All patients have to do it, but do you know what day 3 testing is? Find out more about what to expect and what the results of this testing tell our medical team about your fertility function.
In order to assess a woman’s reproductive function, all patients at Shady Grove Fertility complete what is known as day 3 testing. Day 3 testing consists of bloodwork and an ultrasound that are completed on the third day of a woman’s menstrual cycle.
The blood drawn is used to measure various hormone levels that help determine if you are ovulating as well as your ovarian reserve (or egg supply). Day 3 hormone testing measures:
- E2 (estrogren): E2 is the main female reproductive hormone that is secreted from the ovary and stimulates follicle growth as well as prepares the uterine lining for implantation.
- FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone): FSH is released from the brain and stimulates the ovary to mature an egg.
- LH (luteinizing hormone): LH is integral in the final maturation and release of a mature follicle.
- AMH (anti-Müllerian hormone): AMH indicates the size of ovarian reserve. AMH is secreted by the small antral follicles found in the ovaries at the start of the menstrual cycle.
- Other: Additional hormone tests may be performed to assess general health and cycle regularity.
At the same visit we will perform a baseline transvaginal ultrasound to measure the ovaries, uterus, and ovarian activity through an antral follicle count (AFC).
WHEN ARE THE RESULTS OF DAY 3 TESTING AVAILABLE?
Day 3 test results often are available the same day.
WHAT DOES THE DAY 3 TESTING SHOW?
Day 3 testing provides your physician with valuable information about the current status of your reproductive potential. The hormone levels show how easily your brain and ovaries work to mature an egg each month and provide insight into the egg quality. The ultrasound images help to assess the anatomy of the uterus and ovaries; while the antral follicle count helps assess ovarian activity.
This information, along with your age and medical history, will help to determine the need for any additional testing, and help your doctor to formulate a treatment plan. The treatment plan is tailored to your medical situation, with the goal of balancing high success rates with ease and affordability.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN IT’S DAY 3?
Day 3 is considered the third day of your menstrual cycle (which is the third day of menstrual bleeding). Full flow (not spotting) by 5:00 p.m. is considered day 1 of your cycle.
For example, a woman who starts her full flow on 12:00 noon on a Monday, would count that Monday as day 1, and have her day 3 testing on Wednesday morning. If a woman starts her full flow after 5:00 p.m. on Monday, her day 1 would be Tuesday, and day 3 testing would occur on Thursday.
HOW DO I SCHEDULE DAY 3 TESTING?
On day 1 on your cycle, please contact your local office to schedule an appointment for day 3 testing. If your day 3 falls on a weekend or holiday, you may need to visit a different location to complete the testing. The following offices are open on the weekend and holidays: Annapolis, MD; Annandale, VA; Chesterbrook, PA; Rockville, MD; Towson, MD; and Washington, D.C. – K St.
DOES MY INSURANCE COVER DAY 3 TESTING?
Many health insurance groups cover day 3 testing as routine diagnostic workups. Please check with your individual health insurance provider.
WILL I NEED THIS TESTING EVERY DAY 3?
No. Typically, day 3 testing is completed annually, usually at the start of a workup or treatment cycle.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY DAY 3 TESTING ISN’T NORMAL?
“Normal” will vary. While most day 3 testing is a good reassurance of reproductive potential, there are times when the values are not within the expected range. Depending on the findings, your physician may wish to repeat testing in a subsequent month, complete more sophisticated testing of ovarian function, or make treatment recommendations based on those results.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2009 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness as of May 2016.
To learn more about day 3 testing or to schedule a new patient consult please call our New Patient Center at 1-877-971-7755.