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Best Practice No 170

Investigation of infertility with the emphasis on laboratory testing and with reference to radiological imaging


This review will discuss the investigation of infertility, with emphasis on laboratory testing and reference to the value of other investigations, including clinical and radiological. The role of laboratory investigations is viewed within an appropriate clinically directed pathway that includes medical, surgical, and social history together with environmental factors. Because embryology and assisted reproduction techniques are developing rapidly and produce continuous changes in everyday practice, this article gives a critical review of the plethora of tests that are currently used.

  • infertility
  • laboratory testing
  • guidelines
  • ultrasound
  • ASAB, antisperm antibody
  • BMI, body mass index
  • CMSPT, cervical mucous sperm penetration testing
  • CV, coefficient of variation
  • DHEAS, dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate
  • EQA, external quality assessment
  • FSH, follicle stimulating hormone
  • IBT, immunobead testing
  • ICSI, intracytoplasmic sperm injection
  • LH, luteinising hormone
  • MAR, mixed antiglobulin reaction
  • PCOS, polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • PRL, prolactin
  • SHBG, steroid hormone binding globulin
  • TFT, thyroid function test
  • WHO, World Health Organisation

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