Many people do not realise that they had a problem with their fertility until they had been trying to conceive for some time. This is because many fertility issues – for example having a low or zero sperm count or blocked fallopian tubes – often have no other symptoms that would have lead to an earlier diagnosis.
In other cases, they may already have suspicions that a health-issue from their childhood or early adulthood may have had an impact on their fertility (for example, treatment for an un-descended testicle or irregular periods), but it isn’t until they try to conceive that their suspicions are confirmed.
Dr Thomas Mathews, UK Medical Director at Bourn Hall, explains that a ‘fertility health + wellbeing check’ can help provide reassurance and potentially boost a person’s chances of success. He says: “Over 80 per cent of couples will conceive naturally within 12 months of trying for a baby, however, we all know that fertility does decline with age and egg quality drops dramatically after the age of 35.
“This means that for those individuals who do have an underlying fertility issue, uncovering this issue as early as possible may allow them to maximise their chances of success.”
Bourn Hall has put together two different packages (known as the mini fertility check and the full fertility check) that can provide detailed information about current fertility levels.
The mini fertility check includes a medical consultation along with a semen analysis, AMH blood test and pelvic ultrasound. The full fertility check also includes additional blood tests and procedures such as a HyCoSy, which is used to determine the health of the fallopian tubes (tubal patency).
Not all of those with a fertility concern will require fertility treatment and the check also includes questions about their wider health and lifestyle. Dr Mathews says: “There may be lifestyle advice we can offer to help improve someone’s chance of becoming a parent without the need for fertility treatment.”
“If, however, the tests reveal an underlying fertility issue such as polycystic ovarian syndrome, where small cysts are visible in the ovaries, or a blockage in the man’s reproductive system that is preventing sperm from reaching the epididymis, then treating this early may allow people to maximise their chances of success.”
The mini test (£400) includes a semen analysis, an anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) test to measure the woman’s ovarian reserve, a pelvic ultrasound scan and a medical consultancy to explain the results.
Other assessments, such as follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) test, are available on an individual basis. If you have a previous medical history that might impact your fertility, it might be that a different combination of tests might be more suitable.
Details of our fertility health + wellbeing check are available on the website.