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IVF testing requirements at PFCLA

Learn about the tests you, your partner, egg donor or surrogate will need to complete as part of the IVF process. Speak to a member of our care team for further information.
Exact protocols vary case to case and will be determined by your doctor

The tests required will vary depending on your doctor's assessment, the latest regulations and the results of any tests that have already been completed within an acceptable timeline of the projected treatment cycle. 

Your pre-treatment cycle testing

As part of the IVF process, some tests may be required  before starting your IVF cycle. Most tests can be done on-site at one of our clinics, making your journey as seamless as possible.

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Blood test

Your doctor may order blood tests to examine the ovarian reserve or check for certain conditions.

Note: We want to reduce your travel as much as possible. If you or your donor is located in another part of the world, we can arrange to receive the blood sample, following the FDA regulations, with one of our international partner clinics.

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Ultrasound

Your doctor may choose to conduct an ultrasound examination to check the antral follicle count and ovarian reserve, and to assess the uterus’s ability to carry a pregnancy.

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Mock embryo transfer

In some cases, your doctor may perform a test-run procedure (known as a mock embryo transfer) to test your or your surrogate’s chances of success with an embryo transfer. 

As part of the IVF process, intended parents must complete any  pretreatment testing required by State and Federal law and our own medical protocols.

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Additional tests that may be required

Depending on which services you’re using, there may be a few additional tests required by your doctor. If you live in the United States but can’t make it to a PFCLA clinic in-person, you can complete these tests at your local laboratory.

Please note that if you use outside testing, these costs will not be covered by PFCLA. If you live outside the USA, we can arrange for your blood to be shipped to our clinic for processing in Los Angeles, avoiding the need for travel.

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Human Immunodeficiency viruses (HIV-1 & 2)

A test that checks for HIV-1 & 2, which are associated with the AIDS virus. 

Human T-Lymphocytic virus (HTLV-1 & 2)

Like HIV-1 & 2, HTLV-1 & 2 is associated with the causation of leukemia and certain neurologic diseases. Our clinic will not allow anonymous egg or sperm donors to donate if they test positive. Intended parents will also not be allowed to carry a pregnancy should the results come back positive. 

Hepatitis B Surface antigen (HBsAg)

A blood test that checks for the presence of the hepatitis B virus (liver infection) in the bloodstream. If the results come as positive, intended parents can still undergo IVF treatment as long as a consent form is completed. Anonymous egg or sperm donors who test positive will not be able to donate.

Hepatitis B Core antibody (HBcAb/Anti-HBc)

A blood test that checks for the presence of the hepatitis B (liver infection) antibody. If the results come back as positive, intended parents can still undergo IVF treatment as long as a consent form is completed. This test is often positive in intended parents who have acquired immunity to hepatitis B naturally or through immunization. Anonymous egg or sperm donors who test positive will not be able to donate.

Hepatitis C antibody (anti-HCV)

A blood test to check for the presence of antibodies for the hepatitis C virus (liver infection). If the results come back as positive, intended parents can still undergo IVF treatment, as long as a consent form is completed. Anonymous egg or sperm donors who test positive will not be able to donate.

Syphilis (VDRL or RPR) 

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease that can be discovered during a blood test. If the results come back positive for VDRL or RPR, intended parents can still undergo IVF so long as they’ve been treated before starting the cycle. Anonymous egg or sperm donors who test positive will not be able to donate.

Gonorrhea and Chlamydia 

Gonorrhea and chlamydia are sexually transmitted diseases which can be discovered during a pelvic examination test. Intended parents will need to be treated for these diseases before starting the IVF cycle. Anonymous egg or sperm donors who test positive will not be able to donate for 12 months.

FSH or Estradiol

This blood hormone test is conducted on the second or third day of the menstrual cycle to check for the ovaries' ability to respond to fertility drugs to allow doctors to decide on the amount of medication needed. This test is often combined with the antral follicle count.

Thyroid-Stimulating hormone (TSH)

This test checks the function of the thyroid gland, which can play a significant role in the success of the infertility treatment and the fetus's health during pregnancy.

Prolactin (PRL) 

A blood test that measures the intended parents levels of prolactin, a hormone secreted by the pituitary gland which can interfere with ovarian stimulation and embryo implantation.

Rubella

This test will check for the intended parents German Measles' immunization status. If they are not immune to it, immunization might be required—with the treatment postponed by one to two months.

Varicella

This test will check for the intended parents chickenpox immunization status. If they are not immune to it, immunization might be required—with the treatment postponed by one to two months.

Complete blood count (CBC)

This blood test checks for the abnormalities in the intended parents blood sample, such as anemia.

Blood type and antibody screen

This test checks for the intended parents blood type before treatment. In this situation it’s crucial to note blood types from both egg and sperm source.

Pap smear

This test checks for cervical precancerous lesions in the intended parent’s cervix.

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) screening 

The screening is performed to check the intended parent’s status for this common genetic disease—which frequently occurs in the general population with a rate of one in 22.

Urine drug or Cotinine screen

Screening is conducted on surrogates and egg donors for drug exposure or excessive use of tobacco.

Pelvic ultrasound 

The purpose of the ultrasound examination is to check the integrity of the intended parent’s uterus and rule out the presence of polyps or fibroids that can interfere with the treatment's success. It’s also done to evaluate the ovaries' status and rule out the existence of any cysts.

Hemoglobin Electrophoresis

This test checks for the presence of genetic blood diseases such as sickle cell disease, hemophilia or thalassemia within the intended parent’s blood.

Immune testing

These tests can include multiple tests such as antiphospholipid antibodies, thyroid antibodies, antinuclear antibody (ANA), lupus anticoagulant, DQ genotyping, NK cell activity measurement, immunophenotyping, etc. Intended parents will be made aware by their doctor on who would be eligible to perform any of these tests.

Genetic testing

These may include testing for rare genetic disorders such as gaucher d., canavan d., prader-Willi, tay sachs, etc. Intended parents will be made aware by their doctor if they’re required to take part in this test. 

Semen evaluation

Semen evaluation includes a test conducted on the male intended parent to check for their sperm count, motility and morphology. This will check for potential male infertility issues. 

Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay (SCSA)

This test is sometimes conducted on the male intended parent to check for DNA fragmentation in the nucleus of sperm. An abnormally high level of fragmentation is associated with poor treatment outcomes. We sometimes perform this test in male intended parents with a history of repeated failures with no apparent cause.

Mammogram

For female intended parent’s over the age of 39, your doctor may require you to complete a Mammogram (X-ray picture of the breast) to help detect for any early signs of breast cancer.

Medical clearance

A thorough evaluation of the female intended parent’s overall health can be recommended if they are over the age of 44. This can help provide your doctor with the right decision to go through with the IVF cycle program. 

Electrocardiogram (EKG) test

A simple test that measures the electrical signal of the heart for female intended parents over the age of 44. This procedure helps evaluate the heart and it’s overall strength.

Other fertility services

Discover a variety of family building options available at PFCLA. Whether you’re a single man or woman, heterosexual couple or part of the LGBTQ+ community, we’re here to support you as you start the family of your dreams.

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis or screening (PGD/PGS)

Give your baby the best start of a new life through a precise screening of potential genetically transmitted diseases and chromosomal abnormalities.

Read More →

Fertility drugs

Explore medication options to help you overcome female infertility and achieve a successful pregnancy.

Read More →

Egg or embryo freezing

Preserve you and/or your partner's fertility and increase the chances of a successful pregnancy when the time is right by freezing healthy eggs or embryos.

Read more →

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