Dr Divya T Sudarshan
I have a 6 year old daughter, and want another child. My periods are regular, so why is my doctor asking us to do so many tests?
I presume from your question that you did not get pregnant after your daughter. I am also confident that you have tried to get pregnant and nothing happened, therefore the doctor. The definition of infertility is the inability to conceive, for a period of one year, without any contraceptive use while having regular intercourse. Now considering your daughter is six, I think you may have been trying for a year or so.
Coming to the second part of your question, I am glad that your periods are regular. But it still will not tell us if you are ovulating every month. It is known that even women with PCOD and anovulatory cycles may have monthly periods. So your doctor may have asked for some very routine tests like complete blood picture to check for iron, infections, allergies, your sugars, thyroid profile, prolactin, an ultrasound scan and a follicular study. Sometimes if she clinically feels that you may have a bit of difficulty, or from your history, she will ask for an HSG (to check for blocked tubes) and an anti mullerian hormone test also, to check your ovarian reserve (that is how many healthy eggs you have, to increase the chances of your conceiving).
Also remember, 40-50 per cent of infertility could be due to the male partner, so the investigations would be incomplete without your husband’s test for sugar, anaemia, urine and thyroid. A semen test has excellent predictive value.
Patients dislike doing repeated tests, but the human body is not the Taj Mahal. It is constantly evolving so when one faces any problem it is important to investigate again. Always carry your old reports. They are documentary evidence of your past health.
(The writer is a gynaecologist and obstetrician practising at Happy Women Clinic. You can write in to her at firstname.lastname@example.org)