TESTS BEFORE IVF – WHAT YOU ARE TESTED FOR AND WHY?
Prior to every IVF cycle with own oocytes and sperm, there are certain tests which are mandatory for both partners. If you want to find out what you are tested for before IVF and what happens if one of the tests is positive, this article is for you.
The first type of tests that you have to go through are blood tests for HIV, Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV) and syphilis. Due to the fact that these are the most common serious transmissible (contagious) diseases, the European Union Tissues and Cells Directives as well as Bulgarian Law require every IVF patient to be tested for them. If one of the above mentioned tests is positive that does not necessarily mean that the IVF cycle will be canceled. According to Bulgarian legislation the cycle can continue if “the establishment has equipment and a validated procedure for processing and differential storage” of the contaminated biological material.
If a woman, negative for HBV, has a positive partner, his sperm can be used for fertilization, only after the “recipient woman has been vaccinated”. If a woman, negative for HCV, has a positive partner, his sperm can be used for fertilization, only after the “recipient woman has given written informed consent”. If the male partner is positive for syphilis, his sperm can be used only after he ”has been cured”.
According to Bulgarian law in women positive for HBV or HCV, the IVF cycle can continue again provided that “the establishment has equipment and a validated procedure for processing and differential storage”. However, in women positive for HIV or syphilis, the cycle has to be canceled and the procured oocytes or zygotes disposed of.
Blood tests for HIV, HBV, HCV and syphilis have to be done NO EARLIER than 3 months before the procedure (ovarian follicular puncture).
As well as the blood tests both the female and male partner have to submit to microbiology testing of vaginal secretions and ejaculate, respectively. This test shows whether those secretions contain any microorganisms (e.g. bacteria and fungi) and what types. Depending on the type of microorganism(s) found antibiotic treatment before the procedure may be necessary. Microbiology testing of both partners has to be done NO EARLIER than 30 days before the procedure.
In the presence of certain risk factors (e.g. trips to countries with high incidence of malaria and others) additional blood tests may be required. For men chlamydia testing of a urine sample is also mandatory.
It is important to know that these tests are not done in order to find the cause of infertility. They are required by law in order to minimize the risk of contamination for the patients and the clinic staff during the IVF cycle.