The Five Main Reasons We Order Laboratory Tests

Posted on 4 May 2022

Women’s Health Melbourne doctors and health care providers order laboratory tests for five main reasons:

  • To diagnose a condition – for example to understand the reasons a couple suffer infertility.
  • To understand an individual’s medical risks – for example genetic screening tests.
  • To see assess if a proposed or enacted treatment has been or will be effective
  • To monitor the progression of a known or chronic illness
  • To check for a recurrence of a known or previous condition

Multiple complex tests are often ordered prior to egg freezing and other fertility treatments and when assessing the reasons a couple suffer infertility. Examples include blood tests, genetic tests, sperm tests and imaging investigations. Results in this context will always be nuanced, requiring advanced analysis, skilled interpretation and extensive communication.

You are expected to arrange and attend a follow up consultation to receive your test results. Not all test results take the same amount of time to return, for example karyotype and genetic results typically take 6 to 8 weeks. It is important for your doctor to have the full picture of all results prior to your results consultation.

It is important for your doctor to explain what the results do and don’t mean and to discuss your individualised management options in detail.

Receiving test results often prompts new questions, which you can ask at your  appointment. Following your appointment once results have been discussed with a WHM doctor, if you wish to receive copies of your test results, these can then be shared.


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