Fertility tests are “a waste of money”

Published on 17 Oct

Around 1 in 7 couples are effected with problems of infertility, effecting 3.5 million people in the UK.

Many couples struggling with fertility often turn to fertility tests which measures hormones in the blood to help predict how many eggs a woman has left in her ovaries. However, new research has found that there is no direct relationship between ovarian reserve (the number of eggs left in a woman’s ovary) and the ability to get pregnant.

The study published in the Journal of American Medical Association [1] found that low levels of AMH and high levels of FSH did not indicate a woman’s ovarian reserve and had no consequence on a woman’s ability to conceive a child and should not be used as an indicator of natural fertility. This suggests that women with low ovarian reserves may conceive without problems whereas women with high ovarian reserves may face fertility problems.

These fertility tests are often marketed to older woman who fear they may have left it too late to start a family. However, such tests may give false hope to vulnerable and worried women about their fertility.

Infertility is only usually diagnosed if a couple have been trying to get pregnant for over a year yet have failed. Researchers suggest that couples who have been trying to get pregnant for longer than a year and have failed or believe they are having fertility problems, to seek advice from their GP.

[1] https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2656811

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