Did you know a woman is born with an exact number of eggs in her ovaries to conceive a child? And when a young woman begins having a period, her egg supply diminish every month, thus the quantity and quality of her eggs diminish as she ages. This is called a woman’s ovarian reserve, otherwise known as a woman’s biological clock ticking away at a slow rate – and it’s very real.
Currently, women who have trouble conceiving visit their primary care physician who will order a panel of blood tests. These tests results are often referred to as " ovarian reserve." In other words, does the woman have a good number (reserve) of good quality eggs remaining in her ovaries?
Today women who want to be more proactive in taking control of their fertility can with a simple blood test called the PlanAhead™. The PlanAhead™ tests measures the quality and quantity of a woman’s ovarian reserve, which is one very important predictor of her ability to conceive.
Why is this important? Because sometimes women are not ready for the responsibility of motherhood for a variety of reasons: they want to have a career first or maybe financially she may think she’s not ready. The problem is the longer she waits the more likely it is that she may have problems due to her ovarian reserve.
How does the test work? The PlanAhead™is a multi-variate blood hormone test that uses advanced measurements of the ovarian hormones Inhibin B, AMH and FSH. By combining these three tests and other factors, they are offering the single most accurate ovarian reserve blood test available in the world today.
Inhibin B and AMH decline as the ovaries age. Conversely, FSH levels rise as the ovaries age. The blood test values for these three hormones and other factors have been combined to create a single measure of ovarian reserve. Your ovarian reserve indicates the quantity of eggs that you have remaining in your ovaries compared to the average for other women your age.
An analysis of these three hormone levels and other factors provides an estimate of the number of eggs in the ovaries ( your ovarian reserve) and enables the doctor to compare your results with the expected range for women of the same age. This comparative value is called your Ovarian Reserve Index.
Your Ovarian Reserve Index will be charted in an easy-to-read report with a full explanation of your results.
Female age is very important in consideration of the chances for getting pregnant due to the egg quantity and quality. As bad as it sounds, the quality of a woman’s eggs become weaker as she ages. Moreover, the miscarriage rates also increase substantially as the mother ages.
The PlanAhead™ blood test gives a woman a predictive assessment of how many eggs remain in a woman’s ovaries. This helpful information may help her to decide whether she should plan to try for a baby now or whether she can afford to wait.
I probably would not have paid attention to this study years ago when I had two beautiful, healthy children in my early twenties. At that time, I didn’t think I wanted anymore because I had my hands full. Now my children are grown adults. I’m in a relationship now and we’re considering having children. Needless to say I’m older and I am now experiencing a low quantity and quality of eggs.
How do I take the The PlanAhead™ test?
I went to Southern California Reproductive Center in Beverly Hills for my simple PlanAhead™ test. The staff was warm and friendly and they explained everything to me without feeling overwhelmed. The PlanAhead™ test requires a small sample of your blood to be taken intravenously on day 2 or 3 of your period.
To ensure an accurate assessment of your ovarian reserve take the five-step process
1. Stop taking your contraceptive medication (i.e. pill, patch, ring) for at least one full month
2. Book an appointment by the end of day one of your period to have your blood sample taken
3. On day two or three of your period, have your blood drawn
4. Your sample will be sent to Repromedix for analysis
5. Your results will be sent to your ordering physician within 14 to 21 days of receiving your sample
Now experiencing this problem really hits home. How could this happen to me? I had children before with no problem, but now, basically my chances for getting pregnant are less than 10 percent.
Where can I go to take my PlanAhead™ test?
• Beverly Hills
• Santa Monica
Too many couples learn about the impact of age when it could already be too late. The men have it easy as they age, the sperm are being produced constantly after puberty while eggs age over time. Many couples end up needing advanced treatments such as IVF (in vitro fertilization) to get pregnant.
It’s not an easy decision to make when to have a child, but if a woman wants
children, sometimes later may not happen. One thing's for certain, a woman’s biological clock is ticking and it can't be turned back. But a woman can begin to
understand more about her body's ability to conceive a child. The PlanAhead™ test assesses the quantity of eggs in a woman's ovaries. It does not measure her ability to conceive, which can be affected by multiple factors. Although the the PlanAhead™ test uses the most up-to-date technology available, she should always seek medical advice from a qualified physician to ensure that she have the best balance of information. The PlanAhead™ test will help her and her physician discuss her risks and options.
Published on Jul 27, 2008