How Does Fertility Testing for Women Work?

by | Jun 25, 2022 | Infertility, IVF Services

Fertility testing for women is an important tool for diagnosing and treating infertility. In this article we will refer to women’s fertility testing, but all of these procedures apply to any individual with a uterus and/or ovaries. Read on for information on what fertility testing involves and when to consider testing.

Around 50% of infertility cases stem from male factors. If you have a partner with sperm, they should receive a fertility evaluation as well, including a semen analysis.

When Should Women Receive Fertility Testing?

Fertility experts recommend seeking a fertility evaluation if you:

  • Have not conceived after trying for 12 months
  • Are 35 or older and have not conceived after trying for 6 months
  • Have experienced recurrent pregnancy loss (2 or more miscarriages)

Other common reasons for women to receive fertility testing include if they:

  • Are considering fertility preservation
  • Require collaborative reproduction (donor sperm, donor egg, or gestational surrogacy)
  • Have a family history of certain genetic conditions that may be prevented through embryonic genetic testing

What Does An Initial Fertility Examination Include?

Your first fertility visit will usually involve a detailed medical interview and discussion of your fertility goals. During this visit, your fertility specialist will ask questions about your medical and family history, your lifestyle (including nutrition, exercise, sleep, and stress), and your work and living environment.

This first visit may also include a full physical exam, including a pelvic exam and blood work. The blood work will assess different hormones to provide information on your ovarian reserve, or the quantity and quality of your available eggs.

Your fertility specialist will also speak with you in depth about your family building goals, as well as any concerns or questions you may have. Based on your conversations and the results of your initial testing, your doctor may recommend other women’s fertility tests.

Additional Fertility Tests for Women

The following fertility tests are among the most commonly ordered for women. However, keep in mind that you may not need all of these tests. Your doctor will discuss what specific tests they recommend to assess and diagnose your specific situation.

Transvaginal Ultrasound

In this procedure, the doctor inserts a thin ultrasound probe into the vagina to assess the condition and structure of the reproductive uterus and ovaries.

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

An HSG helps identify any anatomical issues in the uterus or fallopian tubes using a special fluid. The fluid contains a dye that shows up via X-ray as it travels through the uterus and fallopian tubes. Because of this, a fertility specialist can track the movement of the dye to see the shape of the uterus and identify any blockages.


If the HSG shows possible abnormalities, then your doctor may recommend a hysteroscopy. During this procedure, your fertility specialist will insert a hysteroscope (a very small camera on a thin tube) through the cervix into the uterus and take pictures to assess any growths, scarring, or other factors that may interfere with conception.

Saline Infusion Sonogram (SIS)/Sonohysterography

The SIS is another common women’s fertility test. Similar to an HSG, this procedure uses fluid and imaging to assess the shape and condition of the uterus. Unlike an HSG, an SIS uses ultrasound and a saline (salt) solution without dye. SIS also only evaluates the uterus, while the HSG looks at both the uterus and fallopian tubes.

Fertility Testing Is the First Step on Your Path to Parenthood

Looking at all possible fertility tests for women can feel overwhelming. However, remember that your team will personalize their recommendations to your specific goals and needs. At PNWF, we are committed to empowering patients through knowledge and understanding. Fertility testing provides a full picture of your individual story, and that knowledge is key to creating a tailored treatment plan.

To schedule your initial visit, reach out to us today.