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Thinking about booking a 'Fertility Assessment'? Think again!

Have you noticed your local IVF clinic is offering one of these:

'Fertility Assessment'

'Fertility MOT'

'Fertility Check-Up'

Are those really the right terms for these assessments??

The majority of fertility assessments run by IVF clinics focus on a handful of different tests:

  • AMH (which tells you very little about your natural fertility prospects)

  • An ultrasound to confirm antral follicle count (which may be useful as it could pick up fibroids, polyps and structural anomalies)

  • A Semen Analysis (which tells you very little about male fertility)

Those tests are really helpful for your clinic to determine whether they would like to work with you. They tell them if there will be enough follicles to stimulate, they can give them a heads up as to whether you are a high risk of OHSS, they can show any major anatomical anomalies and will confirm that there are sperm to work with.

But these assessments are not very helpful for you if you are trying to work out why you are not conceiving naturally. They really only tell your clinic whether you are a suitable candidate for them to work with.

There are many, many potential reasons why natural conception remains elusive, here is a list of a few possibilities:

  • thyroid issues

  • iron/ferritin issues

  • high prolactin

  • low vitamin D

  • testosterone issues (high or low)

  • vaginal microbiome issues

  • inflammation

  • issues with digestion

  • issues with circulation

  • sperm antibodies

  • sperm dna issues

  • semen microbiome issues

  • male hormone issues

  • poor sleep (him and her)

  • immune system issues

  • blood clotting issues

Each and every one of these things (and more) could be a causative factor, preventing conception, preventing implantation and potentially a cause of miscarriage. A 'Fertility Assessment' doesn't investigate the majority of these issues at all, and some will only be investigated after multiple failed IVF cycles. IVF is sometimes a necessary step, but so many of the factors that can be causing prolonged infertility would also make IVF much more likely to fail.

If you are eyeing up a 'Fertility Assessment', it is definitely worth checking what you are getting and what you are not getting. A basic AMH, ultrasound and semen analysis will rarely give you anything to work on with regard to improving your own natural fertility. If you really want to know where you are on your journey, work with someone who specialises in investigating unexplained infertility.

I am a Fertility Support Trained Acupuncturist. We are trained to dig a bit deeper, to use our unique blend of Eastern and Western medical knowledge to unpick signs and symptoms to work out what is going on. Depending on your individual circumstances we would recommend certain blood tests, microbiome cultures and specialised scans as we worked with you to try to establish what the problem is (usually multiple issues), and what we can do to improve the situation. At the end of the day, the aim is to improve your natural fertility so you don't need IVF, or to support you through IVF knowing that you have thoroughly checked all your bases before you start.

Work with someone like me:

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