Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH) testing
AMH is produced in the ovarian follicles and can tell you a lot about your fertility. AMH levels peak in a woman at around 25 years old, and slowly decline over time, becoming undetectable at around 50 years old.
AMH expression reflects ovarian reserve – how many eggs are present for potential fertilisation. Low AMH levels means a reduced chance of conception.
What to expect: AMH levels are measured with a simple blood test and require no preparation.
Your next steps: By no means does a low AMH reading mean you won’t be able to conceive, but it may mean your chances are lower than you thought. Your fertility specialist will give you other tests before drawing a conclusion and deciding next steps.
This test involves gently scraping a sample of tissue from the uterus lining – the endometrium – to screen for issues with ovulation and/or for identifying inflammation that needs treating.
What to expect: The test should take around 10-15 minutes. A thin flexible tube is inserted into the uterus to take the sample. Some patients may feel minimal cramping. If you experience discomfort, you may be prescribed mild pain medication.
Your next steps: This standard test is designed to gather more information about why you might be struggling with infertility, and the results (whatever they may be) are unlikely to be fully conclusive and mean the end of the road. You can discuss your results with your clinician and take any necessary steps.
Blocked fallopian tubes or abnormalities in the uterine cavity may cause fertility issues. A HSG is an X-ray test that helps give an outline of the fallopian tubes and see if they are blocked, as well as identify any other issues that need treating.
What to expect: A thin tube is inserted into the vagina and cervix and a dye known as contrast material is injected into the uterus. A series of X-rays tracks the dye and can create an image to see if there are any issues. This is a minimally invasive procedure, although you can expect some discomfort during and some cramping afterwards.
Your next steps: Blocked fallopian tubes are a common cause of infertility in women. If you’re diagnosed with blocked tubes, this means it can be difficult for sperm and egg to meet. While natural conception is not impossible if your tubes are partially blocked, if they are fully blocked you will need to seek further treatment.