While many couples have no difficulty becoming pregnant, for more than 6 million American women, fertility and conception create great challenge.In fact, about 12% of U.S. women struggle with infertility for a number of reasons.
A woman is considered “infertile” after having unprotected sex for a period of at least one year, without becoming pregnant.This does not mean she will never become pregnant, or cannot get pregnant, only that some disruption in the reproductive process exists.Successful reproduction and reproductive health depend on a variety of complex mechanisms and hormonal processes within the body.Sometimes, one or both partners may have a hormonal imbalance or other underlying condition that affects the ability to conceive or sustain a healthy pregnancy.
In some cases, just a simple hormone supplement or treatment for another medical condition may be all that is needed for pregnancy.
For women, hormone testing provides the necessary information doctors need to pinpoint fertility issues involving ovarian reserve and ovulation, implantation and menstrual activity.Certain conditions such as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) or thyroid disease may also impact conception a well.
Saliva and dried blood spot tests are used to measure essential hormones cortisol (C), estradiol (E2), progesterone (Pg), testosterone (T), sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), DHEA sulfate (DS), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroxine (fT3), tri-iodothyronine, (fT4), thyroid peroxidase antibody (TPOab), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH).
Heavy menstrual periods
Menstrual periods that are very dark, or light in color
Menstrual cycle irregularities
Changes in hormonal activity
Other medical condition that may contribute to infertility
Unsuccessful attempts to become pregnant (over a long period of time)