If you are a woman trying to get pregnant, and it's just not happening, it can be completely frustrating and disheartening. If you are beginning to wonder if you have infertility issues, you may want to think about getting tested. This is especially true if you are under the age of 35 and have been trying to get pregnant for at least 12 months. Here is additional reading on
three tests women can do to check for infertility.
According to the recommended guidelines, most women should get a pap smear every 3 to 5 years. If you have been trying to get pregnant and have not recently had a pap smear, it might be wise to get one done. A pap smear can rule out any possibility of cervical cancer. When there are cancerous cells in the cervix, it can affect fertility.
A pap smear can also detect any other abnormalities and infections of the reproductive organs that can also affect your ability to conceive. If your pap smear is normal, your doctor may want to do some tests to check your hormone levels.
Follicle Stimulating Hormone Test
Follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) is the one that causes ovarian follicles to grow. The follicles produce the necessary amounts of estrogen and progesterone in the ovaries that help women maintain their menstrual cycle. All that is needed to test your FSH is a simple blood test.
If your FSH levels are high, it could indicate ovarian failure, polycystic ovarian syndrome, or a chromosomal abnormality, all of which can affect fertility. If FSH levels are too low, it could mean you're not producing eggs or certain glands that control hormones are not functioning properly.
Other hormones that are important for getting pregnant that your doctor may want to check include:
- Luteinizing hormone
- Inhibin B
If your hormone levels are normal, your doctor may want to do some diagnostic testing that can help determine why you aren't getting pregnant.
Your doctor might also recommend an x-ray of your fallopian tubes called a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG). This test will be able to show if there are any blockages in the fallopian tubes. Such blockages can prevent the egg from reaching the uterus. Other tests your doctor may want to do include:
These tests will be able to determine if there are polyps, adhesions, scar tissue, or other problems in the ovaries and fallopian tubes that could be interfering with your ability to get pregnant.