Tests are done as follows: The progesterone level in the second half of the menstrual cycle to establish ovulation. A sperm count (or a post- coital test looking for sperm in the mucus of the cervix). An x-ray of the uterus and fallopian tubes (a hysterosalpingogram). Another possibility is a laparoscopy to look at, and test the openness of the fallopian tubes, which also provides for the diagnosis of endometriosis.
These tests may show:
- Complete infertility (“sterility”): i.e. (a) ovarian failure, with no chance of inducing ovulation; (b) complete absence of sperm (“azoospermia”); or (c) complete obstruction of the fallopian tubes.
- Relative infertility: i.e. one or more of (a) infrequent ovulation or absent ovulation resolved partly by treatment; (b) a decrease in the sperm count; (c) partial blockages of the tubes or the presence of scar tissue around the tube or ovary; (d) endometriosis of any degree; (e) an abnormality of the uterus such as fibroids, polyps or scarring of the lining; (f) an abnormality of the cervix such as a previous cone biopsy or inflammation (“cervicitis”); and (g) an immune reaction against sperm cells (“anti-sperm antibodies”) in either partner.