PRE-CYCLE TESTS

Pre Cycle Testing

Our Fertility Specialist will do an initial assessment of your general health and previous history before advising you which tests/investigations you need.

The tests may include some or all of the following depending on what you need (a complete list will be given to you once you are a registered patient):



Blood Tests (Men and Women)


1. Rubella
All female patients attending Barbados Fertility Center are tested for Rubella (German Measles) immunity. If there is no natural immunity to Rubella, then vaccination must be undertaken before commencing treatment. This eliminates the potential danger of the effects of Rubella with early pregnancy.

2. Hormone Levels
Oestrogen, Luteinising Hormone, Thyroid Stimulating Hormone, Prolactin and Follicle Stimulating Hormone levels are generally tested on day 2 or 3 of your cycle prior to treatment to ensure that these are normal.

3. HIV
There are four reasons for performing this test:

  • the risk of a pregnancy to a female who is infected with the virus. Pregnancy may have a negative impact on the health of an HIV positive woman.
  • the risk of transmitting the HIV virus to a child during childbirth.
  • the theoretical risk of frozen embryos / gamates transmitting the virus to other patient’s embryos/gametes.
  • the risk to Barbados Fertility Center staff that are handling body fluids from a large population on a daily basis. We would be required to take special precautions with samples from HIV positive patients.

4. Hepatitis B and C
Hepatitis has similar risks to HIV. Hepatitis is more infectious than HIV, although the death rate is much lower. Both partners should be tested. These tests are also of vital importance for the freezing of couples gametes and embryos.


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Semen Production (Men)


For some men, providing a semen sample on the day of egg collection can be quite embarrassing and stressful. We endeavor to make this event as easy as possible for you.

It is important to remember that the personnel who will be dealing with you and your sample are doing their normal day’s work and, although it may not seem so to you, find it quite common place.

There are alternatives to producing your sample at the Clinic. The sample may be produced off the premises and brought to the Clinic in the appropriate sterile container (as long as the time to travel is within one hour).

The sample does not need to be produced by masturbation. Your partner may accompany you and special condoms can be provided to collect your sample.

Often when men are anxious and having difficulty producing a sample, a couple of hours break (i.e. walk or a movie) may help. Please inform our staff, so that they can adjust their laboratory schedule.

Barbados Fertility Center also has the ability to freeze your sperm. It could be used as a back-up to prevent any problems occurring on the day of your partner’s egg collection.

It should be noted that sperm freezing may reduce the motility of your sperm and ICSI may then be required.

Please do not hesitate to discuss any aspects of this with the Nursing staff.


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Semen Analysis (Men)


Two semen analyses are required. At least one semen analysis should be performed at the Barbados Fertility Center laboratory prior to egg retrieval.

These analyses may include tests for sperm antibodies in the semen and checks for possible infection that may affect fertilization.

Details on collection of the sample will be given to you when you make your appointment. Your GP might have already sent you for a semen analysis as part of your initial investigations, but it is important that this test is repeated at Barbados Fertility Center’s laboratory as test results can vary between laboratories and also over time.

Our laboratory also does a detailed preparation to determine what the best technique for preparing your sample is.


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Baseline Ulrasound Scan (Women)


A vaginal ultrasound at Barbados Fertility Center, or a diagnostic center, is required. The reasons for the ultrasound are to:

Determine if there are any physical changes, such as fibroids or polyps, that may effect your cycle, and also check for the presence of ovarian cysts. Assess the ease of ‘access’ to your ovaries, as your eggs will be collected using an ultrasound-guided method;

  • Provide a ‘baseline’ report that can be used as a reference during your treatment cycle;
  • Measure the size of your ovaries and count the number of small follicles present in your ovaries;
  • Occasionally you may need other baseline scans done prior to treatment cycles. Most women find a vaginal ultrasound to be a relatively painless and simple procedure. The woman’s partner or a support person can be present during the procedure if she wishes. An empty bladder is required for this procedure.

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Get in touch to sign up for a free, no obligation phone consultation with our IVF Specialist Physicians.

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