Day 3 testing refers to the bloodwork and ultrasound evaluation performed on the third day of your menstrual cycle. This testing provides critical information regarding a woman’s reproductive functioning. The typical ‘Day 3 Bloods’ usually refer to the hormones E2, FSH and LH. E2 refers to estrogen, the main female reproductive hormone which is secreted from the ovary. FSH is the acronym for Follicle-Stimulating hormone. This hormone is released from the brain and stimulates the ovary to mature an egg. LH refers to ‘luteinizing hormone,’ which is integral in the final maturation and release of a mature follicle. We may also draw some additional hormone levels (thyroid, and prolactin) to assess general health and cycle regularity.
At the same visit that Day 3 bloodwork is drawn, we also perform a ‘baseline sonogram’/ultrasound, which will measure the ovaries, uterus and ovarian activity through an antral follicle count (AFC).
What does the Day 3 Testing show?
These day 3 hormone levels and baseline ultrasound measurements provide your physician with valuable information about the current status of your reproductive potential. The blood levels show how ‘easily’ your brain and ovaries work to mature an egg each month and can give insight into the egg quality (or its diminished quality). The ultrasound images help to assess the anatomy of the uterus and ovaries. The antral follicle count helps assess ovarian activity.
This information, along with your age and clinical history, will help to determine the need for any additional testing, and help your doctor to formulate a treatment plan. The treatment plan is tailored to your medical situation, and attempts to combine good success rates, with ease and affordability.
How do I know when it’s Day 3?
Day 3 is considered the ‘third day of menstrual bleeding.’ Full flow by 5pm is considered/counted as ‘Day 1.’ For example, a woman who starts her full flow on 12N on a Monday, would count that Monday as Day1, and have her Day 3 assessment on Wednesday morning.
For those whose full bleeding starts after 5pm, their Day 1 is considered ‘the next day.’
(example: bleeding Monday after 5pm: Day 1=Tuesday).
What if Day 3 is on a weekend or holiday?
Many of our offices are open on weekends and holidays (Annandale; Baltimore; Annapolis; Rockville), and will perform the Day 3 blood/ultrasound assessment. It will be necessary (as during the week), to call for an appointment through our offices’ Front Desks.
Does my insurance cover Day 3 testing?
Many health insurance groups do cover Day 3 testing, as routine diagnostic workups. Please check with your individual health insurance.
Will I need this testing ‘every’ Day 3?
Generally, this testing is done annually, usually at the start of a workup or treatment cycle. It usually is NOT done ‘every single’ treatment cycle.
What happens if my Day 3 testing isn’t normal?
While most Day 3 testing is a good reassurance of reproductive potential, there are times when the values are not within the expected range. Depending on the findings, your physician may wish to repeat testing in a subsequent month; do more sophisticated testing of ovarian function, or make treatment recommendations based on those results (for example, moving to a more aggressive treatment option).