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ACP Broadsheet No 141: September 1993. Role of endocrine biochemistry laboratories in the investigation of infertility.
  1. G H Beastall
  1. Institute of Biochemistry, Royal Infirmary, Glasgow.


    The staff and services of the endocrine biochemistry laboratory are essential to the efficient investigation of infertility. Each centre should adopt a detailed strategy for the investigation of the infertile couple which specifies the hormone analyses required at each stage. Appropriate first-line hormone tests should be selected after a thorough clinical history and physical examination of both partners. Second-line hormone testing should be determined from the results of the initial investigation and should be restricted to requests that either confirm or clarify an endocrine basis to infertility or monitor the response to treatment. The clinical biochemist should advise on specimen timing and collection, have responsibility for guaranteeing time and valid hormone results, and be part of the team that audits the overall strategy and the outcome for individual patients.

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