Your Guide to the Fertility MOT
Checking your fertility status was historically a lengthy process that involved many tests and appointments.
The good news is that modern techniques, such as advanced ultrasound, allow for comprehensive fertility MOTs to be performed quickly and accurately. Both women and men can receive rapid and reliable information about their fertility status, enabling them to make informed decisions about their fertility options.
What is the aim of a female Fertility MOT?The aim of the female Fertility MOT is to provide an accurate assessment of your remaining egg reserve which provides crucial information about your biological clock and the ability of your ovaries to ripen eggs.. Ultrasound technology allows doctors to examine the ovaries and identify follicles - the egg sacs containing immature eggs. The greater the number of follicles, the greater number of eggs remain.
By using a colour Doppler during the ultrasound scan the doctor can measure blood flow to individual follicles and to the ovaries, which allows for an assessment of reproductive health as better blood flow to follicles is a marker for better quality eggs. By also looking at the number and size of follicles in the ovaries, the doctor will be able to assess how your body might react to stimulatory drugs and whether you may be at risk of Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) during fertility treatment.
A full assessment of the uterus is also carried out including an analysis of blood flow to the uterus and lining of the womb, as this can affect the likelihood of embryo implantation and ongoing survival. If blood flow to your uterus and womb lining is good then this suggests that you may be more likely to implant embryos and less likely to miscarry.
The scan will identify conditions such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis and also highlights polyps, fibroids or any other factors that can affect implantation and may cause miscarriage.
Using such a non-invasive scanning method ultimately reduces the need for a hysteroscopy for diagnosis – a much more invasive procedure.
What is the process?The fertility MOT, including tests and results, can be undertaken in just one hour. The internal scan comes first and takes around 20 - 30 minutes. It can be performed at any time in the menstrual cycle.
Following this, you will have a consultation in which all the findings are explained, and the doctor combines this with other factors such as family history and age to deliver a comprehensive analysis of your fertility timeline.
Another test which can be performed in addition to the MOT is the anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) test, which provides a further indication of your ovarian reserve.
Who is it recommended for?The Fertility MOT is recommended for anyone who would like a realistic idea of their fertility timeline and where they stand. Whether you are still unsure if you want children, or want children but are simply not in the right place in life and are therefore planning to put off pregnancy for the foreseeable future, a fertility MOT can tell you whether the decision to have children is something you can continue to delay, or whether you may need to consider your options more urgently.
Similarly, if you have been trying to fall pregnant for some time but are yet to do so, then a fertility test can provide detailed insight into what the issue may be – whether this is related to your ovaries, womb, or issues such as polyps or cysts.
Is there a Male Fertility MOT?Yes. The male fertility MOT includes a detailed semen analysis which examines the density, shape and mobility of the sperm. An immediate report is provided following the analysis and if any concerns arise from this report, advice will be given on how to address this. The only requirements are that men must abstain from ejaculation for 2-5 days before coming into the clinic to provide a sample.
Joint MOTs are also available for couples who wish to have an assessment of their combined fertility. After both partners have had their tests they have a joint consultation, in which the doctor will discuss the results, give advice for optimising their fertility and answer any questions.
by Professor Dr Geeta Nargund, Medical Director, CREATE Fertility