Less than fertile fertility tests

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Home fertility tests are suppose to let a woman who is eager to have a child know when she is most fertile and capable of conceiving. But according to a study from the researchers at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, they may not be up to the task leaving women to think they are less fertile when they are actually more fertile.

In the study, the researchers worked with 100 women aged 30 or more who all wanted to have a baby and were willing to use home fertility testing to assist them. The kits claim to measure certain hormones in a woman’s urine which indicate when she is most fertile and thus has the best chances for becoming pregnant. The kits include chemically treated strips that have a reaction to follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) found in urine. FSH is produced in the pituitary gland in the brain and helps stimulate the growth of egg follicles. Readings above a certain level are said to indicate when a woman is not likely to become pregnant. Remarkably, the study showed that FSH levels had little to do with fertility and did not correspond to those times when a woman was most likely to conceive.

The study found a better indicator in the hormone anti-mullerian hormone (AMH). Unfortunately for the makers of home fertility tests (and the women anxious to use them), this hormone is found in the blood and requires lab work. AMH is found in the ovaries and directly influences the formation of egg follicles.

The next step will be to test a larger group of women and chart their conception successes. Until then, if you use a home fertility test, be aware that you may only be getting a partial picture of your fertility.

Source: National Partnership for Women & Families, MedicalNewsToday


 
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