Inside the New Frontier of Fertility Testing
Fertility tests, once thought of as the domain of older women, have long been onerous and time-consuming; a woman had to go off the pill for at least two months, then slog into the clinic on a certain day of the month. Now, advances in technology have cracked open possibilities for young women torn between career, love, and their own biology. All of life is a gamble, writes Sarah Hepola, but in the game of reproduction, women can finally begin to understand the cards they're holding.
The ability to test a woman’s fertility so fast and so easily is an innovation in itself. For many years, fertility tests were onerous and time-consuming; a woman had to go off the pill for at least two months, then slog into the clinic on a certain day of the month. More recent tests bypass that red tape. Dr. Copperman uses the AMH test, a simple blood draw that checks the levels of anti-Müllerian hormone in the blood levels, a reflection of a woman’s ovarian reserves, and results come back in a matter of hours. The test isn’t perfect, he explains, but along with a two-minute pelvic ultrasound and a face-to-face consultation to discuss a patient’s goals and medical history, he can get a pretty decent snapshot of a woman’s reproductive health. That may not seem like a big deal, but it’s potentially a game changer. "If a woman knows her own fertility in her 20s and early 30s, she has a much better chance of deciding what to do about it."
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