Why Fertility Tests Might Not Be Worth the Money

By Emma Kalman | Jan 03, 2018
Photo by: SC Photography Health writer with a passion for research, medicine, and life.

New York — With the high rates of divorce and many people finding their ‘life’ partner when they are well into their thirties or older, lots of women worry. They worry about if they will be able to start a family when the time is right for them.

This has led to an increasing number of new tests being introduced onto the market and which can measure hormones in the blood, giving an indication as to how many viable eggs a woman still has.

Not surprisingly, these tests are not cheap. And what’s worse is that according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, these tests are unable to predict a woman’s chances of becoming pregnant. Originally the tests were developed by clinics providing in vitro fertilization treatments. It is to help predict how a woman receiving fertility treatment will respond to the drugs prescribed to stimulate the ovaries into producing eggs.

The study looked at 750 women aged between 30 and 44 who didn’t have any history of infertility problems. It looked at the woman who had only been trying to conceive for three months or even less. The results of the study showed that low levels of hormones measured by these fertility tests didn’t have any bearing on the chance of a woman becoming pregnant. It also wouldn’t lead to a lower chance of a woman conceiving after six or 12 months.

According to the experts, many women who have low reserves affects will still conceive without any problems. This is while in comparison those women with a good reserve of eggs may need fertility treatment and could need some time to conceive. Apparently, the reason why these fertility tests don’t really give any useful information is that hormone levels can change over time.

So a test taken today could be very different from a test taken another day or the following week or month. Experts are concerned that women using these tests to predict their fertility may not receive the full picture about their ability to conceive. This is although these tests may still be helpful when investigating women who do have fertility problems and in helping to decide which treatments would be best.

Concerns about fertility are particularly relevant these days as many more women or having their first child at a later age compared with previous generations. Fertility tests only provide a short-term view of some a woman’s current fertility. They do not give any reasonable indication as to how their fertility might be in a year or even five years time. That said, age is obviously an important factor in conceiving a child.

Many gynecologists and obstetricians are concerned that older women may become complacent about their ability to have a child later in life. The use of birth control such as IUD’s, tubal ligation, and medication may also play an important part in a woman’s future fertility.

When it Comes to Having a Baby, Age Does Matter

Over the past few decades, we’ve proved that age is not a significant barrier when it comes to achieving many things and that often it really is just a number. However, when it comes to getting pregnant and having a healthy baby, a woman’s age is the most important single factor. Unfortunately, fertility is most definitely ageist and despite celebrities having babies later in life, very few women successfully have a child in their forties!

Those that do may well have undergone lengthy fertility treatments. With a female baby is born, she already has all her eggs. As she grows up and becomes a woman, her eggs age with her, gradually reducing in quality and in quantity. Age isn’t something that any of us can control. If you know you want a baby at some point and you are in a relationship it could be worth having a frank talk with your partner as soon as you can.

As you get older it’s likely to take you longer to become pregnant and the possibility that you will not be able to for pregnant without medical help increases. At the same time, the risk of miscarriage and other complications becomes higher. The age of the father will also make a difference because the quality of their sperm can deteriorate as they get older.

It’s worth being aware that the likelihood of conceiving naturally begins to decline after age 32. While this decline in fertility is gradual, it begins to speed up after age 35. By the time you reach age 40 your fertility will have declined by 50%. By this age, your risk of experiencing a miscarriage is greater than the possibility of having a successful pregnancy.

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