Whether you’re trying for a baby or just curious about what the future may hold, it makes sense to be as informed as possible about your fertility. With more and more women opting to take a fertility MOT, a test to determine how fertile you are and to highlight any problems that could make conceiving tricky, we thought we ought to find out more. And who better to ask than fertility expert Zita West?
What exactly does a fertility MOT measure?
MOT tests involve a pinprick blood test to assess your level of Anti-Mullerian Hormone (AMH) – a hormone produced by cells within the ovary. Understanding your AMH level can help to assess your fertility status and how many eggs you have. However, a fertility test is only a vague indicator of your natural fertility potential and will not come back with a definitive ‘fertile’ or ‘infertile’ label – it does, instead, come back with a reference range which is either high or low, which can then be used alongside your age to better understand your fertility.
Who should consider getting a fertility MOT?
Whether you’re single and keen to explore your fertility, are thinking of trying but unsure how urgently to try, or are considering IVF and egg donation, the test might be the ideal opportunity to consider whether you’d benefit from altering your lifestyle and any factors that may impact your chances of conceiving successfully. If you’re actively thinking about getting pregnant in the near future, but aren’t sure whether your fertility is where it needs to be or you’ve been trying to conceive for a while without success, then you should consider getting tested.
So, is it a reliable indicator of how fertile you are?
Yes and no; whilst the AMH test is believed to be the most accurate blood-based predictor of the number of eggs a woman has, and, therefore, provides an indication of her fertility potential, both for the present and the future, it doesn’t reveal everything. For example, the result won’t tell you about the quality of your eggs, whether or not you’re ovulating or whether your fallopian tubes are healthy. It’s just one marker of fertility, and regardless of the results, age remains the biggest indicator.
What issues can the test identify?
A fertility MOT will reveal whether your egg reserve is in line with how it should be according to your age. Also, as AMH is produced by the ovarian follicles and women with polycystic ovaries (PCOS) are likely to have a very high level of AMH, so the test can identify women with possible PCOS as well (a condition commonly associated with difficulty conceiving). If you’re thinking about having IVF, the test also gives an indication of how you’re might respond to treatment.
Can you get tested at any time?
Yes, unless you’re on the Pill – you’ll need to allow at least one cycle after stopping the pill before getting tested.
How’s best to prepare for the results if you’re anxious?
Fertility MOTs can cause concern for many women, who feel panicked on hearing they have a low egg reserve, so you should be prepared for the truth. Remember, there are so many shades of grey when it comes to fertility, so a thorough consultation following an MOT test is essential to understand where you’re at.
What if you want something more in-depth?
You can have an ultrasound scan to check your ovaries and fallopian tubes. This might be a good idea if your AMH result comes back on the lower side, alongside a hormonal check, to give a more definitive result.
How much do these kinds of test cost?
You can do these tests at home – the Zita West Fertility MOT Home Test Kit is available from on our website for £140 and includes a simple pinprick blood test, questionnaire and phone consultation.
The bottom line?
Many women want to know their fertility status and how many eggs they have left, and these kinds of kits can help answer those questions. However, for a more in-depth perspective, further tests may be necessary.
For more information, visit ZitaWest.com