Understanding Female Infertility

Infertility is a medical condition defined by failure to become pregnant after a certain period of time of regular unprotected sex. If that describes your situation, it may be time to see a fertility specialist for assessment.


When Should You Get A Fertility Assessment?

A fertility assessment can be done at any time, and it’s never too early to learn about your reproductive health. That said, we recommend an assessment if:

Symptoms of infertility can include:

These symptoms are sometimes related to other underlying conditions. If you’re experiencing any of the above, it’s important to consult with a doctor.

Getting Started

Our initial female fertility assessment includes a detailed medical history, a general physical exam and a range of tests, described below.

Ovulation Testing

We’ll order a series of blood tests to check your hormone levels at different points along your menstrual cycle. These tests will allow us to assess how and when you ovulate and analyze any hormonal imbalances.

We’ll check the levels of the hormones associated with ovulation, such as:

  • Luteinizing hormone (LH), which stimulates the release of the egg from the follicles
  • Progesterone, which stabilizes the uterine lining for implantation of a fertilized egg and
    supports early pregnancy.

We will also run tests to check the levels of other hormones that may provide insight on the number of eggs available in your ovaries—also known as ovarian reserve—such as anti-mullerian hormone, AMH, Estrogen and FSH.

Your hormone levels along with ultrasound scans of your ovaries and uterus will allow us to identify your ovulation pattern and detect your fertile window (the exact time period with the highest chance to conceive).


Types of Fertility Testing

During a fertility assessment, we may use a transvaginal ultrasound to check your uterus and ovaries for abnormalities, such as fibroids or ovarian cysts. Ultrasound is also used for cycle monitoring to assess the thickness of the uterine wall throughout your menstrual cycle.

This test allows us to detect intrauterine problems, such as endometrial polyps, fibroids and scar tissue. We use a special solution within the uterus, along with transvaginal ultrasound.

This is an x-ray procedure used to view the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes. This allows us to detect if your fallopian tubes are blocked and if your uterus is of normal size and shape.

By passing an endoscope through the cervix, we’re able to inspect the uterine cavity. This minimally invasive procedure allows us to diagnose and correct any abnormality.

This allows us to determine whether a genetic mutation may be contributing to fertility issues. Genetic testing on conceiving partners can also reveal any genetic mutation that may be passed on to future children.


Treatment Options

This procedure uses medication to increase the number of eggs ovulating in a cycle, which improves the chances of pregnancy.

IUI is the process of placing sperm in a woman’s uterus. This procedure increases the chances of fertilization by placing the sperm closer to the fallopian tube, bypassing the vagina and cervix.

This fertilization process occurs in our lab, where our embryologists carefully select and combine an egg and sperm.

In this form of IVF, an egg is fertilized by direct injection of sperm.

Some of these tests are covered by OHIP. If you have concerns about cost, please don’t hesitate to contact us.