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Uk Fertility Testing - what can I expect?

(32 Posts)
Mrsh176 Mon 10-Aug-20 19:20:04

Soooo 12 months and nothing’s happened...doc has just approved us for testing.
I’m due to go for my first blood test this week - my cycles are textbook and OPKs and temping suggests I’m ovulating normally.
Could anyone outline the process, what happens after the blood tests / semen analysis?
Making the appointment kinda feels like admitting defeat and we’ve got a long road ahead sad

OP’s posts: |
itsmschanandlerbong Mon 10-Aug-20 19:43:18

Not sure where you are, I'm in Scotland so it might be slightly different. I had some blood tests (hormone and thyroid I think) which were fine and was referred to the fertility clinic. Whilst there I had an ultrasound scan of my ovaries which found a large cyst which needed removed before treatment, although wasn't the cause of our fertility issues. DH had a sperm analysis which showed a low sperm count. He also had some blood tests and a testicular ultrasound. I then had an operation to remove the cyst and whilst there had a lap and dye (basically dye put through my tubes to check they were clear) then we were referred to another clinic for a specific type of ivf called ICSI. It actually felt like a relief being referred.

Mrsh176 Mon 10-Aug-20 20:04:17

Thanks so much for replying!
How long after his test did you find out he had a low count? Hope your journey is progressing, thank you for your help.

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LS2020 Mon 10-Aug-20 21:05:13

@Mrsh176 looking forward to seeing responses on this as just for my first test day 21 bloods done today and just started the process ourselves. OH is in for his sperm analysis a week on Friday.
We’re West Yorkshire and been pleased with how quick it’s been since we called the other week. My next GP apt isn’t til next weds tho at which point I’ll have missed day 3 bloods time so not sure if I should ring and check. Let me know how you get on with drs!

LS2020 Mon 10-Aug-20 21:06:39

Also background for us is similar. We’re 27, relatively healthy except my weight (I’m size 12-14 so not huge) and regular cycles etc. Came off depo 18 months ago now and period came back fine so don’t think anything from that

welldonesquirrels Mon 10-Aug-20 21:08:24

Hi, I've been through the full battery of tests, plus ivf. It was a couple of years ago but I'll try to put down everything I remember.

Pre clinic referral, I had smear and std tests, blood tests for standard stuff (thyroid etc), bloods for a cycle day 21 progesterone. Scan wise, I had ultrasounds and an HSG, which is where they squirt dye into your tubes to check if they're open. This was all arranged through GP.

DH had bloods (testosterone i think) and semen analysis. His showed poor morphology score but otherwise ok.

Then we attended fertility clinic appointment, further bloods to check ovarian reserve (i think) and a further semen analysis, by which point DH morphology had slightly improved. They had mentioned possibility of a hysteroscopy but this never happened in our case. I may have had another ultrasound, I can't totally remember. Diagnosis was unexplained infertility in our case and we had IVF in the end.

I think the whole process from initial gp appointment to treatment starting was maybe 3 or 4 months - it wasn't too drawn out.

Apologies if I've missed anything out, it's been some time now but hope this helps. It was all nhs, and our experience was really positive.

Mrsh176 Mon 10-Aug-20 21:10:12

Aww how good, I’m from South Yorkshire smile
I’ve literally just had a phone consultation due to covid and then day 2 bloods on Thursday. Are you due any results from the bloods or is it after both tests you hear back?
Feel a bit deflated sad I’ll update this post!

OP’s posts: |
Mrsh176 Mon 10-Aug-20 21:12:50

@welldonesquirrels thanks for all the detail that’s really helpful.

Do you mind me asking if you got you happy ending or if you’re still on your journey?

Thanks again for being so thorough.

OP’s posts: |
welldonesquirrels Mon 10-Aug-20 21:22:56


We were very fortunate, we were successful with our first round of IVF and my daughter is now two.

But I vividly remember how awful it is being stuck in limbo, I really hope you get speedy answers and a good outcome.

Quiptic Mon 10-Aug-20 21:42:37

I am in the middle of tests at the moment. My GP sent me for 2 day and 21 day bloods plus an ultrasound and my DH had a SA. Then I had my first appointment with the fertility clinic and have been referred for an HSG - waiting to be able to book the appointment at the moment.

I spoke to the GP after both blood tests but there was quite a while between them due to Covid. There’s nothing to stop you ringing up a week after the blood test to get your results - I’d recommend asking for the numbers as otherwise the receptionist will probably just say if they were normal or not which doesn’t necessarily tell you all that much.

LS2020 Tue 11-Aug-20 07:14:49

@Mrsh176 that’s what I’m having to work out because they only booked me in for day 21 bloods but I have short cycles and so I need day 3s done next week so I’m going to call GP and ask if they’ll book me in with a nurse.
The nurse yesterday said they’ll call if any issues so just going to book a normal GP week after and then if don’t hear anything, assume is ok n then they’ll send me for further testing ?

LS2020 Tue 11-Aug-20 11:08:21

Receptionist at GP booked me in for bloods on Tuesday but hasn’t confirmed what I wanted them for - this may be a daft question but how do they know what to test for ?!

Juno231 Tue 11-Aug-20 11:21:31

@ls2020 the GP will have made notes in the system so when you go for bloods the nurse will have printed the stickers out to put on your tubes.

Saying that I went in for day 21 bloods last week and just got test results back for day 3 tests so they clearly tested the wrong stuff! Trouble is the nurses don't have a clue what you're in for so it's up to the GP to get it right.

LS2020 Tue 11-Aug-20 11:31:42

@Juno231 yeah I’m a bit worried they’ll just do day 21 tests on the day 3 bloods as that’s all GP put me forward for I think. But I need day 3 doing this cycle as on holiday the next time AF is due and then it’ll be October. I might just try be clear to nurse and if she needs to call GP she can.

But yeah when I had mine yesterday the nurse had no clue what they were testing for.

Do you have to get retested now?

Mrsh176 Tue 11-Aug-20 11:37:11

Are they looking to see if your progesterone rises after O?
I’m not good at the science bit.
Is your other half getting tested or are you confirming normal bloods first?
The problem we’ve got is we are patients at different practices which just makes it more confusing!

OP’s posts: |
Juno231 Tue 11-Aug-20 11:44:12

@ls2020 Yeah I assume so, but my GP hasn't been in touch to talk about the tests results (I only know they're wrong cause I can see the test results on my NHS app) and it's so difficult to get through to them so will be a faff to chase and get an answer out of them. Will try and do it this week though!

unicornpower Tue 11-Aug-20 11:45:50

Hey smile

so i had my progesterone 21 day bloods to confirm ovulation, i also had my LSH hormone tested on CD3 (or when you're on your period)-this was through the GP.

I got referred to the Fertility clinic to rule out endometriosis and I had Cervical Swab, internal ultrasound, AMH bloods and they ordered more LSH bloods too. I have also been referred for a laparoscopy but you might only have a HyCoSY which is just checking your tubes etc but the Laparoscopy is more invasive and i am waiting to hear when i need to have that.

Hubby had a sperm test at the fertility clinic as it was easy to just do it all together rather than having to do a repeat one anyway. I have found that the clinic seems really disorganised and i have often had to chase results etc but its been fairly pain free other than that and the tests aren't painful at all so not too bad

Moominmiss Tue 11-Aug-20 12:16:39

I’ve also had cd2 and day 21 bloods done.

The day 2 consisted of FSH, LH, Testosterone, Prolactin, Thyroxine and chlamidyia antibody.

We were referred to a fertility consultant by my gp as I keep having recurrent miscarriages. So getting pregnant isn’t the issue, but staying pregnant is. I suspect it’s my age (38) as I have 3 children already from a previous relationship.

But after my third loss I spoke to my gp who referred me. Within 2 weeks I’d had a letter from the clinic with a questionnaire to complete and a list of tests I needed to have done.

They sent all test paperwork through and a semen analysis form request thing for my oh.

I just went to the local hospital blood test walk in clinic to have my tests done as I know what my gp surgery is like for getting appointments etc, and I wanted to know I was being tested for the right things on the right day, so on cd2 I went with my cd2 test paperwork and had that done, then back in cd23 (my day 21) with that corresponding paperwork and had that done. My oh had made an appointment on that same day to drop his sample off (you had to book an appointment to drop off even though he didn’t have to see anyone).

Then all the test results get sent through to the fertility consultant and we’re waiting for an appointment for our next steps etc. Although I have received texts from the gp to say my results are all ‘normal’. I could phone them to ask for specifics and numbers etc but I figure the consultant will go through all that with us anyway so I’ll just wait as I’d likely only stress myself over it and google what really are ‘normal’ levels etc.

But the whole process has been done so far in just over a month. I don’t know how long it’ll be before we hear from the clinic but in the meantime we’re just carrying on as we were.

Metallicalover Tue 11-Aug-20 12:31:03

After the initial testing of bloods (the bloods to check ovulation, thyroid etc) swabs to test for infections and STIs and semen results at the GP surgery. We were referred to a gynaecologist for further testing re infertility, I had to go for a HSG to check that my tubes were blocked. Everything came back fine and we were diagnosed with unexplained infertility. By that time we had been ttc for 2 years (we didn't seek any help until 1.5 years). Then referred to the IVF clinic. Your BMI had to be under 30 before being referred.
We had one round of IVF that failed and then 1 month before round 2 I fell pregnant naturally and now she's one year old!
Sending baby dust your way OP xxx

Metallicalover Tue 11-Aug-20 12:33:12

Also me and My husband have different GP's he just went to his GP surgery and said he needed a semen sample. He then brought his results to my GPs and it's better to be referred by the women's GP as they have to undergo all the investigations! Who would be a women eh?? Xx

Juno231 Tue 11-Aug-20 13:10:10

@Moominmiss If you sign up for the NHS app it has all your medical records including your test results - that's how I see mine before I even get notified by the GP!

Mrsh176 Tue 11-Aug-20 13:27:42

You guys are so helpful thank you!
It seems so daunting and deflating.

@Metallicalover I am also a Metallica lover, thank you for your baby dust!!

OP’s posts: |
Moominmiss Tue 11-Aug-20 14:53:16

@Juno231i did that after seeing you post somewhere else about getting your results on there, but all I can see is my basic record. It says for test results and immunisation history etc I have to request access from my gp surgery (which I’ve since done). But nothing showing as yet so no idea how long it’ll take!

Also @Mrsh176 my oh and I are also registered with different gp surgeries. It hasn’t made any difference. My gp was the one that referred us. When the paperwork came through from the fertility consultant, there was a section amongst the huge questionnaire/form that asked all about oh and his gp details etc.

LS2020 Tue 11-Aug-20 15:19:43

@Mrsh176 I believe that’s what they’re testing for?
OH has been sent separately for his SA, it’s in next Friday. We’ve been dealt with separately by our GPs so far but nurse did say when our individual tests are done they will join refer us so not sure how that works for you.

@Juno231 thanks about the app - downloaded now and sent off verification of records so hopefully I get done soon.
That’s so annoying, I had to not roll my eyes when nurse said they’d call me. I was like no you will not so I’m glad I booked a follow up call while I was there. That’s what I really don’t want is a retest as it’s October for me now 🙃

Juno231 Tue 11-Aug-20 15:52:34

@Moominmiss ah yes you may wanna give them a call and prompt it - it should be a same day thing but for mine I had to call cause no one had bothered to OK it on their end...

@LS2020 same for you - you'll need to ask the gp reception to allow you to see your test results on the app. They're happy to do it as it saves them having to print stuff out and mail it to you.

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