IN THIS ARTICLE
A health care professional will take a complete medical history. Couples may be asked to provide the following information:
A health care professional may perform a physical examination on both partners, including the following aspects:
A health care professional will discuss the findings from the medical history and physical examination. Sometimes, a complete infertility evaluation may take up to two menstrual cycles before the factors causing the infertility can be found.
Further testing for men
The male partner will be asked to submit a semen sample for a complete semen analysis. Even though a man has fathered a child in the past, he will still be asked to submit a semen sample because his reproductive system may have changed.
The semen sample may be collected at the laboratory (in a private room through masturbation). If a sample is collected at home, it must be collected in a sterile plastic container and delivered to the lab at a body temperature no more than 60 minutes after ejaculation.
Some men cannot produce a semen sample through masturbation. Therefore, the sample can be collected through intercourse, using a special nonspermicidal condom provided by the laboratory. For best results, the semen sample should be collected 3 to 5 days after a period of having no sexual intercourse.
A man may produce no sperm for various reasons. He may produce few sperm or sperm that have defects that prevent them from reaching or fertilizing the egg.
Further testing for women
Several conditions may affect a woman's ability to get pregnant. A health care professional will evaluate the entire reproductive system.
The cervix plays a key role in the transport of the sperm after intercourse. Cervical mucus production, amount, and characteristics change according to the estrogen concentration depending on the menstrual cycle.
The uterus is the final destination for the embryo and the place where the fetus develops until delivery. Therefore, the uterus may be associated with primary infertility or with pregnancy problems and premature delivery. Other problems affect the development and function of the uterus (specifically the endometrium or inner layer of the uterus).
Ovaries may not release eggs. Fallopian tubes may be blocked. The doctor will want to evaluate all parts of the reproductive system.
The health care professional may use any of several procedures to examine the woman's reproductive organs:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/8/2015
Jairo E Garcia, MD
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