What is the Fertility Panel?
The Fertility Panel is a simple blood test for men and women, which has been designed to investigate genes which are specifically associated with fertility – that is, you and your partner’s ability to get pregnant or successfully carry a child to full term.
Information from this Fertility Panel test can guide your fertility specialist in determining the best treatment plan to help you on your path to pregnancy.
The Fertility Panel is exclusively available in Tasmania through TasIVF.
What does the Fertility Panel test for?
Females and Males
Testing in our partner laboratory has shown 1 in 16 male patients and 1 in 23 female patients carries a mutation causing Cystic Fibrosis (CF). In most cases these patients were unaware they carried this mutation. The Fertility Panel screens for over 1,000 mutations in this gene. Many mutations in this gene will cause CF in a child if inherited from both parents.
In males, there are also a number of mutations in the CF gene that affect normal development of the tube (vas deferens) leading from the area of sperm production in the testis. Absence of this tube is one cause of male infertility however this can be overcome with IVF/ICSI treatment.
The STAG3 gene is important in allowing chromosomes to separate correctly during the formation of the egg and sperm. Abnormalities in this gene have also been identified in some female patients with an ovarian reserve that is lower than expected for their age.
The MTHFR gene is important in the processing of folic acid. Folic acid plays a major role in the prevention of neural tube defects in a baby. One specific mutation causes hyperhomocystinaemia - elevated levels of homocysteine. This condition is typically managed with vitamin B6, vitamin B9 and vitamin B12 supplementation.
Prothrombin and Factor V Leiden
The Prothrombin and Factor V Leiden genes are involved in the clotting pathway in the blood and variants in each of these genes can be associated with recurrent miscarriage.
Patients can respond differently to ovarian stimulation using Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) during IVF treatment. There is a variant in the FSH receptor gene that can predict an adverse response, which can be particularly helpful in preparing for fertility treatment.
Azoospermia factor (AZF) refers to a group of genes that control sperm production. If one or more of these genes are absent, sperm production may be very low or absent, again guiding most appropriate fertility treatment.
Haemochromatosis is a very common genetic disorder with 1 in 200 affected individuals in the general population. Haemochromatosis involves excess iron storage in the body with clinical symptoms appearing only between 30-50 years of age. In males, affected individuals can have poor sperm motility and/or altered hormone levels.
Who is the Fertility Panel recommended for?
Anyone who is experiencing difficulties becoming pregnant, or has had more than one miscarriage may benefit by being tested for the Fertility Panel. You should discuss your options with your fertility specialist. The Fertility Panel is most beneficial when both partners are tested.
How do I get tested for the Fertility Panel?
The Fertility Panel can be requested by your TasIVF fertility specialist, and is performed on a sample of your blood.
What if I test positive?
Your fertility specialist will explain your Fertility Panel results, with both you and your partner. In most instances the information will then be used to determine an appropriate treatment plan to help you have a baby.
How much does the Fertility Panel cost?
The Fertility Panel test costs $380.
To find out more about The Fertility Panel, please call TasIVF on 1800 111 483 or email your enquiry.