Should You Take an at-Home Fertility Test? — Samantha Butts

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3 min readAug 18, 2022
Photo by Leilani Angel on Unsplash

I was featured in an article published by The Cut, titled Should You Take an At-Home Fertility Test? The article gives insights regarding the science as well as the pros and cons behind taking an at-home fertility test.

Here are some interesting excerpts from the article:

“At puberty, women already have less than 500,000 eggs and the number continues to drop before decreasing sharply after age 35. This can really freak out people who know they want to be parents (or are still unsure), especially since more and more couples and single women are having kids later in life.”

“A woman’s egg count — which is roughly synonymous with her “biological clock” — is a figure that reproductive endocrinologists have been able to estimate for the past 40 years with certain hormone tests. Knowing a woman’s ovarian reserve, as it’s called, can help fertility doctors counsel their patients on next steps as they plan their families.”

“A fertility doctor can test a woman’s follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) or anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) — both of which can give a sense of how many eggs a woman’s ovaries might produce when given IVF drugs… As Dr. Davis put it, “Aging of the eggs affects the quality no matter how many one has.”

“Another snag: getting a normal FSH result doesn’t mean a damn thing. “A woman with a bad FSH one month could have a completely normal FSH the next month,” he says. “And in fact, women with the worst ovarian reserve tend to have the most variability from month to month in their FSH level.”

“But one way a home test is useful, at least theoretically, is if someone who wants to have a family gets an abnormal test result, it gives them a sense of urgency.”

“Tests like these could have devastating results for a very small group of women who lose their eggs faster than usual, says Samantha Butts, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania…There’s about a 5 percent chance that these women can get pregnant without alternative forms of fertility treatments”

“The ASRM recommends that women with health conditions that affect ovulation and menstruation, like endometriosis that required surgery or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), talk to a specialist before they get going.”

You can read the full article here.

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