Infertility profile (women)

Turner syndrome and infertility

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

What is infertility profile testing in women?

The infertility tests check the levels of certain blood elements and hormones in a woman when she is facing problems in conceiving. The reasons behind infertility can vary, ranging from lack of ovulation to blocked fallopian tubes. It is also conducted for women with abnormal menstrual cycles, symptoms of menopause and other issues related to hormonal alterations.

Problems related to the thyroid gland or pituitary gland can also contribute to infertility. Identifying the cause of infertility is the first step towards getting the right treatment. The process generally includes the testing of some of the related blood components and reproductive hormones. The following blood tests are a part of the profile.

Complete blood count (CBC)
– Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
– Blood sugar test.
– Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D3 tests
– Rubella IgG
VDRL (syphilis testing)

The following hormonal tests are a part of the profile:

– Prolactin
– AMH (Anti Mullerian Hormone)
– FSH test
– LH test
– Estradiol Hormone Blood Test

What is the purpose behind the infertility profile testing?

Infertility is typically diagnosed after a couple has tried to get pregnant for 12 months without the use of birth controls and without success. The tests are conducted to form a complete picture of the hormonal balance in the body in order to determine the cause behind infertility. In most of the situations, infertility can be treated even if no specific causes are identified.

In many cases, infertility is caused by a combination of problems, sometimes in each partner, which might need a thorough evaluation. The evaluation is also done for women who are above the age of 35 and have been diagnosed with one of the following problems.

– A history of irregular menstrual cycles.

– Any known or suspected problems with the uterus and fallopian tubes. Other problems like endometriosis or adhesions.

In many cases, the fallopian tubes might get damaged due to various reasons leading to infertility. Some of the reasons are listed below.

Pelvic inflammatory disease, an infection of the uterus and fallopian tubes due to sexually transmitted infections.

– Previous surgery in the abdomen or pelvis, including surgery for ectopic pregnancy.

– Pelvic tuberculosis.

What are the main functions of the female reproductive hormones?

The five hormones that play an important role in the female reproductive system are mentioned below.

– The Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) is produced by the pituitary gland and it plays an important role in the maturation of the follicles and the production of the ovum. The hormone level rises in the first half of the menstrual cycle and falls after ovulation has occurred.

– The Luteinizing hormone is released from the anterior pituitary gland and it plays an important role in the production of two other female sex hormones, estradiol, and progesterone. It also assists in the process of ovulation.

– The levels of the Anti-Mullerian hormone reach a peak at the time of puberty and remain mostly constant till menopause. The abnormal levels can be a symptom of premature ovarian failure or polycystic ovary syndrome.

Estradiol is another important female sex hormone that helps to maintain the eggs inside the ovaries. It also assists in the progress of various stages of pregnancy.

– Prolactin is extremely important in maintaining the overall reproductive health of women. On the other hand, higher levels of the hormone can affect ovulation, thereby causing infertility.

How do I prepare for the infertility profile test?

The blood tests and the hormonal tests are simple and do not need any elaborate preparations.

– Firstly, it is important to understand the details of the tests from the doctors along with any restrictions that are needed. You should also inform the doctor about any sort of medication that you are consuming as this might interfere with the test results.

– The tests for follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH) and estradiol are done on the third day of the menstrual cycle. The blood test is conducted by a collection of a blood sample from a vein and no special preparations are needed.

What is the price of the infertility profile test in India?

The price of the infertility profile tests in India can range from Rs 12000 to Rs 18000 depending on the facilities involved.

How is the infertility profile testing performed?

The tests are performed by drawing a blood sample from a vein by inserting a needle which takes a few minutes. The method is known as venipuncture as it involves the puncturing of a vein. The blood collection method includes the following steps.

– The skin around the collection site is disinfected. In most cases, a vein from the elbow region is chosen.

– An elastic band is tied around the upper arm to make the veins swell up with blood. This makes the collection process easier.

– A needle is inserted in the vein to draw the blood into a connected syringe.

– The elastic band is taken off and the needle is pulled out from the skin. Slight pressure is applied to the site for some time to prevent any excess bleeding. It is then covered with a bandage.

In the case of some individuals, it can be difficult to find a vein so the healthcare professional may have to try more than once.

When will I get the test results?

The result of all the tests is generally delivered within 2 to 3 days though it can get delayed under specific circumstances.

What is the significance of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D3 tests?

While the direct connections between Vitamin D3 and fertility are not yet clear, studies have indicated that vitamin D blood levels of 30 ng/mL or higher result in higher pregnancy rates. The levels are also important for an improved success rate of in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

Vitamin B12 is necessary for a healthy pregnancy and the lack of it can lead to infertility. The deficiency of the same also leads to the decreased ability of the fertilized embryos to implant themselves in the uterus.

In addition, it also causes inconsistent ovulatory cycles and changes to the development of the ovum. Even if pregnancy occurs with the deficiency of the vitamin, it can lead to early foetal loss or miscarriage

What role does thyroid hormone play in infertility?

The two main hormones produced by the thyroid gland are the T3 and T4 and imbalances in the levels of the two can result in infertility. It can also lead to conditions like pregnancy loss, ovulatory disorders, irregular periods and premature birth.

Low thyroid hormone levels, associated with hypothyroidism can cause problems in ovulation and conception. Low levels lead to the body not producing sufficient amounts of LH. This will lead to the ovaries not getting the signal to release the egg.

Excess of thyroid hormones can cause hyperthyroidism which can result in elevated levels of LH during the entire menstrual cycle. The resulting confusion in the body can lead to irregular or absent menstrual cycles indicating problems in ovulation.

In addition, improper thyroid hormone levels prior to and during conception can impact brain development in the fetus. Hence, thyroid levels are often closely monitored and the conditions are generally treated with specific medications to correct the hormonal levels.

What is the Rubella IgG test?

Rubella is a virus that causes a mild form of measles which is accompanied by slight fever and rash and it usually subsides in a few days. At the same time, it can develop serious conditions during pregnancy.

During the first three months of pregnancy, the fetus can be adversely affected by the virus. The ultimate results can be miscarriage, stillbirth and serious birth defects. There are two types of antibodies for Rubella, IgM, and IgG, which are tested. The IgG antibody develops at a later stage but stays in the blood for a lifetime.

The test is a part of the infertility profile tests to determine whether the woman looking to get pregnant is at any risk from the virus.

What are the reference ranges for the infertility profile test?

The reference levels for some of the important female reproductive hormones are listed below.

Hormone Name Normal Values
Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) 5–20 mIU/L
Estradiol (E2) 20–400 pg/mL
Anti-Müllerian Hormone 0.9–9.5 ng/mL
Lutenizing Hormone (LH) 5–20 mIU/mL
Free Triiodothyronine (T3) 1.4-4.4 pg/ml
Free Thyroxine (T4) 0.8-2 ng/dl

What are the risks involved with the infertility profile test?

The blood tests are simple in nature and are generally free from risks. In some exceptional situations, a patient might feel dizzy or lightheaded due to loss of blood after the collection and may need proper care. Any pain or bruising in and around the collection site is generally cured within a few days. Chances of infection or excess bleeding are rare but might happen in exceptional cases and such cases need proper medical attention.

 

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