Dr. Mark Rispler guides lesbian couples through phase one: fertility testing
Fertility testing for lesbian couples is no different than the standard protocols. In fact, there are benefits to being in a same-sex couple: You have four ovaries and two uteri to choose from prior to IUI or IVF.
Many couples have already decided on the role each partner will take, but Dr. Mark Rispler can help you in the process if you wish. You should consider age, regularity of menstrual cycles and family history when making this decision. The woman who will proceed with fertility testing will schedule a series of appointments with our Los Angeles area fertility center in Manhattan Beach.
Fertility testing for lesbian couples commences in the week leading up to a menstrual cycle
By studying a natural cycle, Dr. Rispler can make predictions and recommendations for your fertility treatment cycle. Having detailed data from blood work, sonograms and X-rays removes many surprises, and addresses these as-yet unanswered questions:
- Are my fallopian tubes open?
- Does my uterus have a normal shape, and does it appear to be clear of polyps, cysts and endometriosis?
- How will I respond to fertility medications to stimulate my ovaries?
- Should I worry about my remaining egg supply?
- Do I have any infectious diseases or underlying health concerns to address before I get pregnant?
A series of fertility tests will provide answers to these questions and confirm the best approach for conceiving with donor sperm.
1) Day 3 blood work to test ovarian function
Your ovaries respond to a series of signals from the pituitary gland in the brain that regulates when (and if) ovulation will occur. Follicle stimulating hormone, FSH, helps determine which of your maturing egg-containing follicles will be selected that month for release. Luteinizing hormone, LH, and estrogen levels are also good predictors for how you will respond to fertility medications and whether or not you are ovulating on your own.
Fertility testing for lesbians also includes a test that measures ovarian reserve, or your remaining egg supply. Anti-mullerian hormone is a chemical released by very immature follicles and AMH blood levels can help assess age-related infertility.
2) In-office procedures rule out anatomical abnormalities
Your baby needs a nurturing environment in which to grow. Dr. Rispler will use sonography and X-ray technology to ensure that your fallopian tubes and uterus are prime for pregnancy. A procedure called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) allows us to watch a liquid proceed through your fallopian tubes with a minimally invasive test that allows you to return to regular activities that same day.
Ultrasound technology shows us whether your uterine lining thickens to prepare for pregnancy. It can also reveal problems such as cysts, polyps and uterine scarring. If we suspect endometriosis or if you have had previous pelvic surgeries, Dr. Rispler may recommend laparoscopy to further investigate.
Your total health affects fertility, so we also screen for infectious diseases
A fertility workup also includes comprehensive screening for HIV, hepatitis, rubella, RH and RPR for syphilis. We may also discuss preconception genetic screening at this time.
The only remaining factor, finding healthy sperm, will complete the phases that prepare you for pregnancy. If you have researched your options for fertility testing for lesbians and feel ready for the next step, contact us at our Manhattan Beach fertility center. We are privileged to share in this exciting process with you.