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What tests do clinics routinely run before you are accepted into an IVF program? PDF Print E-mail

 

Here are some of the tests and why they are done:

  • AIDS / Hepatitis (blood test for both partners): For obvious reasons clinics will not allow you to go ahead with an IVF cycle if you test positive for the AIDS virus. Some clinics will let you go ahead if you test positive for Hepatitis, but they will probably not allow you to freeze your embryos, because of the risk of contamination.
  • Prolactin (blood test for female partner usually done in the morning): Clinics like to see a Prolactin level of between 0-25. A high Prolactin level may interfere with your ability to produce follicles. If you have a high Prolactin level it can be controlled by the use of Bromocriptine or Dostinex.
  • FSH (blood test for female partner usually done on day 3 of menstrual cycle): Clinics like to see an FSH level of below 10. A once elevated FSH could be an indication that the eggs may not be able to function properly in order to have a successful IVF cycle. Currently there isn't a way to lower your FSH level. See the next question for more information.
  • Rubella (blood test for female partner): Clinics test for Rubella immunity to prevent birth defects in the unborn child should you become pregnant and be exposed to Rubella. If you do not have rubella antibodies, your clinic may want you to be immunized for rubella before going ahead with your IVF cycle. You will then be rechecked for immunity a few months later.
  • Semen Analysis (for male partner): Clinics test the sample for sperm count, quality, survival, motility and behaviour. From this test the lab will be able to determine whether the sperm are suitable for IVF, IVF with ICSI or not suitable at all.
  • Mock Transfer (for female partner): A thin catheter is inserted into the uterus to measure its depth and to determine how to insert the catheter with the greatest ease during the real transfer.
  • Hysteroscopy (for female partner): A telescope-like device is used to examine the inside of the uterus for surface lesions, polyps, fibroids or scarring that could reduce the chance of success after IVF.

 

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