If you are ready to do a fertility check-up, you may be wondering where to start. I’ll start with some of the basic bloodwork to consider for a fertility workup, and then share a few that you may need to consider if you’re still not able to get pregnant.
A CBC ‘With Extras’ for Her
I think the best place for women to start is with an easy, peasy blood draw. When you analyze blood work with a functional medical lens, it can tell you quite a bit about your health. And when you order those tests with fertility in mind, you get a great base to get started on your fertility journey.
photo credit – simple photo
Here are the top female infertility tests to ask for:
- CBC with differential
- vitamin D
- Fasting glucose (you need to have not eaten)
- Free T4
- Free T3
- TPO ab
- TG ab
- free testosterone
But here’s the thing; your doctor may not be willing or able to order and/or interpret these tests for you. You can certainly ask your GP or GYN to order these tests, and you may have better luck with your endocrinologist or RE. But many physicians are not trained to order or interpret blood work from a functional medicine perspective.
There’s no reason to get upset if you can’t get these tests this way. We can’t ask physicians to suddenly practice in a way they are not trained for, and we can’t ask them to utilize your insurance benefits in a way that they can’t justify.
So what can you do? You can order many through directlabs.com, or even on Amazon, and then set up an appointment with someone trained in functional medicine (either as a virtual/online consult like I do) or through a qualified local naturopath trained in functional and fertility medicine to have the results analyzed. I think you’ll be quite surprised by what you haven’t learned through your labs thus far!
You can usually use your health savings account (HSA) to pay for these non-covered medical expenses, so that’s something to think about for next year if you don’t already have a HSA.
Advanced lab tests to consider
Female Salivary Hormone Panel
This test is ordered by your functional medicine provider, and you take it at home by spitting into a tube several days of your cycle. You then mail it back to the lab for analysis.
This test will show you your reproductive hormone levels throughout the cycle, including estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, leutinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone. It is extremely helpful in determining if your overall hormone levels and your ovulation timing is sufficient to support pregnancy.
Adrenal Salivary Index
This test measures your levels of stress hormones throughout a one day cycle. It is helpful in finding the correct treatment for exhaustion, insomnia, anxiety or an-ovulation, to name a few.
(note from Donielle – this one was super helpful for me when I was dealing with adrenal fatigue!)
This test is also an at-home kit which you mail back to the lab after collecting a stool sample. It can test for things like inflammation levels in the gut, food sensitivities, yeast and parasites.
Gut health is so central to our overall health, including our fertility. It’s where nutrient absorption takes place and where many beneficial hormones are produced. However if it’s leaky or infected, it can also be a source of autoimmune disease and/or a drain on your body that prevents your body from cycling properly.
My favorite lab for these tests is Diagnostechs. Again, these labs need to be ordered through a practitioner.
It’s worth the time and money to get this information so you can create a clear plan, based on fact, with your qualified practitioner. And then you’re really on your way to making that baby!