSH are generally an indicator that egg reserves are running low.
Luteinizing hormone (LH)
Lutenizing hormone controls egg development. During ovulation, levels of LH surge in order to trigger the release of the egg. Consistently high levels of this hormone in your body can prevent this increase, and might also be an indicator of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome.
A blood test will also measure levels of prolactin. Prolactin is a stress hormone that is released by the pituitary gland. High levels of prolactin can prevent the release of FSH and LH. Prolactin is the hormone that also eventually stimulates the production of breast milk.
Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH)
AMH is produced by ovarian follicles containing eggs. The levels of AMH found in the blood could be an indicator of a woman's ovarian reserve. As the level of Anti-Müllerian hormone found in the blood does not fluctuate throughout the month, it could be an accurate predictor of whether a woman is still fertile and how many eggs she has left in her ovaries.
Additional Blood Tests
You may be asked to undertake the following blood tests while in treatment:-
Karyotype is a test to identify and evaluate the size, shape, and number of chromosomes in a sample of blood. It can be used to determine whether a chromosome defect is preventing a woman from becoming pregnant or causing miscarriages.
Cystic Fibrosis Gene (CF)
CF is the most common recessively inherited genetic disease of Caucasians, with approximately 1 in 2500 newborns affected. In Ireland, the carrier frequency is reported to be as high as 1 in 19. Carriers are not affected with the disorder but are at risk of having affected children. Children born to two carrier parents have a 25% chance of being affected and a 50% chance of being carriers. The test looks at a persons DNA taken from a blood test.