How to Test Your Fertility
Buying Home Fertility Tests Online
If you have been trying to get pregnant for over 6 months then you may start to wonder if there is actually something wrong with you! It is unlikely that there is as it often takes over a year to get pregnant and can be a bit longer depending on your age. However, if you have been trying for a while it is worth getting checked out by your doctor so that you can face any problems that might arise as soon as possible.
However, if you can't get to your doctor right now or you want to start some investigations yourself early so that you can get a heads up, then you can actually look into some issues by buying home fertility tests online.
Alternatively you may not be a patient person who is willing to wait 6 months and you want to get a few things checked yourself before trying to get pregnant.
I have to say that I didn't realise that you could actually get home fertility tests at all. I thought that if you had issues then you had to go to the doctor to get them checked out. At my age I realise that I may have fertility problems so I thought that if my attempts to get pregnant did not work this month then I would go and see my doctor to get some fertility testing done.
However, I have only been trying to conceive for a couple of months and, even though I am 43, I don't think that my doctor would actually do any testing until I had been trying for at least 6 months (and anyway I don't like visiting the doctor!). Now, due to various issues I may not have 6 months to try, so I need to find out all I can as quickly as I can, so home fertility tests may be the answer.
Anyway, I recently found out that you can buy home fertility tests online, that you can use in the comfort of your own home, without having to visit your doctor.
If you want to get tested yourself (or get your partner tested) then you can buy a male fertility test for home testing. There are a couple of different ones and the price reflects what they do. The more expensive ones test for sperm quantity as well as sperm motility which is an important factor in male fertility. Even though you might have many million sperm you need to know what percentage of them are actually not defective (as often a lot of them are).
Although these tests with additional information are more expensive they are still cheaper and easier than going to a fertility clinic for semen analysis tests, and you can do them whenever you want to. The link to the right is for a US product, check this link out for a UK Home Sperm Test.
A home sperm test is a good start to get an idea about the general numbers of sperm that you or your partner may have. Make sure to check the instructions as you may need to produce the sample after a couple of days of abstinence. Generally speaking a sample containing 20 million sperm is considered OK.
Female Home Fertility Tests
For women the test is based on the level of FSH in the urine (Follicle Stimulating hormone). As a woman gets older and nears the menopause the levels of FSH increase (so higher levels are a bad thing). Therefore by testing the FSH levels on a certain day of your cycle (usually day 3) you can get an idea of how close to menopause you may be and hence the likelihood of getting pregnant.
This is a simple test that takes 30 minutes to give the results. Although the detection of FSH levels may not uncover all fertility problems, it is a good guide to whether or not a woman is able to get pregnant. Of course there may be other issues for example checking the falopian tubes for blockages and treating problems like endometriosis and PCOS but this test is useful if you are over 35 in particular.
The test on the right hand side is for those in the US, check out this link for a UK Female Fertility Test.
Taking the Home Fertility Test Myself
I bought the female home fertility test and took both of the tests in it (it comes with 2 tests that you dip into a urine sample at different times in your cycle) and they came out with only a very faint line. For these FSH tests, the lower the score the better so the lighter the line the lower the FSH count is. As I only got a faint line on the FSH test that was an indicator that my fertility levels were OK.
Subsequently a while after doing these tests I got an official FSH test done at the doctor and it came out at a level of 7.4, which is considered a normal level (i.e. not elevated). So the fact that the home fertility tests came out with pretty much the same indication leads me to believe that they are quite accurate, at least in my case.