Thursday, October 12, 2006

Fertility forecasting with AMH test

AMH, the Anti-Mullerian Hormone, is a hormone that is produced by young healthy egg follicles in the ovaries, and it can be detected by a simple blood test. This hormone does not fluctuate month to month like other hormones, so it may actually be a true test of a woman's biological clock, say some researchers. Studies have shown AMH may be the strongest predictor of how many healthy eggs a woman has left in her ovaries, and it also helps predict which women are likely to have success with in-vitro fertilization procedures, and which women will not.

A test kit called Plan Ahead was introduced by a UK company named Lifestyle Choices Ltd. in May of this year. The test requires 3mls of blood to be taken from the arm on the second or third day of the woman's period. From analysis of the blood sample, the number of eggs present in the ovaries is calculated using the Ovarian Reserve Index and this is plotted onto a graph to show the woman's 'actual' position compared to the average population at that age. The test allows the ovarian reserve for the following two years to be calculated, enabling women to make an informed decision as to whether, or how long, they can potentially delay before trying to conceive.

This sounds pretty interesting. But a lot of (somewhat) informed people at this forum believe it is not a credible test (actually, they used some stronger language). The test costs 179 British pounds (about $350 U.S.) so is not cheap.


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