How does fertility testing work?
Fertility testing checks your body for different hormones and substances that it produces during the menstrual cycle.
You do this by collecting a small blood sample with a finger prick test, which you can do easily from home. Your blood sample is then analysed at a laboratory to find out how much of the substance or hormone was in your body at the time of taking your tests.
How accurate your fertility test is may depend on when you're taking it during your menstrual cycle. For example, the progesterone and pituitary tests must be taken on certain days of your cycle to be more accurate, so you must make sure you're following your doctor's guidance on when to do so. The PCOS and AMH can both be taken at any time during your cycle. All of these tests can be taken more than once if you need to.
A Superdrug Online Doctor will always review your test results from the laboratory before sending them to you and explaining what they mean for your fertility. They will also be on hand to provide any additional advice if you need it.
This process can take a few days, but we will email you to let you know as soon as your results are available in your patient account.
The progesterone blood test (sometimes called a mid-luteal progesterone test or a 21-day progesterone test) measures your progesterone levels.
Progesterone is a hormone made by the developing eggs inside your ovaries. It can be measured to see if you are ovulating properly. This is one way to check your fertility.
Our progesterone test is a simple pin-prick test that requires you to collect a blood sample from the comfort of your home. You should take this test in the mid-luteal phase of your menstrual cycle (7 days before your next expected period starts) when your progesterone levels are at their highest.
If you don’t have regular periods, you can still test your progesterone levels to see if you’re ovulating. However, you may need to repeat this test weekly to see any changes in your results. Taking the contraceptive pill can also affect your results, so we’d recommend stopping the contraceptive pill and taking this test after your next few cycles, while you are not on it.
An anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) test is a finger-prick blood test that measures how much AMH you have in your blood. You can take this test at any point of your cycle, as your AMH levels don't change much during your cycle.
AMH stands for anti-Mullerian hormone, a protein produced in your ovaries. The amount of AMH in your blood is proportional to the number of eggs your ovaries have. This is a good way of checking your current fertility levels.
An AMH test cannot tell you the quality of the follicles in your ovaries or how quickly you are losing them.
This test checks your follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), and prolactin levels. These are all produced by the pituitary gland. These can show signs of thyroid disease, premature ovarian failure, or too much prolactin, all of which can affect your fertility.
This simple finger prick blood test you can take quickly and easily at home will give you a clearer picture of aspects of your fertility. You should take this between days 2 and 4 of your cycle.
This test is recommended for people who have irregular periods and have not had a PCOS test before.
This test looks at your levels of testosterone and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), which are used to calculate your free androgen index (FAI). Your FAI can be used to help diagnose polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that causes your ovaries to create more follicles than necessary. These follicles are underdeveloped and do not always release an egg needed for fertilisation and pregnancy.
To be diagnosed with PCOS, you have must have at least 2 of the below:
- Infrequent or no periods
- Either a raised FAI or male pattern hair distribution
- An ultrasound scan that shows polycystic ovaries
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