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Testing for the Female Q&A

Posted Oct 21 2008 12:20am
Q     What types of tests do RE's or OB's give for women who haven't conceived after a year of trying?
AThere are several tests that you can take and each one comes up with a different conclusions. You and your Doctor need to decide together which ones would be beneficial for you and you individual issues.
Endometrial Biopsy: Using a small sample of endometrial tissue taken after the 21st day of your cycle, a biopsy allows your doctor to have a detailed analysis of the endometrial development. The results of the biopsy can show whether the lining is thick enough for implantation. This test is helpful for women who have experienced multiple miscarriages.

Abdominal Ultrasound: Using a hand-held probe on top of the abdomen, high frequency sound waves are bounced off the body to produce an image. This type of ultrasound can give your specialist a general image of your pelvic health.

Transvaginal Ultrasound: This type of ultrasound is similar to an abdominal ultrasound except that the probe is inserted into the vagina. Because the probe is much closer to the pelvic structure, a significantly clearer image is produced than in abdominal ultrasounds. Ultrasounds are often used to check how the follicles are developing during a cycle. It can also be used to diagnose fibroids or ovarian cysts.

Sonohystogram: A variant of the usual ultrasound, a sonohystogram uses water or sterile saline to inflate your uterus. This gives your doctor a clearer view into your uterus.

Laparoscopy: This is a surgical procedure that is done under anesthetic but on an outpatient basis. It involves using an illuminated small tube that is inserted through an incision just under your naval allowing your doctor to get a good view of your ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes from the outside. It is also possible to insert small tools into the tube thereby helping your doctor to correct any problems. It is useful in locating scar tissue, blockages, abnormalities and endometriosis.

Hysteroscopy: Related to laparoscopy, a hysteroscopy employs a fiber optic telescope to look around the uterus. The viewing device is inserted up through the vagina and cervix and into the uterus. Again, it is possible to insert small tools into the tube to fix any problems.

Falloposcopy: This procedure uses a similar viewing device as the ones used in laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. The telescope is inserted into the vagina, goes up through cervix and uterus, and into the fallopian tubes. Falloposcopy has been found to be effective in treating some blockage problems but more importantly, it allows a doctor to have a more accurate diagnosis, thereby giving way to a more precise treatment.

Hysterosalpingogram: This is a special type of machine that takes an x-ray of your uterus and fallopian tubes. Before the x-ray is taken, though, a water or oil-based dye is injected into your uterus and fallopian tubes. The dye makes it easier for your doctor to identify any problems in the organs on the x-ray. This device is often used to locate blockages and other problems.
Sharon
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