Post-coital Test

This test is a quick, painless procedure that can give information how the cervical mucous and sperm interact. The test must be done within one to two days before or after ovulation. Basal body temperature charts or ovulation predicting kits are very helpful in determining the time of ovulation. A couple should abstain from intercourse for 2 days before ovulation, and then have intercourse 2-8 hours prior to the office visit for the post-coital test. A speculum is placed in the vagina, as it would be for a pap smear. A syringe without a needle is then used to remove some mucous from the cervical opening. The speculum is then removed and the cervical mucous is evaluated. The specimen is then placed under a microscope to look for the presence or absence of swimming sperm. There have been many studies suggesting that the test is neither accurate nor predictive of fertility. Many fertility specialists skip this step and proceed directly to intrauterine insemination.

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