Top 3 Blood Tests for Fertility
Blood tests are an important piece of the fertility puzzle. Without knowing your baseline information, it’s almost impossible to determine the best next steps for your journey. Blood tests are like the road map to your destination.
But what tests do you actually need? Testing can be expensive (even with insurance coverage) and you want to ensure you’re getting the most bang (knowledge about your body!) for your buck. While the number of tests you can run might seem overwhelming, I recommend just three tests/panels to start. These are critical to determining your baseline health and are key components of a successful pregnancy. As always, work closely with your medical provider to determine what tests are best for YOU and your fertility journey.
The Top 3 Blood Tests/Panels I Recommend When TTC
Vitamin D: If you’ve done any research on health and wellness, you probably know the importance of having adequate Vitamin D. Low levels of Vitamin D can contribute to reduced fertility outcomes. Studies have even shown that women with more optimal levels of Vitamin D are 34% more likely to conceive and a third more likely to have a live birth than women with low levels. Getting your levels checked is important to ensure you’re in an optimal range, and if not, the amount of Vitamin D that’s appropriate for you. Since Vitamin D is fat soluble, it’s important to work with your medical provider to determine the supplementation that’s best for you. Vitamin D tests can be taken at any time, regardless of time of day or your cycle.
Thyroid Panel: Hypo and hyperthyroidism can both impact fertility. Running a full panel, rather than just TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) is recommended to get a full picture of how your thyroid is working. A full thyroid panel includes TSH, free T3, free T4, antibodies (Anti-TPO and Anti Tg), and reverse T3.
Hormone Panel: “Balancing your hormones” is an often overused catchphrase in the health and wellness community, but happy hormones do play a major role in conception and a healthy pregnancy. Blood tests can help you determine where your body needs support. A complete hormone panel should include estrogen, progesterone, FSH (follicle stimulating hormone), testosterone/DHEA, LH (luteinizing hormone), estradiol, and AMH (anti-mullerian), and more. Some of these tests are impacted by where you are in your cycle, so be sure to work with a fertility coach and/or medical provider to determine when to test for the most accurate results.
Interpreting Lab Test Results
When reading your results, it’s important to differentiate between normal and optimal levels. Your medical provider may tell you that your levels are within the normal range, but I always urge my clients and Fertility Coach Academy students to dig deeper to determine if certain levels should be bumped to a more optimal range to best support fertility. For example, blood levels above 20 ng/mL are considered normal for Vitamin D, but between 40-60 ng/mL is actually optimal. This could make a difference for your body and fertility!
I go over the ins and outs of lab testing with both my 1-1 clients and in Fertility Coach Academy. Though it can feel complicated, it’s an important early step in determining your fertility plan. And don’t forget testing for male partners as well! Studies show that in at least half of all infertility cases, male factor is a significant cause.
*Be sure to work with your medical provider to determine which blood tests are best for you and your fertility journey.