What examinations await a woman before IVF treatment?
What should be a woman ready for?
When a woman has problem with getting pregnant she should seek help of attending gynecologist first, who can perform the basic examination. However, if the woman had undergone this examination already, or she doesn’t trust enough her doctor in this respect, it is recommended to contact directly a clinic of reproductive medicine. “Many clients think that they cannot contact a center by themselves, but that is not true. A couple can seek clinical help not just in case of infertility but also if the woman suffers from irregular menstrual cycle, endometriosis or pelvic pain and inflammatory disease of reproductive organs”, explains Kateřina Veselá MD, PhD, the director of Repromeda clinic.
What examination can a woman undergo?
Ultrasound examination of the small pelvis
An ultrasound examination by itself is not painful and it is performed by two methods at our clinic, either over the abdominal wall or using a transvaginal ultrasound probe. During the ultrasound check-up the doctor focus primarily on the shape of the uterine cavity and in what position the ovaries and the Fallopian tubes are.
Based on this examination it is possible to find out whether the woman suffers from a developmental defect of reproductive organs or from endometriosis, a disease associated with infertility problems. “Because of endometriosis, parts of uterine mucosa occur also outside the uterine cavity, for example on the ovaries or the peritoneum. Then there are deposits or cysts that prevent the maturation and release of the egg and thus cause infertility.”, describes Kateřina Veselá MD, PhD.
Testing of sex hormones and hormones of the thyroid gland
Regarding the phase of menstrual cycle in which the woman is at the moment, it is done also a blood testing and hormone testing. Thanks to that the doctors will find out the so-called hormonal profile: levels of progesterone, estrogen, prolactin, testosterone and other hormones in a woman’s body.
Based on this analysis it is possible to determine whether the woman is hormonally balanced. That is important for egg cells maturation and ovulation. Besides the sex hormones it is important to know the hormone levels of the thyroid gland, whether there is not a deficiency or, on the contrary, surplus in the body – both of the states can affect negatively the proper function of the body regarding the fertility.
The Immunological analysis ranks among the standard testing. Poorly regulated immune system can be the culprit of woman’s infertility, the body may, for example, create antibodies that impedes merging of a sperm cell with an egg cell and thus “sabotage” the pregnancy.
On specialized clinics rank among the standard examinations also genetic examination of chromosomes, the Repromeda clinic is specialized in that as well. Thanks to this it is possible to examine the so-called patient’s karyotype, the basic genetic heritage. In human population there are people with defective genetic heritage and they don’t even know about it.
“This can manifest in the moment when a woman tries to get pregnant unsuccessfully. Because of the examination of karyotype, we can find out a defect that causes infertility, repeated miscarriages or can lead to a birth of a child with a developmental defect. Therefore, the examination of karyotype and the most common recessive diseases, like spinal muscular atrophy and cystic fibrosis, is very important before IVF treatment”, adds Kateřina Veselá MD, PhD.