Premarital Fertility Screening: In the last 10 years, the average marrying age for Asians has been increasing, with the marrying age of women rising significantly faster than that of men. Increasing age has always been one of the key factors in female infertility—as women age, their ovarian reserve gets depleted, which means there are less eggs available for fertilisation. For those couples who are eager to start a family, this means that the later they get married, the less chance they have of conceiving.
Besides age, there are many other factors that lead to infertility. While age-related infertility is irreversible, most of these other factors can in fact be treated. For example, hormonal inbalance and PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) are two of the most common causes of infertility. In both cases, they may be easily treatable with hormone treatment and medication. The treatment time required for full recovery may go from 6 months to a year, which means that a woman who detects such a problem early can treat her infertility problems well before her wedding day.
Female infertility can also be caused by endometriosis, fibroids, or polyps in the uterus. In these cases, minimally invasive surgery can be performed to remove the growths that are affecting your fertility chances. Early detection of such growths, and the subsequent treatment, can help to improve your chances of pregnancy after marriage vastly.
Infertility is not solely caused by women. About 30% of all infertile cases are caused by male infertility. Similarly to female infertility, early detection and treatment can help to cure male infertility. A standard male infertility test comprises of semen analysis and ultrasound imaging of the testes. Semen analysis is the testing of the sperm motility (movement) and morphology (shape). Ultrasound scans of the testes help to check the internal infrastructure of the testes to discover whether there is any blockage. Varicocele, the enlargement of the veins in the scrotum, is one of the most common causes of male infertility, as it can affect sperm production and quality, and it can be diagnosed by a simple ultrasound scan of the testes. Treatment of varicocele can come in the form of a simple outpatient surgery where the affected veins are sealed off and blood redirected to normal veins.
A complete premarital fertility screening at ACRM includes a sexual health checkup, ultrasound scan for the couple, pap smear for the lady, semen analysis for the man, tests for infectious diseases such as hepatitis B, measles, and chicken pox, and general blood test. Tests are also conducted to check on the ovarian reserve of the lady, which is a strong indicator of fertility.
ACRM Premarital Fertility Screening
Consultation + Screening Review
Hep B antigen and antibody
Syphilis TP antibody / RPR
Varicella Zoster IgG
AMH (anti-mullerian hormone) test
FSH, LH, estradiol, progesterone, prolactin
Premarital fertility screening can help in managing expectations, allowing the couple to explore treatment options if their fertility is affected, and also prepare for pregnancy soon after their wedding. Not all infertility causes require treatment in the form of medication or surgery. In certain cases, infertility can be caused by hormonal inbalance due to stress-related issues. A holistic approach towards fertility, in the form of improving general physical and mental health through a better lifestyle, can help with improving your fertility.