Abstract The aim of the fertility work-up is to exclude recognised causes of infertility and to distinguish those couples who have good spontaneous pregnancy prospects from those who have poor prospects. Information gathered by medical history, clinical findings and results of the diagnostic tests should help the clinician in counselling subfertile couples. The initial diagnostic tests for infertility should include a basal body temperature chart or midluteal phase progesterone level, a semen analysis and a test for tubal patency. Ovarian reserve tests can be used in selected cases. More research is needed in the predictive value of the outcome of diagnostic tests in reproductive medicine.