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Obstet Gynecol Surv. 2011 Jan;66(1):31-41. doi: 10.1097/OGX.0b013e31821288a4.

The progressive simplification of the infertility evaluation.

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  • 1Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA. m-pavone@northwestern.edu



With the advent of evidence-based medicine, much of the complex testing that infertile couples used to undergo is no longer recommended as part of the routine evaluation. Examples of tests no longer implemented include the postcoital test, Rubin test of tubal patency, endometrial biopsy, sperm antibody testing, and the zona-free hamster test. The role of routine diagnostic laparoscopy and hysteroscopy is also reviewed.


In 2010, the simplicity of the current evaluation of couples presenting with infertility is essential information for patients to know at the initial visit. Ideally, it can help alleviate anxiety and provide patients with a road-map during a visit that is often associated with stress and high emotions.


Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Family Physicians.


After completion of this educational activity, the obstetrician/gynecologist should be better able to assess the current recommendations for evaluating infertile couples; examine the various ways to assess ovarian reserve, the uterine cavity, and fallopian patency; and appraise the controversy surrounding diagnostic surgery.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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