If you’re in your 20s, getting pregnant may be the last thing on your mind. However, if you know you want children at some point, wouldn’t it be helpful to be informed about your ability to conceive?
Well now you can be, thanks to a new fertility test, which is available in most states for a mere $98 plus lab fees. All you have to do is visit the site whatsmyfertility.com, and register for a plan. They ask you a series of questions about your medical history, then analyze a set of three blood tests that you can either procure yourself through your health care provider, or set up through the site. Note: If you choose to have the testing done through the site, it’s an extra $274.
It also should be known that this is a test for a specific fertility challenge, namely POA — Premature Ovarian Aging. POA affects roughly 10 percent of women. which makes it one of the most prevalent causes of female infertility. The worst part about it is usually no symptoms accompany it, so most women don’t find out they suffer from it until it’s already done damage.
While it is true that every woman’s fertility begins to decline in her early 30s, women with POA who are trying to get pregnant in their 30s are at a much greater disadvantage. Essentially, their ovaries age faster than a normal woman’s eggs, so if they’re 35, their eggs are more akin to a 45-year-old’s, aka someone who will soon go into menopause.
According to Dr. Norbert Gleicher, medical director and chief scientist at the Center for Human Reproduction, this fertility issue has been around for thousands of years. However, it wasn’t as much of an issue way back when, because women were more often having babies in their early 20s. Now that more and more are opting to wait until their mid-30s to start a family, POA is rearing its ugly head.
I have to admit, while I’d love to know my risk factor for this type of infertility, I’m a little apprehensive. I’m getting married in less than a year, and I am in my early 30s, so if I have POA, it may have already put me at a major disadvantage, baby making-wise. However, that being said, ignoring such an issue is not helpful either. If I happen to be one of the 10 percent of women with this fertility risk, What’s My Fertility has several plans of action to help give me the best chances to conceive.
They may suggest periodic monitoring, so if you’re actively trying to get pregnant, you can stay up to date on your particular fertility rates. Or freezing your eggs may be an option, if you’re not quite ready to start a family but want to make sure you’ll have viable eggs when you are.
This test is the first of its kind to be so widely available, and you can have it done as early as 21 years old. More than likely, you’ll discover you’re not at risk, but if you are, don’t look at it as a dead end. It’s simply an opportunity to make some proactive choices about your reproductive health.