When it comes to defining the ideal fertility treatment for a patient, tests need to be performed to make various health assessments. Once the patient's health has been properly assessed, the right infertility treatment or treatments can be initiated.
Right now, we'd like to look at two important tests for women that analyze their hormone levels and other factors during their cycle.
About Cycle Day 3 Testing
Cycle Day 3 testing is performed on the third day of a woman's period. (A woman's cycle is counted starting on the first day of her period.) On Cycle Day 3, blood work is performed in order to check the levels of the following:
- Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) - Emitted by the pituitary gland, FSH is responsible for stimulating the production of estrogen and eggs. When levels of FSH are found to be high, this generally means that there is a problem with the number and viability of eggs, making it harder to conceive.
- Luteinizing Hormone (LH) - Also emitted by the pituitary gland, LH levels tend to increase midway through a woman's cycle. When a woman's LH levels are high, this generally indicates problems such as polycystic ovarian syndrome or ovarian failure.
- Estradiol (E2) - Secreted by the placenta, adrenal cortex, and the ovaries, E2 is the most important form of estrogen. E2 is important for the development of the sex organs.
About Cycle Day 21 Testing
Cycle Day 21 testing refers to testing done on the twenty-first day of a woman's cycle. Since this is a different part of a woman's cycle, the substances to be analyzed are different. In general, the following is checked:
- Progeterone (P4) - P4 is an important hormone for fertility. P4 levels tend to rise during ovulation and peak during the leutal phase. It should be noted that testing times for P4 can vary if a woman has a longer or shorter cycle.
- Estradiol (E2) - E2 levels remain crucial at various points during the cycle. E2 will often be measured when considering patient viability for IUI and IVF.
- The Uterine Lining (Endometrium) - The health and thickness of the uterine lining is important for successful pregnancy. Ultrasound is often used in order to examine the health of the endometrium.
What to Expect from the Cycle Testing Process
With Cycle Day 3 testing, the testing tend to only involve blood work, so the process is relatively straightforward. Blood is drawn and then analyzed in a lab for the various hormones listed above.
With Cycle Day 21 testing, various tests may be required to note the levels of progesterone and estradiol, though this usually means blood work as well.
What the Tests Will Mean for You
Once fertility specialists have analyzed these various factors that affect fertility, the right treatment option or options can be determined. It's important that these tests be done since it will boost the chances of successful fertility treatment.
Learn More About Infertility Treatment
For more information about fertility treatments and your many options available for starting the family that you've always wanted, be sure to contact our Lubbock, Texas fertility specialists today. The entire team here looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve optimal wellness in the process.