Understanding Your Fertility Test Results
Once you’ve completed a fertility test, you’ll want to know what your results are going to look like and how long they’ll take to come back to you. It’s important that you understand exactly what your fertility results mean, as they will determine your treatment plan and future fertility journey.
This article is going to explain what your fertility results mean and how they’re determined, so you can feel confident in your step towards parenthood.
How do fertility tests work?
Fertility testing can be a surprisingly straightforward process, though this will depend on the type of test(s) you’re having done.
Typically, the process will involve a swab or sample being taken (this might be blood or semen), which is then sent off to be tested and analysed. Sometimes, the tests can involve scans internally and externally as well — it will all depend on the type of test that you need.
When done properly, fertility tests are extremely reliable and accurate — you’ll rarely receive incorrect results back.
If you have your fertility testing done with us here at IVF Matters, your samples will be sent to The Doctors Laboratory — the UK’s leading laboratory service. The results will then be sent back to us and interpreted by the IVF Matters’ expert fertility consultants.
We will then provide you with the results and happily answer any questions that you may have.
How long does it take to get fertility test results?
The amount of time it takes for you to get your results back will depend on which clinic you go to.
Here at IVF Matters, we work incredibly hard to get your results back to you as quickly as possible. Most of our results will be available within a day or two, however, specialised tests can take between 7–14 days.
What to look for in fertility test results
What to look for in your fertility test results will depend on which type of test (or tests) you have done.
It can be difficult to understand what your test results mean and it can feel overwhelming at first, but don’t worry — you won’t be left to interpret your fertility results on your own. One of our specialist fertility consultants will talk you through your results and work with you so that you can understand your next steps.
Female fertility hormone levels
Fertility hormone levels are often tested in fertility, and they’ll most likely be in your results. The most common hormones that are checked are the anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH).
AMH controls your ovaries’ ability to produce and release eggs that are viable for fertility. FSH is the hormone that helps your eggs to mature in the ovary. This is why it’s important to test these hormones in female fertility tests as they can indicate what the issues are with fertility.
The average levels for FSH can differ depending on which stage of your cycle you’re at. Typically, your FSH levels fall between 2 to 10 mIU/mL, at the start of the cycle but this can vary. When your levels are too low or high, it may suggest an issue with your ovaries.
Your AMH level can be used to measure ovarian reserves. If your levels are lower than normal, this could be the reason why you’re not able to conceive. Your consultant will help you to understand and interpret what your AMH levels mean.
If you have any questions about your female hormone levels in your results, don’t hesitate to ask us at IVF Matters.
A rubella immunity test checks for antibodies to the virus, whether they’re present due to infection or immunisation. Knowing your rubella immunity before becoming pregnant can reduce the risk of your baby developing congenital defects in the womb.
The test is completed by blood sample analysis, which can be collected at home or at one of our clinics.
A rubella immunity check can lower the risk of stillbirth and miscarriage, which is why they’re recommended to all women before becoming pregnant.
A thyroid profile will check the hormone levels of your thyroid; over or under-production could be the cause of recurrent miscarriages or unsuccessful IVF treatments. This test can diagnose hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. Both of these conditions can negatively impact your fertility.
A thyroid profile test will analyse the following hormones:
- Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH)
- Free Thyroxine (FT4)
- Free Triiodothyronine (FT3)
- Total T4 (T4)
- Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies
- Thyroglobulin Antibodies
Vitamin D test
Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that your body needs for many functions, including fertility. It can often be overlooked in fertility tests, but at IVF Matters, we make sure you’re given the opportunity to check your levels with our vitamin D test.
Healthy vitamin D levels may possibly improve your chances of a successful round of IVF treatment, and it’s said to reduce the risk of miscarriages too.
Again, the blood sample can be collected with an at-home kit or at our clinics. If your vitamin D levels are low, supplements and other lifestyle changes may be recommended.
Sperm motility and vitality are important for fertility, so both of these are tested in a semen analysis. Your motility results will show you the ability of sperm to move forward or swim efficiently to reach and fertilise an egg, and the vitality will show the number of live sperm in the semen sample.
A normal sperm count will normally have between 15 million to more than 200 million sperm per millilitre of semen. If it’s less than 15 million, this could suggest a reason behind your fertility struggles.
Male hormone levels
Male hormone levels may also be tested to provide valuable information and help assess other results, such as low sperm count or decreased libido.
Testosterone levels are commonly analysed in male fertility testing. If levels are low, it may cause issues such as a decreased production of sperm — which can make it harder to conceive.
FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone) is tested in men as well as women. Average levels can be between 1.3 to 19.3 IU/L. High levels can mean that the testicles aren’t functioning as they should, and low levels can mean that the pituitary gland isn’t performing properly. Both of these can impact fertility, so you must treat any low or high levels of FSH.
Your results can be used to help build your personalised treatment plan at your chosen fertility clinic.
Start your fertility journey with IVF Matters
At IVF Matters, we offer many different fertility tests — helping you to explore and understand more about your fertility.
Understanding your fertility test results can be daunting, but you won’t be left to interpret your fertility results by yourself. Our team of expert consultants will analyse your results and work with you to understand your next steps.
If you have any questions about fertility testing or want to discuss fertility treatment, don’t hesitate to contact us at IVF Matters. Our team will be more than happy to help you and get your fertility journey started.