Fertility Assessment at ORH
It is now common for women to put off starting their families until later in their lives. More women are choosing to pursue personal development, higher education, and/or focusing on advancing their careers before turning their thoughts towards starting a family. According to the CDC almost 20% of women have their first child after the age of 35. You can see this shift quite clearly from 1990 to 2009 in the graph below.
Unfortunately, this trend can also lead to problems down the road as a women’s fertility decreases as she ages. Depending on how long she waited and her individual biology, it is possible to have considerable difficulties becoming pregnant without the assistance of reproductive medicine. Recent medical advances have led to the creation of a convenient diagnostic panel that can accurately predict a woman’s current fertility. We created the Fertility Snapshot program to help women know more about their fertility, enabling them to make better decisions about when to start a family. Fertility Snapshot is a convenient, accurate, and evidence-based approach to assessing reproductive potential.
Aging and Reproductive Potential
The reproductive potential, or fertility, of women is closely related to their age. Fertility tends to peak in their early 20’s and then will decrease as they age. This decrease generally continues slowly into their mid 30’s where it then starts to drop more and more quickly until they reach menopause and are no longer able to conceive naturally. However, this reproductive aging process occurs at different speeds in individual women and some can find themselves having difficulties even in their early 20’s while others will be able to get pregnant seemingly without issue at 40.
Reproductive aging effects more than just the number of eggs a woman has left but also the quality of those eggs. This means that not only will a woman’s egg supply dwindle as she ages, but the effectiveness, or quality, of the remaining eggs will also decrease. This can be seen quite clearly when you look at this graph about pregnancy rates with egg donors from National SART statistics.
Notice how the pregnancy rates using donor eggs remains relatively constant when adjusted for age? This is because donor eggs come from healthy young women with excellent egg quality (effectively taking age out of the equation). Egg quality is assessed with a range of tests, such as AMH, which together are an excellent indicator of Ovarian Reserve.
Ovarian reserve is a term that refers to both a woman’s egg supply, and the quality of those eggs. It is one of the best indicators of a woman’s current fertility. Studies have shown it to strongly correlate with a woman’s ability to become pregnant, either naturally, or with help from a reproductive center. More importantly, it can be assessed quite accurately through breakthroughs in modern testing. These tests have enabled us to offer women the choice to better understand their personal fertility and to more accurately plan for their reproductive future.
Testing Ovarian Reserve
The Fertility Snapshot at Overlake Reproductive Health is an assessment of a woman’s current reproductive potential that includes the following:
- Blood work: AMH, LH*, FSH*, E2*
- Ultrasound to assess antral follicle count (AFC)
- Summary report of results reviewed by M.D.
*unless on hormonal birth control
What the Snapshot Fertility Assessment Will Tell You
The Fertility Snapshot assessment will tell you what your current ovarian reserve is. This allows you to plan on when you will need to start thinking about starting your family. If the analysis of your ovarian reserve comes back low it might be a good idea to start thinking about starting your family, or even the possibility of freezing your eggs to safeguard your ability to get pregnant in the future. On the other hand, if the ovarian reserve comes back normal, your chances of conceiving in the next couple of years will be higher, and it could be safe to put off the idea of having kids for the time being. The Snapshot can be redone every several years to re-access your reproductive potential.
This fertility assessment will be especially useful if you:
- Have a family history of infertility
- Are 30 years old or older
- Are thinking of starting a family but want to wait a few more years
- Are planning on fertility preservation to safeguard your future fertility
How Much Does it Cost?
We are pleased to offer our comprehensive assessment at a large cash discount of $249. This is up to hundreds of dollars cheaper than what other clinics offer. We want to make this test accessible to woman of all ages so they can better plan for their future.
How to Schedule?
Call us and set up your first appointment or use the form below to request more information. For accuracy, some of the tests will need to be scheduled on day 2 or 3 of your cycle (day 1 is the first day of bleeding). The AMH test is sent out to an outside lab and results can take several weeks to come back. When you schedule your initial appointment you can also schedule a follow-up appointment approximately three weeks later with one of the practitioners to go over the results in detail with you.
- The blood draw must be scheduled on Day 2 or 3 of your cycle.
- The testing is more precise and accurate if hormonal birth control is not used 30 days prior to the blood draw.
- Other types of long term birth control may not work – please ask when you schedule your appointment if you are on long term birth control if these tests will be accurate for you.
Recent advancements in medical science have now made it possible to provide an accurate assessment of reproductive potential to women of all ages at an affordable cost. We strongly believe that fertility assessment is a valuable family planning tool. It allows women, both single, or in a relationship the chance to take some of the guesswork out of the question of when they should start a family. To learn more about Fertility Snapshot please contact us. If you are ready to schedule an appointment then please use the form below, or call us to schedule your appointments.