If your doctor suspects there is a reason you have not fallen pregnant, there are a number of tests that can be done to determine your fertility and that of your partner.
Your doctor can refer you for these tests, which will usually happen in hospital or at a fertility clinic.
In about 2 in 5 cases, fertility problems are due to the male partner. Sometimes a lack of sperm or sperm that are not moving properly can cause a failure to conceive.
Your doctor can arrange a sperm test. The male partner will be asked to produce a sperm sample and take it for analysis, probably at your local hospital or a pathology laboratory.
Blood tests to check ovulation
Levels of hormones in a woman’s blood are closely linked to ovulation, when the ovaries release an egg into the fallopian tubes. Hormone imbalances can cause ovulation problems, and a blood test can help determine whether this is happening.
Test for chlamydia
Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection STI in Australia. It can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and fertility problems. Your doctor can refer you for a test for chlamydia. This can be a urine test or a swab from the urethra (the tube from which urine passes) or the neck of the cervix.
An ultrasound scan can be carried out to check the woman’s ovaries, womb and fallopian tubes. In a transvaginal ultrasound scan a small ultrasound probe is placed in the vagina. This scan can help doctors check the health of your ovaries and womb.
Certain conditions that can affect the womb, such as endometriosis and fibroids, can prevent pregnancy from occurring. The scan can also check for blockages in your fallopian tubes (the tubes that connect the ovaries and the womb), which may be stopping eggs from travelling along the tubes and into the womb.
X-ray of fallopian tubes
This is called a ‘hysterosalpingogram’ (HSG). Opaque dye is injected through the cervix while you have an x-ray. The dye will help your doctors to see if there are any blockages in your fallopian tubes. Blockages can prevent eggs passing down the tubes to the womb, and stop pregnancy occurring.
If you have a known pelvic problem, such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or endometriosis, laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) may be done. This involves making a small cut in your abdomen so a thin tube with a camera (laparoscope) can be used to examine your womb, fallopian tubes and ovaries.
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Last reviewed: September 2019