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This test is a quick, painless procedure that can give information about how the cervical mucus and sperm interact. The test must be done within one to two days before or after ovulation. Basal body temperature charts or ovulation predicting kits are very helpful in determining the time of ovulation. A couple should abstain from intercourse for 2 days before ovulation then have intercourse 2-8 hours prior to the office visit for the post-coital test.
 

The test is performed in the office. A speculum is placed in the vagina, as it would be for a pap smear. A syringe without a needle is then used to remove some mucus from the cervical opening. The speculum is then removed and the cervical mucus is evaluated under a microscope to look for the presence or absence of swimming sperm. There have been many studies suggesting that the test is neither accurate nor predictive of fertility. Many fertility specialists skip this step and proceed directly to intrauterine insemination. However, for certain patients this test can be very useful and provide essential information.