Interfility Investigation

It is a fact that in modern society couples decide to create their family at an increasingly older age. As a woman's age plays a primary role in maintaining her fertility, it is easy to conclude that the difficulty of reproduction increases as time goes by. For this reason, more and more couples are proceeding to investigate their infertility and turn to assisted reproduction.

Infertility Investigation

Couples should consult a reproductive specialist in case they have not achieved pregnancy after 1 year of free sexual intercourse.

What are the factors of infertility?

Age is a very important factor in infertility, but it is not the only one. The main factors of infertility also include:

- The presence of fibroids
- Endometrial polyps
- Eating disorders (overweight or underweight)
- Smoking
- Environmental conditions
- Nutritional habits

Finally, the general attitude of life, which has now changed radically, seems to contribute significantly to the reduction of fertility, both of women and men.

When should a couple turn to a breeding specialist?

According to international guidelines, couples should consult a reproductive specialist in case they have not achieved pregnancy after 1 year of free sexual intercourse. Especially, the woman is over 35 years old, then the investigation of infertility should begin after six months of free sexual intercourse.

Always in assisted reproduction we talk about the couple and never about one of the two individually. Every couple of reproductive age, in which there is no known problem, has about a 25% chance of conceiving per month when they have free targeted sex. This percentage reaches about 85% over 1 year. This is therefore considered the point in time when a couple, if they have not managed to conceive, should contact their doctor, as in case we allow another period of effort, all we will achieve is a very small increase in this percentage.

Infertility investigation: What is required?

At the couple's first appointment, an extensive history is always taken, as the etiology of infertility is sought in both men and women (40% female etiology, 40% male etiology and about 20% unclear) and basic investigation tests are requested.

Infertility investigation: What are the necessary tests for the woman?

- Hematology – The hormonal profile of the woman (FSH, E2, LH, PROGESTERONE,  DEAHS, TESTOSTERONE , TSH, PRL, AMH), ovarian adequacy, and thyroid function are examined.
- Ultrasound of her internal genitalia – The morphology of the uterus (polyps, fibroids, congenital uterine abnormalities) is examined. At the same time, ovarian imaging and a.f.c. follicles are counted.
- Hysterosalpingography – In order to show the degree of permeability of the fallopian tubes and the endometrial cavity where the embryo will later be implanted
- Vaginal cervical smear culture


Infertility investigation: What are the necessary tests for men?

At the initial stage of infertility investigation, men are asked for a semen analysis. Of course, as part of the investigation, other tests may be requested until the couple's image is completed.

We must know that each case, that is, each couple, is unique and for this very reason further actions are individualized.

The Obstetrician – Gynecologist Surgeon Athanasios Papanikolaou is highly trained and fully specialized in reproductive issues of infertile couples.

The Doctor emphasizes on the initial diagnostic procedure and offers a personalized treatment plan for each couple, always following international protocols.

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Athanasios G. Papanikolaou
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Athanasios Papanikolaou

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