For women, testing begins with a medical history and physical exam, including a pelvic exam. The doctor then makes sure that she ovulates regularly and her ovaries are releasing the eggs. Blood tests are taken to measure hormone levels. The ovaries and uterus may be examined by ultrasound, and a specific X-ray test can check the uterus and fallopian tubes.
Intrauterine insemination is artificial insemination where a woman is injected with sperm into the uterus.
ART (assisted reproductive technology) is when a woman’s eggs are removed, mixed with sperm to make embryos that are placed back in the woman’s body; it’s successful about 11% to 39%, depending on the woman’s age.
There are several types of ART; in vitro fertilization, Zygote transfer, Gamete transfer and intracytoplasmic sperm injection.
Surrogacy (the woman’s male partner sperm is used to fertilize another woman egg and that other woman carries the fetus to term and the infant is then adopted ) is a way for some couples to obtain a baby.
A gestational carrier is a woman who has an embryo placed in her uterus, carries the fetus to term and gives the baby to the couple (or responsible persons) that produced the embryo.
In general, infertility is defined as not being able to get pregnant (conceive) after one year of unprotected sex. Women who do not have regular menstrual cycles, or are older than 35 years and have not conceived during a 6-month period of trying, should consider making an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist – an infertility specialist. These doctors may also be able to help women with recurrent pregnancy loss – 2 or more spontaneous miscarriages.