Washington Center for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility Tests

Post Coital Test, PCT

The PCT determines the ability of the male's sperm to survive in the partner’s cervical mucus. The couple has intercourse no less than two hours and no more than four hours before coming to our office. This test is usually done between cycle days 12-15, around the time of ovulation.

A sample of the cervical mucus is taken and the status of the sperm is evaluated. Sometimes the male or the female will produce antibodies to the sperm causing it to be incapacitated. The presence of numerous dead or nonmoving sperm in the PCT may indicate an antibody problem.

Some women do not produce adequate quantities of mucus or its viscosity (thickness) is abnormal.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is often the treatment of choice for couples with mucus problems. In the IUI procedure, specially washed and prepared sperm are injected directly into the uterus thus bypassing the cervical mucus.

Mycoplasma

Mycoplasma are small bacteria like organisms that are suspected to cause several urologic, obstetric and gynecologic disorders, such as pelvic inflammatory disease, urethritis, and pregnancy loss. The organism is quite commonly cultured and easily treated with antibiotic therapy, with excellent results. The organism lives in the male prostate gland and is transmitted during intercourse. It is easily cultured and treated effectively with antibiotic therapy, yielding excellent results.

Ovulation Detection

LH kits measure the amount of leutinizing hormone present in the urine. The LH level increases markedly approximately twenty-four hours prior to ovulation. LH kits are most useful for timing certain tests, such as the Post Coital test, or for timing artificial inseminations and intercourse.

Basal Body Temperature

Basal Body Temperature charts can also be used to document ovulation. The body temperature rises after ovulation because of the secretion of Progesterone in the second half of the cycle. The body temperature is taken before arising from bed and the information is recorded on a chart to be reviewed with Dr. Kustin.

A rise in temperature usually indicates that ovulation has occurred. This test is not as accurate as monitoring levels of LH in the urine and is problematic because it is a retrospective test that has no correlation to the quality of ovulation.

Endometrial Biopsy

It is imperative that an implanting embryo encounters a uterine lining that is receptive so that early miscarriage does not occur. The endometrial biopsy involves taking a small sample of the endometrium (lining of the uterus) to evaluate the luteal phase of the cycle. The biopsy is usually performed approximately twelve days after the LH surge just before the onset of menstruation.

The biopsy specimen is examined and the correlation between the microscopic appearance of the endometrium and the cycle day evaluated. If the correlation is good, and the endometrial biopsy is IN PHASE, it is valuable reassurance that the lining of the uterus is receptive to an implanting pregnancy.

Chlamydia Antibody Testing

Chlamydia is an organism that is sexually transmitted to the female and may cause damage to the fallopian tubes. This damage may be present even if the tubes look normal (microscopic damage). It is therefore important to know if exposure to this organism has occurred in the past. With the detection of an antibody to Chlamydia in the blood, a suspicion of tubular damage may arise.


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