Before starting in vitro fertilisation (IVF), it is important that a number of investigations are carried out to gain a clearer understanding of a patient’s situation and to devise the most appropriate, tailored treatment plan.
Dr Andrew Davidson, from City Fertility Centre Gold Coast, emphasised that not all couples needed to proceed to the IVF stage of treatment.
“Pending test results, we may recommend the couple begin with a more conservative fertility management plan such as ovulation induction or artificial insemination cycles,” he said.
There were no specific tests that needed to be carried out by a general practitioner before referring a patient to City Fertility Centre, Dr Davidson said.
City Fertility will undertake the following routine tests for all new female patients: HIV, hepatitis B and C, rubella, blood group, antibodies, pregnancy, a day-2 or day-3 Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), Luteinising Hormone (LH) and estradiol (E2).
Other common examinations include a hysterosalpingogram (pelvic scan) and thyroid function test (TFT)/prolactin. A useful way to confirm ovulation is a day-21 serum progesterone test. A basal temperature chart can also be informative if maintained correctly over at least two months.
All new male patients of City Fertility Centre will receive the following routine tests: hepatitis B and C, HIV and a semen analysis.
As a general rule, it is best to refer patients who are under 35 years old if they have been unsuccessful in attempting to conceive for 12 months. For those who are over 35, City Fertility recommends they be referred if they have been unable to achieve pregnancy after six months of trying.
City Fertility Centre regularly hosts free information seminars on all aspects of fertility for couples experiencing difficulty conceiving. Simply call CFC to make a booking. Patients can also visit the centre’s informative website at www.cityfertility.com.au.