Female Preliminary Fertility Tests - Blood Tests
Blood tests are a preliminary female fertility test that represents a fundamental starting point in the diagnosis and treatment of female infertility. Blood tests evaluate hormone levels that can be hindering female fertility and as such these fertility tests are important to identifying the causes of female infertility.
Types of Blood Tests
Blood tests help to evaluate whether hormonal problems are leading to fertility problems. They can help to assess irregularities as well as determine the most appropriate method of treatment based on the hormonal imbalance identified.
Because hormone levels are directly related to a woman’s menstrual cycle, they are present in different amounts during different stages of this cycle.
The following blood fertility tests are conducted on the third day of the menstrual cycle:
- follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) test: also known as a day 3 FSH test, this blood test evaluates levels of FSH, which are central to the release of the eggs. Follicle stimulating hormones prepare the release of eggs by stimulating the follicles that are located in the ovaries. High levels of this hormone indicate a hormonal imbalance and can also indicate low egg reserves. FSH levels under 10 are considered to be normal while abnormal levels are identified as 25 and up; results between 10 and 25 are considered to be borderline. This is performed in conjunction with an estradiol test
- luitenizing hormone (LH) test levels of this hormone maintain egg development. Luitenizing hormones surge when ovulation occurs, leading to the release of an egg. If levels of LH are constantly high, it prevents this increase, leading to ovulatory problems. In addition, irregular LH levels can also indicate polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). Normal LH levels for women are between 6 and 30 levels U/L.
- prolactin test: High levels of prolactin inhibit the release of both luitenizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone. Prolocatin is a stress hormone that eventually stimulates the production of breast milk. Normal prolactin levels range from 30 to 600 ml/UI.
In addition, the following test is conducted on the twenty-first day of a woman’s menstrual cycle:
- progesterone test: a progesterone blood test confirms that ovulation has indeed taken place; this is because on the twenty-first day of a woman’s menstrual cycle, progesterone levels increase following the release of an egg. Progesterone also plays an important role in the luteal phase, during which the body prepares a nurturing environment for the released egg in order to prepare for fertilisation. The luteal phase begins the day after ovulation and lasts for 12 to 16 days.
In addition to these female fertility tests, blood testing may also include additional tests in order to diagnose female fertility problems. These tests include a thyroid test, which can help evaluate for thyroid abnormalities that can have a negative effect on female fertility.