The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill has found a discrepancy between reported fertility and actual fertility in a group of volunteers. According to the report published in a Raleigh, North Carolina newspaper, tests predicted women were less fertile than they actually were at the time of the test.
The study involved 100 women over the age of 30 trying to use home fertility tests to increase chance of conception. When women reach the age of 30, egg quality tends to fade slowly year after year until menopause.
The tests use a chemical strip to test for follicle stimulating hormone (FSH). Readings that are higher than normal should indicate that fertility may be a problem. Researchers found, however, that abnormal test results were not indicative of fertility problems. It was also reported that anti-mullerian hormone (AMH) may be more effective in predicting fertility as opposed to FSH. AMH works in the female body to control egg follicle growth. AMH is not secreted in urine so a blood test would be required to effectively predict fertility.
The research study included a very small number of women, which means additional studies with more participants need to be completed before any suggestions are made by attending obstetricians or fertility experts. There was no mention of how many women conceived despite abnormal tests results.
Source: Anne Z. Steiner, MD and group. University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill as reported in the Raleigh News and Observer. 4 November, 2010.