Whether you’re busy with your career or simply enjoying quality time with your partner, waiting to have children is very common. If you have concerns about waiting, though, a pre-pregnancy fertility test is a great way to mentally (and sometimes physically) prepare for your future.
Why are pre-pregnancy tests so important?
When it comes to planning for your future, there are benefits to taking a fertility test sooner rather than later. To start—if you aren’t ready to have children yet, positive results can put your mind at ease. Knowing you and your partner are both in good reproductive health will give you peace of mind until the time is right for you.
On the other hand, if your doctor has concerns about your pre-pregnancy test results, you have time to make lifestyle changes. Smoking, poor eating habits, and certain medications can have an effect on your fertility. By taking a test earlier, it gives you a chance to tackle those issues before you start trying to conceive.
Further, if your results show signs of possible fertility issues, your doctor may recommend freezing your eggs when you’re at a younger age. This is becoming an increasingly popular way for women to improve their chances of conceiving at an older age.
When should I get a pre-pregnancy fertility test?
It’s important for you and your doctor to discuss any risk factors associated with your age, family health history, and any health conditions. This will help you determine when it’s an appropriate time for you and your partner to take a pre-pregnancy fertility test.
For women who are considering their egg freezing timeline, it’s usually better to have a fertility test and potentially freeze their eggs earlier for improved results later on. For men, age will also be a consideration, as it can affect sperm count and mobility. Most men experience a decline in testosterone after age 30, which can result in lowered sperm production. For example, in those using in vitro fertilization (IVF), the risk of not having a baby is more than five times greater in men over the age of 41.
With these factors in mind, you may want to consider taking a pre-pregnancy fertility test in your late 20s or early 30s. Always talk to your doctor for the best advice for you and your situation, though.
Fertility tests to consider before pregnancy
If you’re looking for a fertility test for women, talk to your doctor about these options:
- Hormone test: Measures levels of important reproductive hormones, such as antimullerian hormone (AMH), follicular stimulating hormone (FSH), or progesterone
- Ultrasound: Helps your doctor assess the lining of your uterus, follicle development, and condition of your ovaries
A semen analysis is almost always the initial fertility test for men. A technician will examine the sperm to evaluate count, shape, mobility, and appearance. If additional testing is needed, your doctor may recommend a:
- Blood test: Measures levels of testosterone and other hormones
- Urinalysis: Can indicate infection or retrograde ejaculation issues
Learn more about pre-pregnancy fertility tests
If you would like to learn more about pre-pregnancy tests, including fertility tests for both men and women, contact the team at the Fertility Institute of New Orleans today.
We are happy to answer any questions you have about your pregnancy journey, whether you’re already planning your nursery space or putting off your decision for a few years.