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Female investigations

Female investigations

There are a number of investigations that we can carry out to help find the treatment that is best for you:

  • Hormone assessment
  • Laparoscopy
  • Hysterocontrast salpingography (HyCosy)
  • Hysteroscopy
  • Ultrasound scan
  • Screening for cystic fibrosis

Please see the links to the left of the page to find out more.

Hormone Assessment

The first step in the investigation of a woman's fertility is to establish whether or not she ovulates (produces an egg) every month. This can normally be confirmed by performing blood and urine tests to measure the level of hormones at specific stages of the woman's cycle. The hormones responsible for the development of eggs within the ovary include Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH), Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH), while Progesterone and Oestrogen are produced during this time by the ovary. The levels of these hormones will rise and fall depending on the stage of the woman's cycle.

The ovarian assessment test combines all the hormonal tests into a single assessment of the chances of a successful egg collection.

Laparoscopy

For normal conception to occur, the fallopian tubes need to be open and undamaged so that the sperm and egg can meet.

Sometimes a laparoscopy is carried out to examine the condition of the fallopian tubes, uterus and ovaries.

Hysterocontrast salpingography (HyCosy)

A HyCosy may also be used to check whether the fallopian tubes are blocked. This is a specialised ultrasound involving the injection of a special dye through the cervix and into the uterus. The passage of the dye through the fallopian tubes can be observed on the ultrasound. If the dye fails to spill out through the end of the tubes, this indicates that they are blocked or that spasm has occurred and requires further investigation.

Hysteroscopy

A small telescope connected to a camera is inserted through the vagina into the cervical canal. This is done either under general anaesthetic or under sedation as a day care case. The uterine cavity can then be examined. This technique allows the doctor to see conditions including fibroids in the uterus, as well as endometrial polyps or adhesions.

Ultrasound scan

An ultrasound scan is a technique allowing internal organs to be viewed on a screen. A small probe is inserted in the vagina so the uterus and both ovaries can be seen. An ultrasound scan is an essential tool to monitor ovarian stimulation during IVF, to check patients for fibroids or ovarian cysts and to monitor pregnancy.

Screening for cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is the most common genetic disease among Caucasians (Europeans) with around one in 25 people carrying the defective gene, although they may not be affected by the condition. However, carrying the gene for cystic fibrosis may be more common in men who have severely low or no sperm in their ejaculate. You will therefore be offered this test if this applies to you.

Female investigations

There are a number of investigations that we can carry out to help find the treatment that is best for you:

  • Hormone assessment
  • Laparoscopy
  • Hysterocontrast salpingography (HyCosy)
  • Hysteroscopy
  • Ultrasound scan
  • Screening for cystic fibrosis

Please see the links to the left of the page to find out more.

Hormone Assessment

The first step in the investigation of a woman's fertility is to establish whether or not she ovulates (produces an egg) every month. This can normally be confirmed by performing blood and urine tests to measure the level of hormones at specific stages of the woman's cycle. The hormones responsible for the development of eggs within the ovary include Anti Mullerian Hormone (AMH), Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) and Luteinizing Hormone (LH), while Progesterone and Oestrogen are produced during this time by the ovary. The levels of these hormones will rise and fall depending on the stage of the woman's cycle.

The ovarian assessment test combines all the hormonal tests into a single assessment of the chances of a successful egg collection.

Laparoscopy

For normal conception to occur, the fallopian tubes need to be open and undamaged so that the sperm and egg can meet.

Sometimes a laparoscopy is carried out to examine the condition of the fallopian tubes, uterus and ovaries.

Hysterocontrast salpingography (HyCosy)

A HyCosy may also be used to check whether the fallopian tubes are blocked. This is a specialised ultrasound involving the injection of a special dye through the cervix and into the uterus. The passage of the dye through the fallopian tubes can be observed on the ultrasound. If the dye fails to spill out through the end of the tubes, this indicates that they are blocked or that spasm has occurred and requires further investigation.

Hysteroscopy

A small telescope connected to a camera is inserted through the vagina into the cervical canal. This is done either under general anaesthetic or under sedation as a day care case. The uterine cavity can then be examined. This technique allows the doctor to see conditions including fibroids in the uterus, as well as endometrial polyps or adhesions.

Ultrasound scan

An ultrasound scan is a technique allowing internal organs to be viewed on a screen. A small probe is inserted in the vagina so the uterus and both ovaries can be seen. An ultrasound scan is an essential tool to monitor ovarian stimulation during IVF, to check patients for fibroids or ovarian cysts and to monitor pregnancy.

Screening for cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is the most common genetic disease among Caucasians (Europeans) with around one in 25 people carrying the defective gene, although they may not be affected by the condition. However, carrying the gene for cystic fibrosis may be more common in men who have severely low or no sperm in their ejaculate. You will therefore be offered this test if this applies to you.

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