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Fertility Services

It's worrisome when you're ready to grow your family and pregnancy doesn't come easily. Experts at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health share your concerns and are here to help. We provide select fertility services, including assessments and basic treatments. Our offerings help put your family planning goals within reach.

Fertility testing at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health: Why choose us?

Gynecologists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners perform fertility testing. They use research-based techniques to learn more about why you may be having difficulty getting pregnant. Our team represents a range of cultural backgrounds and care philosophies, making it easier to receive services from someone you trust. 

Highlights of our program include: 

  • Compassion: We listen with care as you describe your symptoms and experiences. Our clinics are a safe, nonjudgmental environment where you can talk openly about your point of view. With this information, we can tailor assessments to confirm or rule out specific fertility issues, like uterine fibroids.
  • Coordination: Many people experience secondary infertility (difficulty conceiving due to underlying medical issues). We excel in detecting and treating gynecologic conditions, like fibroids, that affect fertility. If fertility testing uncovers one of these issues, you can count on us for effective care, including advanced treatments when necessary.
  • Exceptional maternity care: Fertility testing is one of the many ways we support your growing family. Once you become pregnant, you have access to high-quality maternity care services. We offer spacious, modern birthing suites and special amenities like soaking tubs for waterbirths. Explore pregnancy and childbirth.

Is fertility testing right for me?

Fertility testing may be right for you if you have been trying to get pregnant for 12 months without success. 

You may benefit from earlier testing if you have infertility risk factors, such as: 

Fertility testing and your period
If you have your period on the day of your appointment, you don't have to cancel. We can likely still perform a comprehensive evaluation, including a pelvic exam if necessary. You are also welcome to reschedule if you prefer. Get more information about preparing for your gynecology appointment.

Fertility issues we care for

We regularly see patients who are experiencing signs of: 

  • Implantation failure: A fertilized egg (embryo) does not attach to the uterus lining
  • Isthmocele: Tissue buildup from a previous C-section incision that doesn't heal as expected
  • Ovulation disorders: Conditions affecting the ovaries' ability to release a mature egg
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS): Unusually high hormone levels cause cysts and other issues affecting ovulation
  • Primary ovary insufficiency: Unexpected slowing of ovary function before menopause 
  • Primary infertility: Difficulty conceiving in a person who has never been pregnany 
  • Secondary infertility: Difficulty conceiving in a person who has had a previous pregnancy  
  • Structural problems: Scarring, blockages or other issues affecting fallopian tubes or uterus function

Fertility testing: What to expect

Assessing infertility involves multiple tests. The ones that are best for you depend on your age, symptoms and medical history. Services include:

  • We ask about your reproductive health history, including the frequency and severity of your period. Your provider will also discuss your efforts to get pregnant and whether you are experiencing symptoms of other gynecologic conditions.

  • Your provider inserts a gloved finger into your vagina and gently presses on your pelvic organs to check for scarring or unusual growths. We may also take a Pap smear to look for cell changes that occur with certain fertility issues.

  • We run lab studies to measure hormone levels that show whether you are ovulating regularly. This process may involve taking blood samples on specific days of your cycle.

  • Your provider passes a thin ultrasound probe through your vagina to assess your reproductive organs. This method provides real-time images of the uterus, ovaries and fallopian tubes.

  • This test checks to see if the fallopian tubes are open and the uterus is healthy. We insert dye in the uterus and use fluoroscopy (real-time X-rays) to view the uterine cavity and watch the dye move through the fallopian tubes.

  • We use a thin tube with a camera at the tip (hysteroscope) to check for unexpected growths on the uterus lining, such as fibroids. Your provider passes the hysteroscope through your vagina and cervix to perform this procedure without incisions. This in-office procedure is available at our clinic in downtown Seattle.

  • This test checks for male infertility. We evaluate a semen sample from your partner to check sperm count, movement and structure.

Fertility treatments

We offer basic fertility treatments, such as medications that stimulate ovulation (ovulation induction). Treatment for secondary infertility may include hormone therapy or sophisticated procedures. If you have fibroids or isthmocele, we often remove them using minimally invasive gynecologic surgery that's gentle on the uterus.

If you need more advanced treatments, like in vitro fertilization (IVF), we refer you to a local infertility specialist.

Schedule an appointment

Find out more about our gynecology services in the Puget Sound area or make an appointment.