What tests confirm a diagnosis of infertility?
There are several tests for infertility, some of which may be carried out by your general practitioner before referral to a gynecologist or infertility clinic. In most cases the first step will be a pelvic examination to check the cervical mucus and the size and position of the uterus and to check for the presence of fibroids or cysts or any pelvic tenderness. Ovulation prediction tests may also be recommended to see if the ovulation pattern is normal. Further tests will be recommended depending on your individual circumstances. These may include female hormone analyses and semen analysis. In addition, there are a number of tests that can be used to check that the fallopian tubes are working properly:

Hysterosalpingography (HSG)—in this test a dye that shows up on x-ray is introduced into the uterus via the cervix. This allows the doctor to see if there are any blockages in the tubes and also to see if there are any abnormalities in the shape of the uterus. This test does not require an anesthetic.

Hysterosalpingo-contrast sonography—this test is similar to HSG except that it uses ultrasound to show the flow of the dye rather than x-ray.

Laparoscopy—this requires a general anesthetic but can often be carried out as same-day surgery. The procedure involves the insertion of a laparoscope (a fiber-optic tube that relays images back to a video monitor) into the abdomen through a tiny incision in the navel to enable the doctor to view the ovaries and fallopian tubes. A dye may also be introduced in order to check that there are no blockages in the tubes.

Hysteroscopy—in this test a hysteroscope (a fiber-optic tube that relays images back to a video camera) is inserted into the uterus via the cervix. This allows the doctor to examine the inside of the uterus. This test may be carried out under a general anesthetic or using a local anesthetic and mild sedation.