If you’ve ever wondered about your fertility health and are actively preparing to start your family, we’re here to arm you with helpful information and resources. We’ll lead you through the fundamentals of fertility knowledge and assessment, sharing easy methods to help you take control of your reproductive journey. But first and foremost, we answer the question: How can I test myself for infertility?
What is infertility and how does it affect my chances of getting pregnant?
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Simply put, a couple is considered infertile after having unprotected sex for 12 months without conceiving (getting pregnant) naturally. Unfortunately, even couples who consider themselves healthy may fail to get pregnant naturally.
There is no single reason as to why it happens, and infertility can be caused by a variety of reasons such as ovulation disorders, poor sperm count, and obstructed fallopian tubes. Additionally, hormone imbalances, age, and underlying medical issues can also contribute to infertility. All these factors can make it a challenge for a sperm and egg to fertilise.
The good news is that medical advancements mean that infertility can be adequately treated with medical interventions, lifestyle changes, and assisted reproductive technologies such as In-Vitro Fertilisation (IVF). With the right guidance, many couples overcome their infertility challenges and are able to achieve their dream of raising a family. But how do you know if you have fertility problems? Is there a way to test?
How can I test for fertility by myself?
Worried about your chances of getting pregnant? Discover how to self-assess your fertility:
1. Monitor your menstrual cycle:
Keeping track of the length and frequency of your menstrual cycles can give you insight into your reproductive health. Irregular cycles could be a sign of hormonal abnormalities which can impact fertility. Try using a period tracking app for easy monitoring.
2. Ovulation predictor kits:
Ovulation predictor kits (yes, they do exist!) are simply at-home kits that can determine when you are ovulating. This can help you ascertain the ideal timing for conception. Having intercourse whilst you are ovulating can increase your chances of getting pregnant as it makes it easier for the sperm and egg to meet. Don’t think you’re ovulating regularly? You may need a fertility test for women.
3. Sperm count test:
Fertility issues are not limited to just one gender – they are extremely prevalent in men, too. Using a sperm count test kit at home can help you to understand sperm count and quality, which can give you an insight into your partner’s fertility and indicate whether you should seek further fertility advice.
4. Lifestyle evaluation:
Observing your lifestyle and making appropriate changes can benefit your fertility as a couple. Your overall well-being can be impacted significantly by unhealthy behaviours like smoking, alcohol consumption, and poor eating habits. In fact, studies have shown that smoking has a direct negative effect on fertility. It is advised to replace these habits with healthy ones such as exercising regularly and consuming a balanced diet, such as the Mediterranean diet.
When should I consult a fertility doctor?
While self-testing is an important tool to give you an initial idea of your fertility, it may not always give you the full picture. If you’ve been trying to conceive for 12 months or more without any luck, it’s time to consider seeking professional help from a fertility specialist, who may recommend you have in-depth fertility tests. Some of the most commonly used fertility tests include:
- Aqua scan
- Anti-Mullerian Hormone test (to determine ovarian reserve)
- Male semen check (to determine sperm quality, quantity, and motility)
Your fertility is in your hands
For an accurate diagnosis of your fertility, professional help is recommended. Your fertility specialist can understand your case history better than anyone else. With the appropriate tests, they can devise a bespoke treatment plan for your fertility journey to help you achieve your dream of starting or expanding your family.