Sponsored by: The Stork® OTC
When you were young, you may have imagined that making a baby was as simple as finding the right partner and choosing the right time. However, millions of couples are discovering that reproducing is not as simple as they had assumed. It’s estimated that 1 in 6 couples have some difficulty conceiving after two years of trying, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Whether you are part of that 1 in 6, or you haven’t even given it a shot yet, finding out more about your body is an empowering thing to do. If you would like to find out more about your reproductive potential, ovarian reserve testing may be something to consider.
But first, what exactly is it?
In short, ovarian reserve testing gives you information on whether you should freeze your eggs now or if there is still time to have a baby.
Different fertility centers have different versions of this test, but many involve measuring different hormones in the blood that vary dramatically between age 35 and menopause, which typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55. An ultrasound can be used to count where eggs mature in the ovaries, and the information is amalgamated for an estimate of a woman’s egg supply.
The ovarian reserve test was originally designed to measure the egg supply in women who were concerned about their fertility, without taking into account the egg freezing potential. It is essential to find a lab that gives meaningful results and a trusted doctor who is able to interpret those results.
Now, let’s get into the numbers.
Women are born with between 1 to 2 million eggs. One egg is released each month, but there are many others that don’t mature.
Eggs decline slowly after the age of 25 and more rapidly after the age of 35. The quality of the eggs also declines as women get older, which can make it more difficult to conceive. There are also an increased number of chromosomally abnormal eggs associated with aging.
However, it is individual, each situation is unique. Some women do not find a smooth drop in their fertility until later, while some women’s bodies encounter drops in their egg quality and quantity at an earlier time.
Ovarian reserve testing is often limited to women after 35 years of age, who have not been successful after six months of trying, as well as women who are at a higher risk for diminished ovarian reserve (DOR), such as women who have undergone cancer treatments.
It is important to note that a poor result in ovarian reserve testing does not mean that it is impossible to conceive and it should not be looked at as the only testing factor of infertility.
If you do undergo tests and find that you have diminished ovarian reserve, you may have a limited response to ovarian stimulation with fertility medication and reduced fecundity.
Results outside of the normal range may help to make the decision to pursue more aggressive treatment options to achieve pregnancy.
There are some over-the-counter treatment options available for couples facing infertility as well. One example is The Stork® OTC, which can be used at home to optimize the chances of pregnancy with limited intervention.
Using cervical cap insemination, it allows the sperm to bypass the vaginal tract to place the sperm as close as possible to the opening of the cervix, delivering 3.23 times the sperm score value within the cervical mucus.
Whatever route you do decide to take, make sure to rally your support system and take a deep breath. There is no test that can define how amazing you are.
Reviewed September 29, 2016
By Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith