Are Fertility Tests Worth Taking?
We support the findings from the JAMA article, as well as its assertions that age is one of the strongest indicators of fertility. But, there is still immense value to be gained from fertility tests.
Last year, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) published an interesting study that put the spotlight on fertility testing. The study looked at the correlation between reproductive potential and Antimüllerian hormone (AMH–an indicator of a woman’s ovarian reserve or how many eggs we have, which is used in fertility tests). It found no correlation between a woman’s egg supply and her ability to conceive naturally. Ever since, the women’s health world has been abuzz with the question, “Are fertility tests even worth taking?”
We support the findings from the JAMA article, as well as its assertions that age is one of the strongest indicators of fertility. Measuring select hormones (like FSH, AMH & E2) does not offer an absolute predictor of future reproductive potential. But, there is still immense value to be gained from fertility tests, as many experts in the field will say.
Now more than ever, getting a view into how our fertility health is evolving is crucial to planning for and starting our families.
We’re going through a massive demographic shift–it’s now more likely that women will start a family in their 30s than in their 20s. This is a meaningful and powerful change, one that signifies the increasing number of opportunities for women who are waiting to start a family due to financial reasons, career growth, relationship status, or any number of reasons. But, our biology does not wait. Now more than ever, getting a view into how our fertility health is evolving is crucial to planning for and starting our families.
Back to the JAMA study.
The study, which looked at women between the ages of 30 to 44 with no history of infertility, found that women with a low level of Antimüllerian hormone (AMH) did not have a significantly different predicted probability of conceiving naturally within a year, compared with women with normal AMH levels. The researchers therefore concluded that women should not use their AMH levels to assess their ability to conceive naturally, although pregnancy outcomes were not evaluated.
So, even if your AMH numbers are low, it doesn’t mean you’re infertile and not able to have a baby. In fact, your fertility ultimately depends on multiple factors in both you and your partner—including sperm quality, the quality of your eggs and the receptivity of your uterus.
Our fertility health goes far beyond just AMH levels. But fertility tests provide an important baseline for understanding women’s reproductive health. It’s why our Fertility Age Test is designed and delivered not as a green-or-red light, but rather a guiding tool that opens up discussions with medical professionals so women can confidently take next steps.
What Can Future Family’s Fertility Age Test Tell You?
When you order our Fertility Age Tests, we connect you to our expert fertility nurses who walk you through the test results and answer questions about possible next steps.
Future Family offers two kinds of fertility tests. The first is the Fertility Age Test, which measures your AMH, FSH, and E2. AMH is produc ed by cells lining the follicles (egg sacs) in the ovary and is a measure of your ovarian reserve; as the number of follicles decreases, this level goes down. Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is produced by your pituitary gland, and is a hormone that stimulates the ovarian follicle and causes an egg to grow. E2 or Estradiol is a hormone produced in the ovaries and increases as the follicle grows. Early in the menstrual cycle, the estradiol and FSH levels should be low if the ovary is functioning normally.
The second test is the Future Family Fertility Age Test™ PLUS, which includes these three key hormones—AMH, FSH, and E2—as well as a panel of three other thyroid hormones that impact fertility. TSH detects hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism (too little versus too much thyroid hormone), which can affect your ability to conceive. TPO can diagnose if you have an autoimmune thyroid condition and Free T3/T4 provide more detailed insight on thyroid function.
By taking one or both of these tests, you can learn how your fertility is tracking relative to your age and if you have any early flags for early menopause . And, when you order our Fertility Age Tests, we connect you to our expert fertility nurses who walk you through the test results and answer questions about possible next steps.
If you’re thinking about freezing your eggs (See "Understanding How Egg Freezing Works ") or if you’re considering IVF, these tests can also offer your doctors valuable information about how you might respond to the hormones that will stimulate your ovaries to grow. This will help you determine your best personal timing for when you should do these procedures.
Fertility tests–much like other medical tests–provide partial but valuable information. That does not mean they are not worth taking. We continue to support them as an important step to understanding reproductive health over time. At Future Family, empowering women with information is our number one priority, and testing is one of the first steps you can take to get insight into how your reproductive health is evolving relative to age.
To learn more about Future Family fertility tests, click here.
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