The Fertility Panel
The fertility panel is a blood test that has been designed to investigate genes which are specifically associated with difficulties in conceiving or maintaining a pregnancy.
What does the fertility panel test for?
In both females and males
Testing in our laboratory has shown 1 in 16 of our male patients and 1 in 23 of our female patients carries a recessive mutation associated with Cystic Fibrosis. In most cases our patients were unaware they carry this mutation. The fertility panel screens for over 1,000 mutations in this gene. Many mutations in this gene will cause CF in a child if a recessive gene is inherited from both parents. There are also a number of mutations in the CF gene, in males, that affect normal development of the tube (vas deferens) leading from the area of sperm production in the testis. Absence of this tube is one cause of male infertility, however treatment pathways are available with IVF.
This gene is important in allowing chromosomes to separate correctly during the formation of the egg and sperm. Abnormalities in this gene have also been identified in some female patients with an ovarian reserve that is lower than expected for their age.
In only females
This gene is important in processing of folic acid. Folic acid plays a major role in the prevention of neural tube defects. One specific mutation causes hyperhomocystinaemia - elevated levels of homocysteine. This condition is typically managed with vitamin B6, vitamin B9 and vitamin B12 supplementation.
Prothrombin and Factor V Leiden
These genes are involved in the clotting pathway in the blood and variants in each of these genes can be associated with recurrent pregnancy loss.
Patients can respond differently to ovarian stimulation with Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) in IVF cycles and there is a variant in this gene that can predict an adverse response which is particularly helpful in preparing for fertility treatment.
In only males
This is a group of genes that control sperm production. If one or more of these genes are absent, sperm production may be very low or absent again guiding most appropriate fertility treatment.
Haemochromatosis is a very common genetic disorder (1/200 affected individuals in the population) involving excess iron storage in the body with clinical symptoms appearing only between 30-50 years of age. In males, affected individuals can have poor sperm motility and/or altered hormone levels.
Who should be tested?
Anyone who is experiencing pregnancy delay, or has had more than one miscarriage may benefit from this test. You should discuss this test further with your fertility specialist.
The fertility panel is most beneficial when both people are tested.
How do I get tested?
The fertility panel can be requested by your fertility specialist and is performed on a sample of your blood.
What if I test positive?
Your fertility specialist will discuss all of your results with you. In most instances the information will then be used to determine an appropriate treatment plan to help you on your path to pregnancy.
How much does it cost?
The fertility panel test costs $380.
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Find out more about the fertility panel
To find out more about the fertility panel test please book an appointment with a fertility specialist or call 1800 111 483.