Fertility experts at Sheffield University have developed a kit which can measure how many eggs a woman has in her ovaries and then forecast how fertile she is likely to be two years later. It is expected to be welcomed by women who are concerned but keen to put off the time when they try to get pregnant.
The blood test looks for three different hormones which are key to fertility, in the woman’s blood. These are then compared to levels in the average female of her age.
Although the test is now going to be commercially available (for about £180 and not through the NHS), other voices in the field of conception and pregnancy have raised their doubts .
Given that a decrease in the ability to conceive can be affected by many different things, some people feel this test gives women the impression that a test could guarantee results later in life when it is simply a predictor.
It is true that anything which enables a woman to know more about her expectations might help her, but having a baby takes two people and can never be guaranteed. Despite the increase in women having children later in life, it is known that generally, a woman’s fertility will drop away as she gets older, usually after she reaches about 35 years of age.
The test is called Plan Ahead and is available through Lifestyle Choices who are linked to Sheffield University.
If you want to know more about infertility, read our overview article or visit the Infertility Network UK.