In addition to celebrating Thanksgiving, we wanted to draw special attention to another event that takes place today as well. Today is National Family Health History Day, a time to discuss family history and the steps you can take to minimize your risks of certain diseases and disorders that run in your family. While family history plays a relatively minor role when it comes to infertility, there are still risks of genetic abnormalities that may impact your ability to conceive. Fortunately, fertility testing is available to help identify what may be contributing to infertility. In this blog, we wanted to emphasize the idea of family medical history and discuss the importance of fertility testing.
Family History Conditions that May Impact Fertility
While most infertility cases do not concern family history, there is still a risk of genetic abnormalities passing down through generations. These genetic abnormalities are typically categorized as either single gene defects or chromosomal abnormalities. Single gene defects have a mutation or abnormality within the DNA, leading to health conditions that can cause fertility problems. Chromosomal abnormalities have changes in the number or structure of the chromosomes that carry DNA. In women, chromosomal abnormalities have been associated with pregnancy loss, and in men, these abnormalities have been associated with a lower sperm count.
Fertility Testing at CFI
Carolinas Fertility Institue is proud to offer comprehensive fertility testing for both men and women. However, before any tests are administered, a fertility specialist will ask you and your partner about your medical history, and both parties will undergo a general physical exam. Once that step has been completed, the next step is to undergo a gender-specific fertility evaluation:
Female Fertility Evaluation
In female fertility evaluation, there are numerous ways to help identify the underlying cause of infertility. Imaging tests using hysterosalpingogram or sonohysterogram to allow a look into the uterine cavity to check for abnormalities or other issues. Blood tests can help determine the number and quality of available eggs, and a cervical mucus test provides valuable information about whether the sperm can survive in the woman’s body and move freely toward the eggs. In certain circumstances, other tests, including hormone tests, hysteroscopy, and endometrial biopsy, may be recommended by a fertility specialist.
Male Fertility Evaluation
Because low sperm count or poor sperm quality is the cause of infertility in approximately 30-40% of all cases, the male fertility evaluation is primarily centered around semen analysis. Treatment options rely on identifying the causes of fertility problems, so it’s imperative that you consult a fertility specialist and undergo testing before receiving treatment.
The Importance of Fertility Testing
Whether you have been experiencing problems with infertility or you simply know that you want a baby in the future, fertility testing offers valuable insights and prepares you for when the time is right. Even proactive fertility testing provides information about your reproductive health and reproductive timeline. If starting a family is still a few years away, test results of fertility testing can help you determine whether options like egg, sperm, or embryo freezing are suitable for you. In the same way that discussing family history may prompt you to get screened for a disease earlier on, fertility testing allows you to be proactive about your reproductive health.
Talk to A Fertility Expert
If you have concerns about IVF or other fertility treatments, the team at Carolinas Fertility Institute is here to help. The physicians and staff at our North Carolina fertility clinic have decades of experience providing personalized and affordable care to patients on fertility journeys. For questions about the importance of fertility testing or the types of fertility testing available, reach out to us today. To make an appointment, call our Charlotte office at (844) 686-2233 or our office in the Triad at (336) 448-9100.