Postcoital Examination

Postcoital Examination

What is a Postcoital Examination?

The post coital (after intercourse) infertility test is used to evaluate how sperm interacts with the cervical mucus. The couple has normal intercourse, using no lubricants, and a sample of the female’s cervical mucus is examined under the microscope. This usually happens within 24 hours after sex, the femaile gets examined.

Normal, motile sperm should be seen in the sample. If numerous, inactive or “dead” sperm are seen,the fertility specialist or doctor will have to determine the way forward. Sometimes the female’s immune system incorrectly identifies sperm as invading pathogens and seeks to destroy it in the same manner as bacteria or viruses.

If antibodies are present during the examination, intrauterine insemination (IUI) may be a good treatment alternative or In vitro fertilization (IVF) might also be an option for the couple depending upon many factors including age, previous treatments, and many other variables.

Why would you be doing a postcoital exam?

It seems like doctors don’t use them very much anymore, but we had a postcoital exam to determine whether IUI was a good option or whether to jump to IVF.

What to expect

Postcoital exams are conducted close to ovulation, when optimal cervical mucus is being produced. Simply put, the couple has sex (at home!) and comes to the clinic within a set period of time. A swab is inserted near the cervix to collect a sample of mucous. The mucous is analyzed and the couple is given a report on the quality of the cervical mucous.

There really aren’t many things that could go wrong with a postcoital exam. It’s a simple, painless test.