It determines the ability of the male’s sperm to survive in the partner’s cervical mucus

Emobileclinic Trending Topic: Post Coital Test (PCT)

Post coital test is the test performed to evaluate the interaction of the sperm and the cervical mucus. This test is also called Sims test or Huhner test. The PCT determines the ability of the male’s sperm to survive in the partner’s cervical mucus. The couple has intercourse no less than two hours and no more than four hours before coming to our office. This test is usually done between cycle days 12-15, around the time of ovulation.

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The quality of the mucus, count of the semen and semen motility are analyzed in this test. It evaluates the ability of the sperm to reach the cervical canal and survive in the mucus. Cervical mucus in normal state is watery and slippery which facilitate the penetration and easy journey of sperm into the uterus. This test is done in women who are facing difficulty to become pregnant. 

Important tips on post coital test

It must be conducted at the time or just before the ovulation.

Done 4-8 hours after having sexual intercourse.

Lubricants not to be used during sex. 

No douching or having bath after sex.

Procedure

Vagina is spread using a speculum to facilitate easy examination of the cervix and vaginal wall. It is a painless procedure and takes only a few seconds to collect mucus sample. Mucus sample is collected from the cervical canal and collected sample is then transferred onto a glass slide. Then the sample is examined under microscope to check its quality and the count and motility of sperms present in it.

Interpretation of Results

Normal results: a post coital test is considered normal if the motility and amount of motile sperms is normal in the mucus. The mucus would be stretchy and watery in normal cases. The chance of your conception is greater if the population of the sperm in the mucus is higher.

Negative results: post coital test is said to be negative if the number of dead sperm is more in the mucus. The mucus will be thick, dense or sticky in such cases. A negative post coital test does not mean that the conception is not possible.

A negative post-coital test may happen due to:

Improper timing of the test

Altered ovulation period

Presence of antibodies obstructing the progressive movement of the sperm.

Test should be repeated once more if the result of the first test is negative. This test done in presence of cervical infection is useless.

Treatment Option

Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is often the treatment of choice for couples with mucus problems. In the IUI procedure, specially washed and prepared sperm are injected directly into the uterus thus bypassing the cervical mucus.

Normal, motile sperm should be seen in the sample. If numerous, inactive or “dead” sperm are seen, it could indicate an antigen antibody reaction. 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. Rarely, a man may produce antibodies to his own sperm.

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

 



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