women with low ovarian reserves are just as likely to conceive as those with high ovarian reserves, study shows. The Journal of the American Medical Association released findings of research conducted on 750 women ages 30 to 44. The research revealed that Fertility tests measuring some hormonal levels may not be as significant as it was many years ago. Prior to the study, it was believed that having a higher egg count means the person has more years left before she needs to seriously think of having children.

Infertility assumptions may not be true

As the leader of the research team, Dr. Anne Steiner of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill said she was extremely surprised with how the findings turned out.

The research was conducted with the hope that they could find an easy test to help women in their 30’s and 40’s better plant the future of their families. With the results, they noted that they were now back to square one. Steiner even added that most assumptions about the causes of infertility may also be incorrect.

The participants were made to undergo both urine tests and blood tests to detect a woman’s egg count and also to gauge fertility. The tests measured four different Hormones including inhibin B, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and antimüllerian hormone (AMH). It has been a common medical knowledge that FSH levels go higher when a woman nearing menopause ovulates. A lower AMH, on the other hand, would mean that a woman had lesser eggs left in reserve.

Steiner explained that they all thought it would be a good fertility test. In the course of the study, several companies were already selling products that measure FSH and AMH over-the-counter, claiming that these products would tell how many years of fertility a woman had left. However, the results debunked the very thing these products promised to do.

Apparently, the findings revealed an insignificant difference between women with normal levels of AMH (65%) and those with lower levels of the hormone (62%), after 6 cycles and 82% vs 75% after 12 cycles of attempting to conceive.

Age is an important factor in egg quality

A fertility specialist in San Francisco noted that the findings are not entirely new.

According to Eyvazzadeh, age has strongly claimed its fertility importance factor amongst women in their 40s and beyond. Even women who carry AMH of 2.0 cannot have a 25-year old ovary. As women age, the quality of her egg also declines tremendously.

Dr. Jennifer Kawwass, an assistant professor at Emory University School of Medicine also said that biomarker tests, especially those that show diminished ovarian reserves are not absolute predictors of women’s fertility. In women, fertility physiologically lessens in intensity with age. It is, however, independent from ovarian reserve testing.

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