Can I check my ovarian reserve pregnancy?
In the past, one of the difficulties for a woman was trying to assess how many fertile years she had ahead of her, given that she ceases to be fertile several years before her periods actually stop. Now, a testing kit called Plan Ahead, which can be bought over the counter, has become available. This measures three hormones in the blood – inhibin B, AMH (anti-mullerian hormone), and follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) – using a blood sample taken by a GP or nurse on the second or third day of the menstrual cycle.
The kit is then posted to the manufacturer’s laboratory where the blood is analysed, and the level of hormones detected determines the ovarian reserve.
Although the test can undoubtedly be useful, for example in assessing whether it might be worth embarking on IVF sooner rather than later, it is important to understand that your ovarian reserve is only one of many factors that influence your fertility and chances of conception. The test will not tell you, for example, if you have blocked fallopian tubes or whether your partner has a low sperm count. Whatever the results, I would advise you to seek professional help to discuss your own personal situation.
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