Most fertility screening is uncomfortable if not downright painful. Some of the easiest screening you will go through involves having blood work done. Your doctor will draw some blood, analyze it, and then call you with the results. For the woman’s side of fertility screening, that’s about as easy as it gets.
What kinds of hormones will the doctor be examining through your blood work?
This test helps to evaluate whether your ovaries are functioning correctly. See Estradiol – test for more on this topic.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
FSH is involved in the production of eggs. The level varies throughout the menstrual cycle but should be highest right before ovulation. See Follicle-Stimulating Hormone for more on this topic.
Luteinizing Hormone (LH)
A woman’s level of LH is supposed to surge right before she ovulates. Screening the LH surge can help to evaluate a woman’s egg supply. This test can also be run on men in evaluating their sperm count. See Luteinizing Hormone for more on this topic.
The ovaries produce progesterone when they release a mature egg. Progesterone helps prepare the lining of the uterus for implantation. Progesterone also nourishes the fertilized egg until it implants in the uterus and develops the umbilical cord. If your progesterone level is too low, then a fertilized egg is unlikely to survive. See Progesterone for more information.
Prolactin is a hormone made by the pituitary gland and is the hormone involved in breast-feeding. Women who are not pregnant should have low levels of prolactin. This test is more likely to be run if you have menstrual cycle or ovulation problems. See Prolactin for more on this topic.
If your thyroid levels are too high or too low, then your fertility can be affected. See the following posts for more information:
According to Diagnosis of Female Infertility, additional blood work might include testing the following:
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Fasting insulin
- HIV & hepatitis screen
- Sedimentation (Sed) blood rate
- Sickle cell screen
- STD cultures or DNA probe
- VDRL for syphilis
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