If you and your partner are officially at the time of your life where you’d like to start a family of your own or you are simply curious about your fertility status; it’s likely that you have already started the research and realized that the process of getting pregnant isn’t always as simple as the story of the birds and the bees made it out to be. And you’re not alone; in fact, there are thousands of people searching for pregnancy-related tips and tricks every single month.

There are so many health and lifestyle factors that can sometimes affect fertility. These include your overall health, any underlying conditions, and sometimes, even the medications you’re taking. However, if you have tried and tested nearly every tip in the book and want to get a clear insight into your fertility status, one of the most reliable ways is with a fertility test.

Related article: 5 Common Fertility Myths, Debunked



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How do fertility tests work?


In most sex ed classes, we’re given the idea that a successful pregnancy involves the male sperm fusing with a female egg when in fact, it’s much more complex than that. There are plenty of actors that directly affect fertility, including the age, quantity, and quality of the sperm and eggs. This is why fertility tests typically involve checking hormone levels and ovulation for women and a semen sample and analysis for men.

Females are born with one to two million “eggs in waiting” known as primary oocytes meaning that a woman’s eggs are the same age as her. With each menstrual cycle, the number of eggs in a female’s ovaries continuously declines; a woman’s eggs are the same age as her.

Women are most fertile between the ages of 20 and 24. From the age of 32, a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant starts to significantly decline. From the age of 40, a woman’s chance of conceiving is reduced by half. The quantity of the eggs doesn’t directly affect fertility, it’s their age and quality that will determine the level of difficulty in getting pregnant.


Males are not born with ready-made sex cells. Instead, they develop over time during puberty. Sperm develops and is stored in the testicles.

The average male can produce 525 billion sperm cells in a lifetime. It only takes one sperm to fertilize a woman's egg but the quality of that sperm and the quality of the egg it fuses with will determine whether or not the pregnancy will be successful.

Following sexual intercourse, sperm travels from the tip of the penis to the cervix. The cervix is the entrance between the vagina and the womb. From there it can take 72 hours for the sperm to reach the egg.

Related article: Having Trouble Conceiving? A Hormone Disorder Could Be The Reason


How does a woman check her fertility?


Some of the most common methods of fertility testing include an x-ray, imaging tests, and hormonal testing. Using today's technology, it’s now possible to take fertility tests that focus on your hormones from the comfort of your own home.

At LetsGetChecked, we offer a full range of female fertility tests. Depending on the test you choose, you will be able to get an idea of how many eggs you have left, whether are ovulating correctly, or receive a general overview of your hormonal health.

Let's take a look at some of the most common female fertility testing options.


The Ovarian Reserve Test


The Ovarian Reserve Test measures how many eggs you have left or "in reserve".

The Ovarian Reserve Test measures anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) in the blood, offering insight into how many eggs you have left, or "in reserve."

Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) is secreted by cells in ovarian follicles. From the moment you are born, the number of eggs in your ovaries starts to decrease. As we age, the level of anti-mullerian hormone in your blood begins to decline more rapidly.

Your level of AMH indicates how many eggs you have. This can help to indicate your fertility potential, both for the present and the future. If a woman's AMH levels are below what is normal for her age, this may that her chances of becoming pregnant are lower than what is expected for her age.

If you are thinking about having IVF, this test can also give you an indication of how you are likely to respond to treatment.

You should consider taking the Ovarian Reserve Test if:

  • You are curious about your fertility status
  • You require IVF treatment
  • You are living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • You are living with Turner's Syndrome
  • You are living with endometriosis
  • You are living with autoimmune disorders
  • You have suffered pelvic injuries
  • You have undergone chemotherapy or radiation

The Progesterone Ovulation Test


The Progesterone-Ovulation Test offers insight into your ovulation function.

The Progesterone-Ovulation Test measures the volume of progesterone in your blood on day 21 of your cycle. This test will help you uncover whether you are ovulating or not.

Progesterone is a female hormone that prepares the uterus for implantation of a fertilized egg.

Following implantation of a fertilized egg, progesterone maintains the uterine lining during pregnancy.

The Progesterone-Ovulation Test test monitors ovulation on Day 21 of your period. By examining progesterone in the blood, the test can decipher whether you are ovulating.

You should consider taking a Progesterone-Ovulation Test if:

  • You are curious about your fertility status
  • You have suffered miscarriages
  • You are monitoring pre-existing ovulation issues
  • You are living with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • You are living with endometriosis
  • You are experiencing menopause and you want to better understand your symptoms

Related Article: The Many Roles of Estrogen and Progesterone in Women


The Female Hormone Test


The Female Hormone Test offers a fully comprehensive overview of your fertility status.

The Female Hormone Test measures key female hormones, which can help to rule out certain hormonal disorders.

The Female Hormone Test is taken on Day 3 of the menstrual cycle. It is recommended that no hormonal contraceptives be taken at this time, if possible, as this offers a clearer portrait of your hormonal levels.

The Female Hormone Test measures:

  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) stimulates the growth of ovarian follicles before the egg is released in the fallopian tube. It controls the menstrual cycle and the production of eggs. It is responsible for pubertal maturation. Levels of follicle-stimulating hormone vary throughout a woman’s cycle but they are at their highest when an egg is being released. The test checks your level of follicle-stimulating hormone in the blood and that technology can give you a clearer view of your ovarian reserve.

  • Luteinizing Hormone (LH) is responsible for ovulation. It works in conjunction with follicle-stimulating hormone to trigger the release of the egg. Elevated levels of luteinizing hormone may indicate ovarian failure or polycystic ovarian syndrome.

  • Prolactin is responsible for the production of breast milk after childbirth. High levels of prolactin in the blood may indicate that you are perimenopausal, experiencing thyroid issues, or issues with ovulation.

  • Oestradiol is responsible for sexual function and the development of secondary sexual characteristics. It maintains eggs within the ovaries. High levels of oestradiol can suppress follicle-stimulating hormones. Unbalanced oestradiol can be responsible for a whole host of negative side effects and symptoms.

You should consider taking the Female Hormone Test if:

  • You are curious about your fertility status
  • You have been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
  • You have been diagnosed with ovarian failure
  • You have been diagnosed with low ovarian reserve
  • You are experiencing an early menopause
  • You want to track your menopause and corresponding symptoms
  • You are experiencing thyroid issues
  • You want to examine your ovulation function

Can you improve your fertility?


Maintain a healthy body weight


Men and women who are overweight can take twice as long to become pregnant. A man or woman who is underweight might take four times as long to impregnate. It is important to maintain a healthy weight to increase your chances of becoming pregnant.


Know your nutrients


A varied diet with an adequate supply of calcium, protein, and iron is essential in fuelling the body correctly. Calcium, folic acid, healthy fats, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and iron are particularly important for a healthy pregnancy. In men, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B12, and zinc are the keys to a healthy conception.


Quit smoking and drinking


Smoking tobacco and drinking are never good for you and you should cut down or quit when trying to get pregnant as both drinking and smoking affect your ability to get pregnant.


Get enough rest


Ensure that both of you are getting enough sleep. A lack of good quality rest can cause a rise in cortisol and put you at greater risk of developing adrenal fatigue, in a similar way to over-exercising. Good quality sleep ensures that you are functioning to an optimal level and this includes your chances of a conception.


De-stress


While it is understandable that you may want to start your family as soon as possible, try not to attach stress to the prospect of getting pregnant. Focus on the journey and not the destination. Often the best things happen when you are not expecting them.


Monitoring the menstrual cycle


Women generally ovulate two weeks before the arrival of their period. There are several methods women can use to determine their most fertile days of the month.

Related Article: Can I Get Pregnant With Low Progesterone Levels?


You should consider taking an at-home fertility test if you are planning on starting a family, are thinking about pregnancy down the line, or would simply like to get some insight into your hormone levels. The process is simple:

  1. The test is shipped directly to you by next day delivery
  2. Activate your test and answer a few health-related questions
  3. Your health record will be reviewed by a medical team member and should you need any support services, they will be provided
  4. Collect your sample at a time that suits you
  5. Send your sample back to our laboratory using the pre-paid shipping label provided
  6. Your sample will be processed in an anonymous and timely manner
  7. Your results will be reviewed by our team of doctors. A member of our nursing team will contact you to deliver your results, discuss any next steps and offer prescriptions in some cases

Should you want to know more, simply check out our article on how to check female fertility from home here.


To find out if fertility testing is right for you, watch our short video with Dr. Dominic Rowley:



The LetsGetChecked Medical team is available to offer guidance and support should you have any questions. You can live chat or schedule a call with our nursing team by clicking on this link.

Whatever your worries, we will do everything we can to help you on your health journey.



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