Fertility testing has become a million dollar industry as more women are choosing to start their families in their 30s and 40s. However, a new study indicates that fertility tests offer no concrete correlation to a woman conceiving a baby through sexual intercourse.
Women who get these “fertility tests” are actually getting their “ovarian reserves” measured which can cost a wannabe mom anywhere from $150 to $350, according to Vox. The test tells her how many eggs she has left in her ovaries.
This has long been considered a key factor in predicting whether a woman in her 30s or 40s would be able to conceive naturally. But new findings, published in JAMA, indicate otherwise.
Researchers followed 750 women aged between 30 and 44 for a year and tested their blood and urine for the biomarkers that indicate ovarian reserve. The assumption was that the women who had lower reserves would have harder time conceiving. But this wasn’t the case. Researchers concluded that women whose tests showed that they had a low egg count weren’t less likely to conceive naturally compared to women who had a high ovarian reserve.
Ovarian reserve tests are still good markers for the viability of harvesting eggs or in-vitro fertilization. But when it comes to predicting the likelihood of a natural conception, there are more factors involved that a fertility test can’t measure. But they also found that ovarian reserve measurements aren’t useful for women who don’t have a history of infertility and these are the women these tests are often marketed to. These tests aren’t comprehensive enough to determine a woman’s natural fertility.
As Vox notes, these findings are especially important when you think about the women who use them to plan their families. A woman with high ovarian reserve indicators might put off having a family only to realize much later that she’s unable to have children as easily as she expected.
When it comes to predicting whether a woman will conceive a child naturally or not, the most dependable marker is still age. Women who are aged 35 and older are more likely to have difficulty getting pregnant through sex, and its a more dependable warning sign of infertility than biomarker tests, researchers found.
[Featured Image by Ryan McVay/Thinkstock]