01 Fertility Screening
Fertility is a summation of several factors present in a couple. As woman’s chance of conceiving and delivering a healthy baby declines rapidly with age, a married couple who are ready to start a family should do so quickly. In general, a young and healthy couple may try naturally for 1-2 years before consulting a fertility specialist for review. However, the older woman (above 37 years) or those with symptoms suggestive of disorders of the reproductive system, should seek help earlier.
Significant symptoms include irregular menstrual cycles, painful menstruation, painful intercourse, painful defecation or chronic pelvic pain. Likewise, women with any pre-existing gynecological conditions or hormonal disorders should also check with their gynecologist regarding their ability to conceive naturally.
Fertility assessment should include the following areas:
- Sperm count
- Assessment of the woman’s egg reserve and ability to ovulate
- Integrity of the womb and its lining
- Patency of the fallopian tubes
- Status of the woman’s pelvis
For selected couples, a detailed examination of the female pelvis with laparoscopy (keyhole surgery) may be recommended, especially if bedside examination reveals possible conditions that can be treated during laparoscopy.