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3 Fertility Tests to Help Women Know if They Can Conceive

Can you conceive a baby?

How do you know if you can get pregnant? (image by Lucia Whittaker, via Flicker)

Can you conceive a baby? Here are three fertility tests women get to find out if they can get pregnant: uterotubogram or hysterosalpingogram (hsg), an endometrial biopsy, and a laparoscopy.

If you can’t get pregnant and already have tried a few basic fertility tests or the basic fertility tests to find out if you can get pregnant, you might want to learn about these three more complicated tests.

“Fertility workups are expensive, and unfortunately, medical insurance coverage can be limited, even for infertility diagnosis,” write the experts in Our Bodies, Ourselves: The Boston Women’s Health Book Collective.


Fertility tests can get expensive, but at least they’ll give you an idea of why you’re not getting pregnant and whether or not you can conceive a baby. We had a complicated genetic test done, which determined the cause of male infertility (my husband has azoospermia). We got the test too late, and wasted a lot of money trying to get pregnant before learning why I wasn’t conceiving.

If you’re just starting to try to get pregnant, check out the Clearblue Fertility Starter Kit (pictured). It includes both ovulation predictor kits and pregnancy tests, both of which are important.

3 Fertility Tests to Help Women Know if They Can Conceive

These fertility tests include an uterotubogram or hysterosalpingogram (hsg), an endometrial biopsy, and a laparoscopy.

Uterotubogram or hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

An HSG looks at your fallopian tubes and determines if there are any blockages. Dye is injected into the vagina, and X-rays are taken. This fertility test wasn’t painful for me, but the doctor said that the dye can cause cramping. He also recommended taking a basic painkiller (such as Tylenol or Aspirin) half an hour before the HSG.

If you’re still wondering what an HSG is, here’s a great explanation from a fertility clinic:

“An HSG is done after the menstrual flow has just stopped – usually on Day 6 or 7 of the period, at which time the lining of the uterus is thin. It is done in an X-ray Clinic. The patient is advised to take an antibiotic and a pain-killer before the procedure by many doctors. After being positioned on the X-ray table, the doctor places a special instrument into the cervix, called a cervical cannula, which is made of metal. Many doctors now prefer to use a balloon catheter , as this makes the procedure less painful. A radio-opaque dye (a liquid which is opaque to X-rays) is then injected into the uterine cavity. This is done slowly under pressure, and pictures are taken – preferably under an image intensifier. The passage of the dye into the uterine cavity and then into the tubes and from there into the abdomen can be seen; and X-ray pictures taken. These provide a permanent record.” ~ from Hysterosalpingogram ( HSG) from  Malpini Fertility Clinic.

According to Our Bodies, Ourselves: A New Edition for a New Era, pregnancy rates are slightly increased in the cycle immediately following this fertility test for women, perhaps because the dye “cleans out” any mucus plugs in the fallopian tubes.

Endometrial biopsy

This fertility test reveals if you’re ovulating, and if your uterine lining is thick enough for embryo implantation. Don’t take this test if you think you’re pregnant; it could cause miscarriage. This biopsy involves the doctor inserting a small instrument into your uterus after partially dilating your cervix (this causes painful cramping!), scrapes tissue from your uterus, and examines it under a microscope.

“An endometrial biopsy is a way for your doctor to take a small sample of the lining of the uterus. The sample is looked at under a microscope for abnormal cells. An endometrial biopsy helps your doctor find problems in the endometrium. It also lets your doctor check to see if your body’s hormone levels that affect the endometrium are in balance.” ~ from Endometrial Biopsy on WebMD.

Laparoscopy

This is one of the most invasive infertility workups, and the only test that can confirm endometriosis (which can be a reason for not getting pregnant). The doctor makes an incision near your belly button and inflates your abdomen with carbon dioxide gas. Sometimes dye is flushed through your fallopian tubes, to see if they open. This test requires spinal or general anesthesia. If there is scar tissue because of endometriosis, the doctor can remove it right then – and perhaps increase your chances of getting pregnant!


The only fertility test I’ve had is the HSG, because female fertility isn’t our problem. But, since I’m almost 40 and have never been pregnant, I may have to undergo the other two tests to see if I can conceive a baby.  Ugh. My next one is the Clomiphene Challenge Test.

For tips on getting pregnant, read the Most Common Reasons Women Don’t Conceive.


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Have you had any of these fertility tests – and did they help you know if you can conceive? Comments welcome below…

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4 thoughts on “3 Fertility Tests to Help Women Know if They Can Conceive”

  1. Hi Hannah,

    Thanks for your comment. I checked out your website, and think you probably know a thing or two about fertility tests that help women know if they can conceive! 🙂

  2. Thanks for this tip on fertility tests, Victoria, and for your kind comments about my blog 🙂

  3. Hello, I love your blog! I also wanted to say there is a very inexpensive test that is available in most stores. I do not remember who it is buy but it is called, Fertility Test and is around $20-30 I believe. At least when I used it. I have had 8 miscarriages before conceiving our 5 children and I took this test about 2 years ago. I could not get pregnant and my husband and I were considering testing. We decided to try this test first and it said I was fertile, so we continued to try for a couple months and we conceived a few months later. I’m not sure what others experience has been, but what people need to remember is that it is not always the women who is having the problem.

    Thanks for a great post. Wishing you all the best!
    Blessings,
    Victoria